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Too early to be considering dyslexia?

(22 Posts)
Cherubneddy1 Tue 13-Sep-16 21:25:05

My daughter is just 5 and has started in Year 1. Since the middle of reception I have wondered whether there is something more going on with her than just finding reading difficult. In reception, her teacher commented that she struggled to retain learning; she can see the same word repeatedly on consecutive pages and still not recognise it, after sounding it out. It took her ages to learn all her phonics, and even longer to work out how to 'blend' sounds to read.

She has just moved schools and her teacher spoke to me today about how behind her peers she is with reading. I've been shocked to find out she seems to have forgotten what she did know at the end of last year. She was struggling to recognise 'n' today. I wonder if this is our fault though, as I was in hospital for a month over summer, and poor DH struggled to keep everything together and reading was NOT a priority.

And she absolutely HATES reading. We have to force her or bribe her to sit down to read. And she often just cries when we make her look at a book. She finds it so stressful (as do we.). We've tried reading apps, which seem to really help at the time, but she forgets what she's learned ( such as how 'ai' sounds) by the time we see it in a book, despite her seeing it repeatedly 10 mins earlier.

She's left handed which her teacher says makes dyslexia more likely too. We've always affectionately called her a 'dizzy daydream' as she is forgetful and vague all the time, wondering if this could be related though?

Any thoughts? Is it too early to see if she can be assessed? Who would do it? I'm having a proper meeting with the school next week to discuss.

NightNightBadger19962 Tue 13-Sep-16 21:39:56

Just popped on to say in year 7 school advised us that getting a visual processing assessment by an optometrist (available locally at a few specialist opticians) was the first step. It turned out she had a specific problem with horizontal tracking - we have a list of games etc to help work on it, and she has some special glasses (that look like normal ones). Also your school may be able to do a screening test (not sure what age this recommended from though). My dd disliked reading too, and performed worse in tests when under time pressure than in class. It helps her if there is less text on the page (uses a kindle) and if worksheets etc are not cluttered/busy, as she finds it hard to pick information out. Useful games for her specific problem are jigsaws, spot the difference, where's wally, little things app, also picking out and circling all the 'a's' on a page! Or any other letter. Good luck.

Gingernut81 Tue 13-Sep-16 21:40:12

We have a computer programme at our school called Lucid which is a very vague test - it highlights areas of weakness rather than diagnose dyslexia. However if the results were very poor we'd advise a dyslexc test. I've got a feeling that she may still be too young for formal testing but don't hold me to that.

Have you tried doing her work on coloured paper (cream/buff is meant to be good) or using a coloured overlay when reading? Could be worth a try & then at least you know, the colours are meant to help words stay still rather than moving.

Theworldsgonemad Tue 13-Sep-16 21:51:35

I don't think it's to young op, my son was diagnosed at that age. I took him to the Helen Arkell dyslexia centre for an assessment. They produced a report for us and teachers to use to help him.
It can be tough as well as frustrating for them in school, especially as they get older and realise others are so far ahead in certain aspects, especially reading.
Follow your instincts and get your Dd assessed.

dublingirl48653 Tue 13-Sep-16 21:53:01

I am an educ psychologist
we do not assess for dyslexia before the age of 8

Jakadaal Tue 13-Sep-16 21:55:46

School refused to accept that dd had a problem and that it was all behaviour relating to the fact she was adopted. We finally took her to Dyslexia Action aged 7 for assessment which revealed numerous issues including dyslexia. School finally sat up and took notice when I started her with weekly lessons with dyslexia action as it involved taking her out of school over a lunchtime.

Dd is now in a special school and is starting her GCSEs. I have never forgiven her primary school for refusing to take both her and us seriously

Jakadaal Tue 13-Sep-16 21:56:45

School refused to accept that dd had a problem and that it was all behaviour relating to the fact she was adopted. We finally took her to Dyslexia Action aged 7 for assessment which revealed numerous issues including dyslexia. School finally sat up and took notice when I started her with weekly lessons with dyslexia action as it involved taking her out of school over a lunchtime.

Dd is now in a special school and is starting her GCSEs. I have never forgiven her primary school for refusing to take both her and us seriously

Jellykat Tue 13-Sep-16 22:07:05

Not sure about Dyslexia, but DS2 started being assessed for Dyspraxia in Reception year.

Cherubneddy1 Tue 13-Sep-16 22:11:16

Thanks so much for all your replies everyone. Some great advice there. I agree I need to trust my instincts; I know it's so, so early to consider it, but I do feel something just isn't quite right. The amount of time we spend reading with her is wholly disproportionate to the progress she has(Nt) made. She's generally a very bright girl, we thought she would do well at school, it's been a real surprise.

There's no way I'll leave seeking an assessment until she's 8, if things don't improve though confused

Didiplanthis Wed 14-Sep-16 19:39:38

Just came back from ed psych today ! My Dd is nearly 7. Amongst other things we were told she has dyslexic tendencies but they would not formally diagnose it yet as some of the tests are for things that would be normal at this age anyway. She has been definitively diagnosed with other issues which are affecting her learning which we can address now however so it may be worth pursuing if you are worried things aren't right. We had similar issues very very bright but very little progress. We sat it out in year 1 but things weren't picking up so thought we had best look further as her confidence is already in tatters.

Mrssigns Mon 19-Sep-16 08:56:09

My dd is dyslexic and she also has very poor working memory, which means that she struggles to retain what she has learnt. So she is taught something, gets it and then 10 minutes later forgets it! It's like working with a goldfish !! Her ed pysch report and the senco at school have given us lots of strategies though to get stuff into her long term memory and once there it is secure. Do some reading on short term/working memory as there are games you can do now that can help

timeforsomethingnew Wed 28-Sep-16 12:48:55

I knew in year 1 that there was some challenge with DS - was diagnosed in Y2 ... think he was just shy of 7 when we got the assessment done. Just wanted to say trust your instincts- work with school to see what they can put in place immediately to help.

I would take pressure off the reading at home and just read to her, listen to audio books if she likes them.

LotusElise1 Sat 01-Oct-16 19:57:54

Shes' definitley not too young. There's lots of evidence now indicating that dyslexia can be identified as early as five years. A recent study done by Linda Siegel found that ' Children at risk for reading difficulties can be identified in kindergarten (five years of age) and intervention programs can be provided. In one study, Lesaux and Siegel found that children identified as at-risk for reading difficulties in kindergarten, benefited from classroom-based intervention programs that emphasized phonological awareness, vocabulary and reading strategies. Have a look at this link for more info:

Ethelswith Sat 01-Oct-16 20:05:50

I think 5 is on the young side, and 6ish is much more reliable.

Then again, my younger dyslexic DC is now 12, so I am thinking of the orthodox opinion of 6+ years ago.

MissHemsworth Sat 01-Oct-16 20:14:47

Watching with interest as my DS's reception teacher queried whether he could possibly be dyslexic. He's 5 also & any health professional I spoke to said he's too young to be assessed which I don't doubt, however this thread might provide some useful pointers for the coming years! Sorry I can't be any help though.

BestIsWest Sat 01-Oct-16 20:17:53

I agree that you should trust your instincts. I knew when DD was 5 that her reading and writing ability did not match her verbal ability but wasn't confident enough to push the school. Luckily she had a fantastic teacher in Year 3 who completely agreed with me and within a week of having DD in her class had referred her for an assessment and SEN help. After that she flew.

1tsonlyme Sun 02-Oct-16 22:09:24

Definitely trust your instincts. I knew two of mine had dyslexia. The oldest of the two I knew in year two he was and kept bringing it up with the teacher. She kept saying we wouldn't do anything different if he was.
When he was in year six the school got a new deputy head and his teacher went on sick leave for two weeks at the end of the first week she called me in for a meeting and said did you know that your A was dyslexic. I said I have been saying that since he was in year two. I asked her to look at my youngest who was 6 at the time and she said the school will pay for a private educational psychologist and they where both diagnosed, with dyslexia with it named on their reports. The deputy head said that it was the first time she had seen dyslexia actually typed on a report in years as they usually just put learning difficulties. The school then got all TAs trained in dyslexia learning methods and bought dyslexia aids.

Revision999 Mon 03-Oct-16 08:51:53

My DD certainly exhibited all the same tendencies from age four onwards and, finally (after three very stressful years at school being told not to worry and that 'they all learn at their own pace'), was diagnosed as very dyslexic with a slow processing speed but not until she was 6 and did not have formal ed psyc check until she was 9. I think 5 is too young for a formal diagnosis but I would certainly treat her as such in terms of using coloured paper, print in dark blue rather than black, clearly laid out pages, books with good readability (ie harder words repeated quickly) and lots of repetition of words. Books with clear images to accompany text may help her as well as she goes through school so she can get the gist of the text even if she cannot read all of the words. There is certainly lots of research to show that early intervention makes a huge difference and plenty of dyslexic intervention strategies are ideal for all children anyway.

Perplexedicom Fri 07-Oct-16 06:22:16

Many of the standardised scores related to the dyslexia assessment tests I use are only reliable from the age of 7yrs. For this reason, as well as question marks around a child having had sufficient teaching input before the age of 7 (phonics, etc.), I do not carry out fully diagnostic assessments before that age. I'm a PATOSS assessor.

A visit to an opthamologist (and orthoptist, if referred on from there) would be wise - particularly if your daughter rubs her eyes when reading, skips lines or omits words, etc. This is sometimes evident even before a child can read.

It does sound like school are helpfully observant and supportive of your DD.

Please don't blame yourself. One month in hospital must have been very difficult for you indeed - and wouldn't have created this difficulty. I hope that you've fully recovered.

Dyslexia is more commonly hereditary or 'acquired' through problems such as glue ear.

nooka Fri 07-Oct-16 06:57:39

Lots of children forget what they have learned over the summer, and if she was struggling in reception then it's possibly not surprising if she has regressed. Also there may be a difference in expectations between the schools. Having said that I think most parents of dyslexic children are aware that there is a problem a good while before diagnosis.

We didn't get ds assessed until he was 7, and he had working memory issues (also he was the last year before phonics teaching came in and was I think taught fairly badly). Lots of organisational problems too and some social communication issues, most of which he has subsequently grown out of. He is now an academic high performer but still speaks much more fluently than he writes.

There is lots of dyslexia in my family so we were on the look out for it. Our SENCO wasn't much help as she was convinced he was autistic, and even after his diagnosis was much more interested in giving him behavioural rather than educational support. However it was very useful for us as parents to understand where he was struggling.

loopygoose Thu 20-Oct-16 11:54:26

I feel for you. I've been there and have written a blog with all the information I have managed to get and what I've done to help my child.
If you do intervene with any of this, keep a diary so you can demonstrate to your child's school what you have needed to do at home by way of support.

miranda1028 Mon 14-Nov-16 13:12:55

Hi, Cherubneddy1.

I've been reading your post and it seems incredibly familiar. I have been concerned about our daughter because she, too, hates reading, is reading at a level below (reception), she struggles remembering sight words, she has a hard time telling 'b' and 'd' apart, and also forgets what she has learned.

In my humble opinion, it's definitely not too early to start considering dyslexia. There are two tests that educational psychologists can do at an early age and they are good predictors of dyslexia. These tests are rapid naming and vocabulary related tests (rhyming, etc). Children who perform well on those tests typically do not have dyslexia (although there are some exceptions). Children can also be seen by a dyslexia specialist ophthalmologist and have "Dyslexia Specialist Teacher" evaluations.

I have been very keen to get our daughter's reading issues figured out as quickly as possible. I've been very worried about her rapidly diminishing confidence and missing this key learning stage. Our daughter had the rapid naming and vocabulary tests done, but she scored in the top 8%. We are plugging away with other tests, so I'm hopeful we can get to the bottom of it. Our daughter goes to a private school, but they've been exceptionally unhelpful, so we've been trying to figure all this out on our own.

Good luck and please keep us posted.


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