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Dyslexia - should I get my 8 year old dd assessed?

(25 Posts)
AmericanPastoral Sun 24-Jan-16 13:09:36

My 8 year old dd - who will be 9 in August - has never liked reading as she finds it a struggle. Her everyday spelling is poor but if she revises for a test she usually gets all the spellings right. She also sometimes gets numbers around the wrong way - she will say 96 when looking at the numbers 69. How do you know if your child is dyslexic? She is also very easily distracted -her 5 year old sister needs much less prompting to get things done than she does. I'm not sure if this is a trait associated with dyslexia. Is it worth getting her tested? A friend of a friend had her child assessed and it cost £400. Thanks.

Tissie Wed 17-Feb-16 22:46:26

I think it is worth getting her tested. I teach dyslexic children and a thorough assessment is most helpful in identifying strengths and weaknesses. Once you know those you can put in place a plan of actions to support the areas of weaknesses.

NewLife4Me Wed 17-Feb-16 22:51:42

Yes, please do.
If she is dyslexic you'll wait forever otherwise.
I wish there had been testing when i was younger and also didn't pay to have ds2 tested for Aspergers and regret it terribly.
The best £400 you could pay if you have serious doubts.
I'm dyslexic and get numbers mixed up, needed/ still need prompting, and the same with spelling and reading.
I know other dyslexics who have different problems though.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 19-Feb-16 20:10:45

I've just had my 10yo DD assessed, and I do feel it's worth it, partly in our case so I can go and see prospective secondary schools with a clear idea of her needs, but to try and convince her primary school that she really isn't just being lazy and needs more support. This report shows clearly that she has very high underlying ability but significant difficulties in specific areas of reading and writing, and that it isn't all going to be solvable by trying harder. The other thing is for her self-esteem, so that she can hold her head up and know people will believe her when she says she is trying but just can't do certain things.

I had my older son assessed for ASD 5 years ago (he has AS and dyspraxia) and it really, really has helped us.

Jamieson90 Wed 24-Feb-16 21:01:50

I am a teacher with lots of experience with SEN and Dyslexia. The following list can be used to help diagnose whether a child has Dyslexia, but please note that a child with these indicators may not be Dyslexic, and that a child who does not display these indicators may be Dyslexic.

For a concrete answer you need a professional diagnostic by someone who has the correct qualifications i.e. someone who has an MA in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (SEND) or equivalent.

But anyway here are some things to consider in the meantime.

1) The child's written work does not match up with their verbal ability/intelligence. If your child is described as very bright by teachers but their work doesn't reflect this then it could be an indicator of Dyslexia.

2) Poor phonetic awareness - Dyslexic children typically struggle with Stage 3 Phonics as this is where digraphs are introduced. A good way to test this is through the the use of nonsense words; Dyslexic children don't read, they see symbols (letters) and then remember how to say them and what they mean. This is why they struggle when introduced to new words and spellings because they don't have any strategies for blending or segmenting.

3) Linked to this is the confusion over sound pairs and the reversal of letters. b and d is very common and Dyslexic children find it very hard to distinguish between certain letter pairs. For example the way the sounds z and s are made by the voice box are almost identical. Try it out yourself. The only difference is how you push outwards for z but not for s and your mouth will look the same from the outside for both.

4) Poor reading skills but good at obtaining meaning through context - this is a coping strategy.

5) mental fatigue (fading out) and complaints of exhaustion. Dyslexic children typically use up 30% more cognitive power than children without Dyslexia, (interpreting all that information and remembering all those words so you can read is hard work), so it isn't uncommon for Dyslexic children to be completely shattered by the end of the school day.

6) Quick to walk but late for other milestones. May have trouble dressing self or tying shoe laces.

7) Poor dexterity and hand eye coordination - accident prone. Not good at sports unless it is practiced a lot. For example, they may seem average at football and therefore not a concern but remember you need to consider how long they practice it as well (even more so with computer games).

8) Poor understanding of rhythm and rhyme. They seem to miss the beat when dancing and cannot clap to a tune. Equally, they may find it hard to keep up with a follow the leader routine i.e patting body (Head, shoulders knees and toes etc).

9) Poor short term memory - they seem forgetful. This can often be contradicted by a good long term memory (remember, they have to remember all those words for reading).

10) Struggles to copy from the board.

11) Struggles with remembering times tables and sequences.

12) May spell/read a word correctly and then misread or misspell it later down the page.

13) Poor handwriting/struggles to hold pen/pencil correctly - this is often linked to Dysgraphia.

14) Poor spacial awareness. Not good at puzzles.

Hope it helps and please let me know how you get on.

Jamieson90 Wed 24-Feb-16 21:24:22

P.S I forgot to mention that Dyslexia usually runs in families (it can skip generations) so if either of the parents or any grandparents struggled with reading or writing this could be an indicator too.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 24-Feb-16 23:43:47

Thanks Jamieson that's a useful list. My DD certainly has the problems with written work, poor grasp of phonics, persistent letter reversals and family history but I thought for a long time that maybe she wasn't dyslexic because she has great rhythm, great manual dexterity, good organisational skills, good spacial awareness, good balance, good core strength etc. It really does need an expert to work it all out.

MigGril Thu 25-Feb-16 00:00:53

I would encourage you to get her tested. I'm dyslexic and some of those tratse ring true with me.

Jamieson I'm surprised at number 14 on your list as I remember reading that dyslexic children can often have great 3D spacial awareness, in fact they can seem rather intelligent as young children until they hit the classroom and start having to do book work. I certainly have a great visual memory, it's rubbish for anything else though.
I also managed to do sports and learn some music with practice's. I think it's all relative and not everyone will have the same set of difficulties.

Jamieson90 Thu 25-Feb-16 00:01:45

Poor written work, poor phonics, reversals and a family history are big alarm bells for me and I would definitely get it checked out. I know it can be very expensive but you're paying for time really, and with things like SEN the sooner you intervene the better the outcomes will be.

Don't wait on the school you could be waiting for over a year. That's even if they agree and decide to take the matter further, which isn't a given; I've seen some shocking SEN provision in my time.

As I said it may not be Dyslexia as it could be something else, or it could be nothing at all but £400 for peace of mind is well worth it.

Jamieson90 Thu 25-Feb-16 00:05:31

They're just indicators MigGril, as I said they don't necessarily mean that you are Dyslexic (or the reverse), but that you might be. For example, I know a Dyslexic boy who is awesome at completing word searches, yet you'd think that wouldn't be possible considering a lot of Dyslexic children struggle with distinguishing letters from one another.

It's a spectrum, and as you said, everyone is effected differently.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 25-Feb-16 00:09:20

I had her assessed in Jan, dyslexia was confirmed. I've still got a lot to learn about it though, my older DS has various SNs but the one thing he hasn't got is dyslexia, so I'm sort of starting out all over again.

Jamieson90 Thu 25-Feb-16 00:11:53


What support are you getting from the school and the local authority?

P.S I'd be happy to supply any advice or information.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 25-Feb-16 00:16:12

None from the LA, small group interventions at school (year 5) and private tutoring. Her needs are not severe enough for an EHCP (been there, done that for DS). She reads fluently (albeit by memorising words), writes legibly (but slowly), spells incorrectly (but is understandable).

Jamieson90 Thu 25-Feb-16 00:24:22

"Her needs are not severe enough for an EHCP."

That's subjective so don't just take their word for it.

Additionally, how has her teacher adapted their whole class teaching to help your daughter? Interventions are all well and good but for the majority of the time she will be in lessons with everyone else.

For example I use OpenDyslexic for any work displayed on the IWB. It's a font specifically designed to help Dyslexic people, and studies have shown that what is good practice for SEN children is also good practice for children who aren't SEN as well.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 25-Feb-16 07:19:14

No, really, she's not being affected by it that seriously that it warrants an EHCP. I won't say never, but after the battle I had to get one for DS whose needs are far greater I know there is absolutely no chance for her as things stand. Her primary school are carrying out all the "reasonable adjustments" suggested in her assessment on a whole class basis and her catchment secondary have an excellent reputation for SEN support.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 25-Feb-16 08:08:53

Thank you anyway smile

MigGril Thu 25-Feb-16 13:41:25

Jamieson can I ask do you know how not having it officially recognised in school would effect thing further down the line in her education. I ask as when I was at school you had to have had things in place for a set number of years before exam boards would make allowances for GCSE. Ie extra time, reader if needed ect. Was wondering if this is still the case now. As I have a nice who is dyslexic and my sister is having similar issues with the school. She had her privately tested as well.

Sorry to but into your thread op.

anotherbusymum14 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:11:18

Just wanting to ask a question, and I don't think I saw it in the posts here, but how do you go about getting a child tested for dyslexia? Do you talk to the child's school first or find someone who is trained to test them? I was told to go to the GP first for a referral but I'm not sure if that's right.
Any info would be helpful.
Thanks so much.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 26-Feb-16 22:40:21

I'm not sure if GPs can refer for it, schools can but they often won't because they don't have enough money in the budget, so a lot of people go privately. Definitely talk to your school SENCO as a first port of call.

Jamieson90 Fri 26-Feb-16 22:49:04

I can't speak for GCSEs but I do know you need a statement to be considered for things like scribes and extra time for KS2 SATs. I'm not aware of their being any time limit though; you should be eligible for them as soon as you have a statement.

ricketytickety Fri 26-Feb-16 22:53:57

does your school have dyslexia screening software they can do in house? Ask them first. All dc struggling to read by 9 should be considered imo

ricketytickety Fri 26-Feb-16 22:57:26

Also don't worry if it is...they should get plenty of support as it is actually quite common. Usually phonics sessions, extra 1to1 reading support, numeracy support and instructive support in class.

MigGril Sat 27-Feb-16 08:22:43

Rickety maybe that's what should happen but in reality it can be hard to get schools to provide this help. Screening software can only tell if a child has a tenancy to be dyslexic it can pinpoint sepficifc underlining causes and recommended interactions like a full evaluation from a educational physiologist can. Relying on these is not helpful for these children and a cost cutting measure for children that really need full intervention.

My niece is now over 2 years behind thanks to her school dragging is heals and not doing a full assessment and saying they where 'helping her' they where doing some intervention but not enough. As she hasn't been assessed properly.

Jamieson I'll be happy if that's the case as when I was at school you had to have your statement for x number of years before exams before you got allowses. I new people who missed out don't know why they did that. Wasn't very fair.

rosebiggs Tue 01-Mar-16 09:12:58

Dyslexia can be assessed either by an educational psychologist or an appropriately qualified specialist dyslexia teacher with a postgrad diploma/masters in spld and a current practising cert e.g. either AMBDA or PATOSS.

You don't need a statement/EHCP to be eligible for access arrangements at either KS2 or GCSE.


'Access arrangements may be appropriate for pupils:

with a SEN or an Education Health and Care Plan as described in SEN Code of Practice or a local equivalent
for whom provision is being made in school using the SEN Support system and whose learning difficulty or disability significantly affects their ability to access the tests
who requires alternative access arrangements because of a disability (which may or may not give rise to a special educational need)
who is unable to sit and work for a long period because of a disability or because of social, emotional or mental health difficulties
with EAL and who has limited fluency in English.

Schools must make sure they have documentation to show that a pupil is eligible for access arrangements. This must include evidence that resources are routinely committed to providing this support in the classroom. Schools must be able to show the documentation if they have a monitoring visit.

If schools use access arrangements for a pupil inappropriately, the pupil’s results may be annulled.

loopygoose Mon 04-Jul-16 09:47:13

Yes, it made a huge difference at home, at school, and gave her a boost because she now knows that she's not stupid. Take a look at my blog about what I have found to work.

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