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School have recommended a dyslexia assessment?

(11 Posts)
OhSoVintage Tue 17-Dec-13 11:25:38

I need some advice and thoughts on this.

My daughter is 14 and in year 9 and we are really very worried about her.
Since the end of year 7 she has really struggled at senior school not so much with the work but with her organisation, handing homework in and time keeping.

I know lots of children have this issue but this is to the extreme and has in tern effected her performance in school.

Now her school is highly academic and quite intense at times. We were not too worried in years 7 and the start of year 8 as we felt it was due to her being bullied and being generally quite unhappy. We were thinking about pulling her out however the school were very supportive and towards the end of year 8 the bullying issues has subsided. Now she is extremely happy and has a lovely group of friends (quite studious friends so we where hoping this would help!) so we now know that it is not all down to the bullying and there is a behaviour pattern that she is finding hard to break.

Now My daughter is extremely bright and her strong point is English! She was awarded two scholarships for senior schools and in primary she was the top of the class for English, off the reading scheme in reception and recorded reading on the school archives for outstanding reading aloud for her age, never needed to learn her spellings in depth as always got them correct and just generally miles ahead. Being dyslexic myself and always struggling with English at school you can imagine my surprise when dyslexia was suggested in a recent meeting about my daughters disorganisation.

The school have suggested that she seems to be unable to organise herself and it is a lot more that just laziness. There is something in her brain that seems to prevent her from organising myself.
Whilst I do agree that there 'maybe' something there and its worth just investigating if nothing but to rule it out, I really can't see that dyslexia would be the cause.

They sent her to sit a test with the learning ed department. All of which came back ok but with the suggestion that she sees an educational psychiatrist at the local dyslexia centre at the cost of £400 which we can't really afford.
I would of course find the money from somewhere if I thought it would help her but I'm not entirely sure I want to spend £400 for them to tell me she doesn't have dyslexia.

Is it possible to have dyslexia and never have any issues with reading, spellings, english etc? Does an Educational psychiatrist test for other learning disabilities etc?

One thing I have looked into is ADD I show a lot of the same traits and when I sat an online test it described me and my daughter to a tee. Would an educational psychiatrist test for this or would that need to be done down a different route?

It maybe she's just lazy and needs to get her life in order but I think its right we look into this before she hits year 10.

tinytalker Tue 17-Dec-13 18:42:08

SPeaking as an SENCo I don't think your daughter sounds Dyslexic but sounds as if she could have dyspraxia.
WHat is the school hoping to achieve with a diagnosis? SHould they not just look at her and devise strategies to support her weakness with organisation skills? Colour coded homework planner, wall charts, visual timetables, mind maps etc
An Ed Psych can't diagnose ADD/ADHD and like you say it may be £400 wasted.

aciddrops Tue 17-Dec-13 22:31:09

She may have some traits that dyslexics also have but given her high academic performance in English, I doubt she would be dyslexic. ADD maybe.

OhSoVintage Wed 18-Dec-13 17:18:38

Many thanks for taking the time to reply.

Im not sure what the school are planning as unfortunately the assessment request came on the last day of term so I havnt had a chance to fully discuss with them.

She clearly needs more support at school. I have suggested an iPad (with heavy parental controls i.e. no internet/unapproved apps/music etc) so that she can write homework down and set alarms (alarms get email me also!) I have seen a couple of apps that do just that and will help her manage her time table and and deadlines. She can also record when the teacher is setting the homework etc if she's struggling to get it down. I know the dyslexic children have them for organisation etc.
Strangely they have told me that they do not feel this would be appropriate as she may loose it and it would be an extra thing for her to remember, unsure why the dyslexic children are allowed it and they feel its not appropriate for my daughter but I will need to bring that up in January.
I have to say I disagree with this, we are planning to insure against loss and damage and we are comfortable with that.
As for it being an extra burden I fail to see how it can make things worse, I feel its worth a try and if it doesn't work send it home.

I rang the Dyslexia centre and actually ended up booking the assessment as they have a waiting list until February! They did tell me that the test would be by an independent Educational Physicatrist and that it would cover a range of learning issues including ADD and would not be solely for dyslexia. I do have up until the end of Jan to cancel if I change my mind.

However since booking and reading more about add I wonder if its worth booking a psychiatrist that specialises in children with add/adhd rather than through the dyslexia centre. If we are paying out that money I don't want to be paying again for a second opinion and would like to know that we are getting the best for our money.

Unfortunately the school will not fund this as its private. We do get a bursary for a substantial portion of the fees so as you can imagine its a stretch. Im not sure if the NHS will fund it, would it be worth a visit to the drs or would that be a complete waste of time? I don't really want dd to get it in her head that theres something up with her as we are trying to help her?

We do have a adhd center for adults in Bristol and I think Im going to see If I can get referred myself via the NHS (reading about it has been eye opening for myself as well as dd!) Maybe if I do get a diagnosis it will help dd.

aciddrops Wed 18-Dec-13 22:00:12

Hi, NHS may refer for ADD but defo not for dyslexia. She sounds like I was when I was at school. The teachers would say things like "You would forget your head if it wasn't screwed on" and "Use your brain or you will loose it". It really badly affected my self esteem. I am not dyslexic but I do have some learning difficulties that dyslexic people have. One of them is that my auditory processing is bad so that I find it very difficult to concentrate on conversation or a lecture etc and I start to daydream. However, if I am really interested in something I can be almost obsessive in my concentration about it. My 3 DSs are dyslexic and it runs in our family. So, I think it is well worth having her assessed by an EP.

On the positive side, you can adapt to cope. I use a diary, and set reminders on my phone. I forget a lot of things though but usually remember the important stuff as I make a concerted effort to set reminders. I probably come across as being a bit flakey but it is not a disaster. The main thing is to be aware of the problem and to adopt coping strategies. xx

SoontobeDoctorEll Fri 07-Feb-14 10:38:46

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OhSoVintage Mon 10-Feb-14 10:59:42

We went for the assessment and have been told she has dyspraxia.
Im now on a mission to find out as much as I can and try and help her in anyway I can!

It sounds like I also have this so its a double learning curve!

juanmo1 Sun 09-Mar-14 18:58:03

If you haven't already looked into it Google 'Executive Function'.. in case it's helpful.

Seryph Sun 09-Mar-14 22:17:46

Your DD sounds exactly like me at that age. For reference, I am a fanatical reader and currently studying my MA hons in ENglish Language, dyspraxia and dyslexia aren't the end of the world.

Please if you want, message me about dyspraxia. I know you don't know me from Adam, but I have it and if you just want some info or anything... Well, anyway, sounds like you are really doing all the right things.

mumeeee Mon 10-Mar-14 11:38:46

Just seen this. DD3 is Dyspraxic and your DD sounds simular. DD3 took awhile getting to where she is but she is now 22 and at uni doing a computer degree. x

nataliabuckler Fri 28-Mar-14 06:35:39

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