Reasons for and against diagnoses for dyslexia....your opinions!(20 Posts)
My daughter is 7 and a half. She shows many of the classic signs of dyslexia. I am a qualified dyslexia specialist, so technically I can diagnose her myself but think its better if someone else who is not personally connected to her does it.
She is home educated btw, so a diagnoses is not as essential as it might be in school.
I have suspected she might be dyslexic for a while, but was delaying anything formal until she was around 8 because of the leap a lot of children make between 7 and 8 years.
I think her self esteem is a little battered. I'm wondering if being able to explain her difficulties would help her.
No thoughts for and against getting a diagnoses?
Really I guess I'm asking from the point of view of the child re having a label?
She's got all the specialist help she could need from me, so that is no reason to get a label. Are there other reasons? I'm thinking from the child's viewpoint really.
You could take the view that being dyslexic has advantages as well as disadvantages. Eg, out of the box thinking, creativity, imagination etc. Dyslexics are over represented in the Arts and entrepreneurship etc. You could mention all the famous dyslexics out there. I think it depends on the severity of the dyslexia and the age of the child - maybe 7 is a little young to see any positives in struggling with things that others find easy. Having the label might help your DD understand her problems and give her more confidence, knowing that she isn't dumb but that her brain is wired up a bit differently. Cannot think of anything negative other than using the label as an excuse to not try hard.
Ok, thanks kitchendiner I have a tendency to over think everything!! Just was trying to weigh up whether a formal diagnosis was useful or not. It is possible a label of dyslexia would increase her confidence
Husband is dyslexic and his mother refused to acknowledge the concerns that the school had. As such, he received little support and left school with awful GCSE's, believing he was stupid.
Worse, now that he's older and would like to redo his maths/English, he is unable to get support/help/allowance made for the dyslexia because nothing was ever 'in writing' during his school time. Basically, they refuse to accept he is dyslexic because paperwork doesn't exist to say so.
PolterGoose, you are right, 'label' is a terrible term! Also thanks for helping me think a bit more long term. There is a good chance she will go to secondary school or certainly some kind of FE, so yes I need to think of that.
Purplebaubles, thanks, it really helps to know the POV of someone (your hubbie) who is dyslexic.
Right, I will now have to get ready to suck up the cost of an assessment!
Get it done.
My diagnosis wasn't until my mid 30s, it makes a lot of sense being able to read about how my brain works.
Yes, get it done. I have a diagnosis for my DSs. It helped them to realise that they were not stupid but just had a specific problem. Therefore, it improved their self esteem. I had a diagnosis in my 40s when I went back to uni as a mature student. It explained a lot about some of the problems I had at school. I had always thought I was thick - until as time went by I realised I could get a degree, a Masters and a good job. I still have doubts about myself but the assessment made me feel a lot better about my specific weaknesses.
If I was asking you the question about my child, as a qualified dyslexia specialist what would you tell me?
Realise this thread is from a while back, but would add that my DD2 was assessed for dyslexia last year but isn't dyslexic. The tests did show some different development issues that impair her reading/writing, and gave us (and her teachers) a lot of ideas about how to support her. I found myself almost sad that she wasn't dyslexic at the time - because there is so much support attached to the diagnosis, whereas something less well-defined is harder for others to accommodate. So the assessor's report has been really valuable -though clearly not cheap. And it has definitely helped me talk to her about why she finds some things hard.
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The problem with dyslexia is that it is a man made problem, a social construct, not a medical / clinical issue. it is only a shared symptom of mnay underlying issues/
the problem is about money and the current dyslexia industry which is more focused on the provision of various remedial programs which is th source of income for those in the dyslexia industry. Which means that they are not focused on the actual real needs of dyslexics, which vary according to the various underlying causes of the dyslesxic symptom.
You could have a look at some of the research paper collections included on the APDUK "Auditory and Visual Dyslexia" web page.
You really do need to identify the clinical issues causing these problems as these conditions can have more serious symptoms than just the dyslexic symptom.
I dont think it is aman made issue, my son is dyslexic took years for the school to reconise and then said had no one qualified to diagnose! so had to get a private EP report, this also highlighted his needs like a very slow at processing information it now means he is in a specilaist dyslexia school, which means he can use other means to access the Curriculum, ipad, voice reconigtion software, touch typing etc
I would even if it is only for exams, for extra time etc.
If I were in your situation, I would definitely have her assessed and diagnosed. It may help her access support and certain allowances in exams and with assignments in future (GCSEs right up to university). Also, she may wish to declare it when she is employed in future, which will give her reasonable adjustments at work and some protection, should she need it.
We also just had an awful situation at work. A teacher was put on capability procedures for her 'sloppy' paperwork. The union member representing her suggested she may be dyslexic and the school eventually agreed to pay for an assessment. She is quite seriously dyslexic, it turns out, but because she was bright academically, had been 'masking it' with coping strategies her whole life. She was reflecting on school with me recently, and said she now feels so sad that she 'hid' her dyslexia (always knew she found certain things difficult) and always felt deep down that she was somehow stupid and felt a sense of shame. A proper diagnosis and support from childhood would have saved her years of difficulty and months of stress when she very nearly lost her job.
My DD is 15 and was diagnosed at the age your DD is now. She had very low self esteem and the label really helped her. She had specialist teaching at Dyslexia Action because the school refused to help.
At secondary school the school recognise that she is very able which is why she has stayed in the top set throughout despite her difficulties. She has finished 5 GCSEs (3 B grades and 2 marks to come) by the end of year 10 and will take another 7 next year. She has friends at school who have similar difficulties but are not achieving and been dumped in sets with children who don't want to learn. I think her progress is down to her diagnosis quite frankly. Apart from anything else she can use a laptop in lessons and exams or gets extra time which has made a lot of difference.
Forgot to mention that my DH is also probably dyslexic, he was never diagnosed (rural Ireland 1970s) and struggled academically as a result. He now had an MA but he does feel robbed of his true potential.
Only just picking up on this but do hope you are having/ have had an assessment. It will de-personalise any difficulties, will help her self- esteem and should be a moral booster because you will have concrete evidence of her strengths. As for her understanding dyslexia, try Dr. Duncan Milne's book 'How My Brain Learns to Read' which has been written specifically for this purpose.
I would suggest reading together books for which she hasn't the stamina and which her friends are enjoying. If she sees that it is enjoyable for you and something you look forward you will both gain a lot from the experience. I used to do this for my son and regarded it as a privilege and such fun to discover stories/ characters which were new to me. It gives your daughter a chance to hear the music/ lilt of the language and will nurture a love of books without the strain of decoding.
Turn to rhyme/ poetry books and read them aloud. This will help her to tune into the rhythm of the language and, as you will know as a dyslexia specialist, is a prerequisite to reading development. Good luck.
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