My DD is 7 and suspected as being dyslexic however there is no clear cut way of getting this diagnosed. School are doing interventions and have done a SEND plan, but will not arrange for her to see someone for it to be officially diagnosed. She Has been to the doctors who are refusing to refer her on as they said it was a educational issue and not a medical. I understand it is not of benefit going down the private route. My questions are how important is it to get a official diagnosis and the reasons for it? what are other people's experiences of dyslexia support/diagnosis. I am concerned for future support in exams etc (although this is a long way off yet) and how I explain to her why she struggles more than others, also how do we know it is actually dyslexia without a diagnosis although she does display all the classic signs.
Thanks in advance.
I don't understand why you think it's not of benefit going down the private route. There will be a branch of the Dyslexia Association near you which caries out such assessments using a qualified educational psychologist and will give you a detailed assessment of strengths and weaknesses. This can help you help your child and help the school meet his needs. It is also a useful starting point to request extra time and/or a reader in exams/tests. I would strongly recommend assessment. I tutor dyslexics and such reports are really helpful.
Thanks for your response. Aside from not having the funds to do so, all the research I have done has said that the local authority will not accept a private assessment if we want to go for funding. It apparently has to be carried out by a LEA Ed psych. (I go t this info from our LEA website) I am unsure if I am wrong to be pushing for it to be diagnosed officially as the school are doing interventions, but when I have asked them to refer her, the response was 'this is not what we usually do' I feel this is very unfair as we don't know for certain this is what it is and it may be the interventions are not the best ones for her. Also I wanted to know how to explain things to her, because she just knows she struggles, but doesn't understand why and calls herself stupid and dumb, although we know verbally she is very bright and have tried to explain things as best we can.
My DD is also suspected to be dyslexic. After one strange assessment at school when she was 7 where the lady who assessed DD suggested further assessments to the tune of £300 we rand the dyslexia specialist at the LEA who suggested pushing for a full dyslexia test but not before the age of 8. She said 7 was just to young and the results of any testing would be more clear cut when she was a little older. We are lucky that the school is a dyslexia friendly school and have already put measure in place tomhelp DD, and we'll see later this year about testing. If the school are not helping then a test would help as there would be clearcut suggestions for the school to implement, but if the school are already helping then from what I can tell there is no rush as a diagnosis doesn't automatically mean any further help.
Thank you. I have just emailed the LEA to see what they say as it seems to differ area to area. I have also just researched Dyslexia Association and it seems that the one for our area is not currently operation due to lack of volunteers. My DD school have just done an assessment for gaps in learning so I am awaiting the results. I am baffled as to why there is no clear cut process to this as dyslexia is not unusual. Just want to get him the best help and support I can get for him so he doesn't lose his confidence.
It is very frustrating. From what I have read (my psychology degree touched upon learning difficulties) I do agree that testing too early isn't of any benefit compared to waiting a couple of years, as long as some measures are put in place and progress is checked. My DD has made good progress over the last 12 months. Whether that is due to interventions or just because she is that little bit older I don't know, but if they'd tested her last year when should could barely spell anything and didnt understand basicaths the results may have been very different to any testing she'll have this year. Maturity plays a big part in a child's learning. The biggest thing for us at the moment is making sure that the school maintain the measures put in place as they sometimes forget.
I agree with Tissie, I don't understand why you think it's not of benefit going down the private route. if your local branch of the Dyslexia Association can't carry out the assessment, then I'd recommend traveling to the nearest available one or contacting them to ask for their recommended private centre, there are plenty around.
The assessment t will be carried out by a qualified educational psychologist and will give you a detailed assessment of strengths and weaknesses for your child. It can help your child enormously, and can also pick up other issues such as Dyspraxia or Dyscalcula.
They will give you loads of advice/recommendations to help your child and this in turn will aid the school in offering the relevant support to meet his needs. It is also a useful starting point to request extra time and/or a reader in exams/tests.
I have a child with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalcula and would strongly recommend assessment, to the point I feel you are doing your child a hug disservice by not pursuing the assessment.
Both my daughters (aged 15 and 7) are dyslexic. I never got anywhere with my eldest daughters schools so we pretty much did and paid for everything ourselves (bar 15 minutes per week when the school did "wordshark" with dd1 which was pretty pointless as we already had that at home).
With my youngest I've just arranged for a private tutor. I expect nothing from the school - and treat anything they do as a "bonus".
It's shit and it shouldn't be like this where only those who can afford it get help but that's just the way it is where I live. My eldest was severely affected and there's no way she'd be where she is (predicted B/C grades in gcse's) without the private tuition. I don't think she'd have passed any gcse's at all to be honest.
We paid £200 for an initial assessment and then £20 per week for dyslexia tuition and £20 for maths. It wasn't all at the same time and it was term time only. It was money well spent but if you can't afford it then you can't. Could you get DLA for it I wonder?
Take a look-
Ruth Young is somewhat of an education pioneer within Surrey (even the a Education Minister follows her on Twitter)
She has just retired from teaching and is now filling her time driving education techniques for dyslexia.
Have a look at her website (she's also on Twitter/Facebook) and send her a little mail. She is lovely and would be only too pleased to point you in the right direction. She would love to hear from you and has no hidden agenda.
She has helped 100s of kids but more importantly put 1000s of parents minds at ease! She just has this magical calming approach.
Thank you for you advice. It is much appreciated. I'll take a look.
The Code of Practice requires the LA to consider all evidence presented to them, so if they are saying they won't take private assessments into account they are acting unlawfully. Does their website actually say that? If so, I suspect that it is something that IPSEA and SOS SEN might want to challenge them on.
I have two dyslexic children. DS was diagnosed privately aged 8 and my 9 year old was amazingly diagnosed recently by the school Ed Psych, not costing me a penny! DS never got to see the Ed Psych although school did take the diagnosis seriously and he did receive a lot of support throughout junior school which has continued into High School. Both children both see a private tutor too, DS has been with her 4 years now and it definitely helps a lot. I think DD only got to see the Ed Psych because of DS. I was originally told our local authority "didn't recognise dyslexia" and that a diagnosis would make no difference to the support given (true in DD'S case). She was under the Ed Psych 3 years before finally getting a diagnosis which finally came when they got a different Ed Psych. The previous one kept saying she wasn't dyslexic and put us through an ADHD assessment with CAHMS. It was they who recommended she be tested for dyslexia - what I'd been saying for years. I really can't criticise the level of help school are giving (which hasn't changed with diagnosis as she was getting loads and they had been treating her as dyslexic for ages even without the diagnosis). I have had to make a bit of a nuisance of myself with school over the year but it has paid off in our case. Good luck!
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