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Getting dyslexia diagnosis

(9 Posts)
elfonshelf Fri 09-Sep-16 20:12:48

DD - age 7 and just started Y3 - has been struggling for some time with reading and writing.

School have been brilliant - extra phonics classes for 2 hrs a week all through Y1 and then her teacher voiced his suspicion at Easter in Y2 and said he would watch her with that in mind for the rest of the year. At the end of the year he said he was pretty certain and that we should look into the possibility of a formal diagnosis.

I've been doing a bit of research over the summer and pretty much everyone said to just get a private Ed Psych report done via the Dyslexia Association.

DD started back at school on Wednesday and I managed to have a very brief chat with her new teacher and TA that even. I explained that there were strong suspicions and that I wanted to raise it early with them as the school need to fill in part of the application form.

They were both brilliant - turns out that they were both on a dyslexia course during the summer holidays, the TA's eldest DC (age 18) has severe dyslexia and the teacher said she'd seen the work that DD had done that morning and she there were definite red flags. The school has also just appointed a new SENCO.

They have basically said to leave it to them and they will arrange for her to be tested by the SENCO and will start getting strategies in place to help her.

I'm more than happy to be pushy when needed but I have tended to regard the teachers as professionals and I'm fairly hands off. As DD goes to after-school club, it's very rare that I am in a position to have a 'quick chat' with the class teachers.

I'm now unsure about what the situation is with the testing - obviously I'm incredibly lucky that the school is so on the ball and willing to help as that seems to be half the battle. It's a big inner-London primary with very high numbers of FSM/EAL/SEN and they spend a lot of money and time on interventions for any child who is falling behind but I want to make sure that DD can access whatever is potentially available for her.

Is the assessment the SENCO does adequate for getting things like extra time in exams, extra help, use of laptops (is there a list of what is potentially out there?) or do we still need to get an ed psych report? Is it worth trying to access one via the State or is it so difficult to access that we are better just getting the money together for a private one?

Apologies if I've asked ridiculous questions - just very worried about how much poor DD is struggling.

user1475698402 Wed 05-Oct-16 21:43:08

I would say it would be dependent on the qualifications of the SENCO as to diagnose you need to be qualified in this regard.

dublingirl48653 Wed 05-Oct-16 21:46:07

I think the SENCo can complete screeners
maybe ask them what tests they are going to use - it will be really useful to see what they use and then ask for EP involvement if necessary or you can also consider dyslexia action

Makemineacabsauv Wed 05-Oct-16 21:48:47

I would also take her to get her eyes tested as my dad was diagnosed with mears ihrlen syndrome via optician referring her to the hospital. That's where the eyes read across and back and jump around when reading/writing. She has since been diagnosed as having dyslexia/ dyscalculus but it's been a fight getting support in place from school. Hospital and optician have been brilliant and have given her eye exercises, glasses and coloured overlays to use, all of which have helped. Good luck and hope your dd gets the support she needs and deserves.

bruffin Wed 05-Oct-16 21:50:35

Ds got extra time without ever having a proper diagnosis. However they changed criteria and he lost it. He was not below average in any area just his average parts were a long way below the rest of him IYSWIM

Finola1step Wed 05-Oct-16 22:00:10

I think you need to ask if the SENCo is qualified to assess fully or to just screen.

To screen, you have to have knowledge of the screening process, have attended a one day BDA screening course, be familiar with the materials.

The full assessment should be carried out by an Educational Psychologist (they now need a doctorate rather than just a Masters) or a suitably qualified, level 7 dyslexia assessor (usually private).

There is a very big difference between screening and assessing. Screening will just tell you if it is worth going ahead with the full assessment (which will cost £500+ depending on location). School based assessment usually just means screening, unless they refer the child to their LA Ed Psych.

If your SENCo is qualified to do a full assessment, then you are vv lucky and you should grab this with both hands.

Ohmuther Thu 06-Oct-16 10:20:38

In our experience the SENCO will screen and then refer to Ed Psych for an assessment.
Only problem with going through school was how SLOW it was, so you might like to ask about time frames.

CryingShame Thu 06-Oct-16 10:33:13

We have the same - Yr 3 7 yr old. He gets his glasses tomorrow as he's slightly long sighted and we have parents evening next week so DH will be asking for an ed psych referral. The school are happy for the SENCO to keep a watching brief whilst he struggles.

Another parent we know from swmiing lessons (same school) has said they got a private ed psych report but the school wouldn't acknowledge it, only one that their Ed Psych had compiled so check that with the school before you spend money.

We're finding you have to keep being a squeaky wheel. God help the kids with parents who have english as a 2nd language or no experience of the UK school system.

50ShadesOfEarlGrey Sun 09-Oct-16 07:44:34

My son, much older, now doing his masters, was screened at 7 by a very experienced Senco who said definitely no dyslexia. Eventually when I had done a lot of research and become convinced that he was dyslexic we paid for a private assessment. Her exact words were ' I assess three children a week, and your son is the most dyslexic child I have seen for many years' .
I would suggest you do some research of your own, dyslexia presents in different ways. Dyslexics typically have very spikey profiles. My son was top percentile for vocabulary, and in bottom 5 for processing speed. His cousin also has a diagnosis of dyslexia but presents very differently.
CryingShame yes squeaky wheel is right. Always be one step ahead and know what you want the outcome to be from any meeting.

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