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"Not struggling enough"

(18 Posts)
lovelymama Fri 10-Mar-17 12:16:38

My daughter is in Year 2 at a state primary school. There's lots of details to her needs but I won't cover it all in case you fall asleep. DD couldn't really talk when she started reception, needed 'urgent intensive speech therapy' according to NHS, but as they couldn't afford to provide it, school were amazing and stepped in to pay for weekly private sessions. DD has suffered from daytime wetting all her life and was regularly out of lessons (3-4 times per day) all through reception and Y1 to be changed.

She was really far behind where she was supposed to be so in Y1 I took her out of school 1 hour per week to see a private reading specialist (which I paid for) to try and help her catch up. She saw her for 5 months until the lady moved out of the area. Now in Y2 she is still 1 year behind where she should be. Her reading is so low for her age, despite the one to one I paid for, the small intervention groups school provides (not just for her, there's a group of them).

I've been in a constant battle with school about how they can help her more but they're saying she's not struggling enough to get more help. I don't understand how someone a year behind where they are expected to be can't be offered more help? We provide so much input at home so I'm not expecting school to take full responsibility for her learning.

My question is - have you been in a situation similar where you have had to go out and get funding yourself? I'm prepared to put in leg work but I don't know where to go next. Thanks

littlebunnyhophophop Fri 10-Mar-17 12:34:29

Has she been assessed by the educational psychologist?

Badders123 Fri 10-Mar-17 12:48:23

I assume she behaves well?
No behavioural issues =no help ime 😡

Crusoe Fri 10-Mar-17 13:04:53

Even behavioural issues = no help in our experience just lots of punishment and blaming.
And yes we have had to fund all help from our own pocket because although it was bad enough to call me into school all the time it wasn't bad enough to warrant help.
I feel for you OP. Does you daughter have an EHCP? If not you can apply yourself...

lovelymama Fri 10-Mar-17 13:15:58

Thanks for the responses. She has no behavioral problems - she is calm and has always been happy to go to school despite how much she struggles when she is there. The school have told me that if she had behavioral problems she could get more help.

She's nearly 7 and is now realising she's different to the other girls in terms of how she talks (she still struggles to keep up with conversations and pronunciation of lots of words) , she's still often wet in the day and she struggles with movement/co-ordination so things like the dance classes they go to are a nightmare for her). It's making her more reluctant to go to school, which although I hate is making me think that at least it might help us push for funding. How bad that you have to play that game.

SATS are coming up in May and I want to take her out of school for the week and travel to see her amazing specialist reading teacher who I'm still in contact with and do some teaching at home myself as I can't see how SATS are going to do anything but be annoying for a non-reader

lovelymama Fri 10-Mar-17 13:18:03

Littlebunnyhop she has been assessed by 2 Ed Pychs. The last one did a number of cognitive tests and she scored age appropriate and average on all of them. I spoke to the Advisory service and they said if she scored average on these tests then there's no reason why she shouldn't have age appropriate educational achievement - but her teacher said she's way off that. I think this proves that the education system is letting her down?

lovelymama Fri 10-Mar-17 13:19:38

No EHCP - the school is in the process of applying for a PRA at the moment but I don't understand why it has taken so long to get to this point. I honestly couldn't have helped them more to apply for funding/provide back up from docs etc. It feels like because I'm keen to help my daughter they just think they can leave it up to me to crack on

Mary21 Fri 10-Mar-17 16:54:21

Has she seen your community paediatrician. Sometimes called developmental paediatrician. If not I would request a referral. Also are you in touch with ERIC. www.eric.org.uk

smilingsarahb Fri 10-Mar-17 17:16:14

I wonder if tackling things through your GP might be a better starting point. Wetting, struggling with speech and struggling with coordination might be linked in some way and might have nothing to do with cognitive ability. Has she had her hearing checked btw?

As for reading being behind that's a tricky one. My son was a year behind in reading but had no special needs. In year 3 he did a programme called toe by toe and reading seemed to click. He is still behind average but the gap is smaller now. Is she understanding what she can read? Is she struggling to hear the sounds in someway or see the shapes of the letters. Did the expert give you an idea of what about reading was the issue.

I agree that poor behaviour seems to encourage schools to tackle things more. I also think that children start school very young and a lot of children seem to struggle at the start but by year 2 those immaturity issues sort themselves out and it's only then that some real needs start to show through, which is why schools can be a bit slow to sort things out..there's a bit of a let's wait and see if they grow put of it. All very frustrating if you know deep down its something more.
I hope someone e with some expertise comes and gives you good advice.

MrsKCastle Fri 10-Mar-17 17:25:32

What is her reading actually like e.g. can she read CVC words like pet, can, dog easily? Does she recognise and blend digraphs like ee, or, ai, oo etc? Is she expected to pass the phonics screening check this year? (From what you say, I assume she didn't achieve the expected level last year?)

You say she is a year behind, but also call her a non-reader.

The school can and should be supporting her. Do they feel her progress is good?

Neolara Fri 10-Mar-17 17:36:35

It's possibly she could have a specific difficulty with phonological processing which could explain both her language and literacy difficulties. Did any speech therapists or the EP test for this? What tests did the EP do?

BackforGood Fri 10-Mar-17 17:36:38

I also think the wetting and the co-ordination are not to do with her learning (although obviously will impact on her in school) and it is the Dr you should be pushing for referrals not the school. At least getting investigation / support / diagnosis / help for those areas will make life so much nicer for her, and then addressing the inbalance between he cognition and reading might be easier.

Daffodilcrazy Sun 12-Mar-17 19:04:47

Has she seen an occupational therapist I wonder? that might help. With regards to the 'how far behind' question. It is a myth that children have to be so far behind to get help (according to policy) but I think it may be a way of rationing resources. There is more in this blog that outlines the "how far behind" issues and official stand point! She does sound lovely, I hope that things work out for her xx itmustbemum.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/how-far-behind-does-she-have-to-be/

lougle Sun 12-Mar-17 19:15:45

It's very worrying as a parent when your child is behind. You say she is 'one year behind in reading'. What does that mean, exactly? Is that one year behind the average stage that a year 2 child is at, or one year behind the lowest stage they would expect a typical year 2 child to be achieving? What stage of books is she reading? Is she able to decode simple words?

lovelymama Tue 14-Mar-17 21:54:00

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond and ask such interesting questions. She has seen Ed Psych at the end of last year who observed her in class to be distracted (she can't 'hear' sounds if there are other distractions such as back ground noise, as there often is in class so she just loses the thread of the conversation). Ed Psych also did a set of 10 tests on her (Kaufman Assessment Battery of Children and Weschler Intelliegence Scale for children) to test her core competencies which revealed she is in fact average on everything. When I phoned the advice service at the council they suggested that if she has the ability to be 'average' her academic achievement should be 'average' - which is certainly isn't!

She is predicted to complete Year 2 being at the stage where the 'average' child would be at the beginning of year 2. We are on the reading scheme where books are colour coded and she is on green level. This is a book level that most kids achieved in reception and certainly in year 1.

My lovely GP has talked with me about this, referred her to pediatrician, bladder specialist (she is now under the team at the Evelina children's hospital in London), Occupational Therapy. They all see a lovely, quiet girl and can't quite figure out what's going on.

In terms of her reading, she has only just got the hang of 'it', 'is', ' and' on sight after I re-trained as a reading specialist to be able to help her and did loads of work with her. Her working memory is poor and she just forgets things. She passed the phonics test in year 1 after loads of work by me, her teachers and a private reading tutor, but her memory issues means she has forgotten many of the phonemes now which makes sounding out words really tough for her.

I don't rely on school for everything - I'm super involved in helping her improve. I almost feel like I've shot myself in the foot because I've provided so much support the school might almost feel like her need isn't great enough? But I can't sit by and let her struggle - everything is so tough for her, even things like dancing and swimming, because she has such poor co-ordination and working memory she just doesn't 'get' them!

beansbananas Tue 14-Mar-17 22:06:45

Has she had a hearing test? From what you are describing, it does make me think that her balance issues and struggles with background noise and sounding words could be connected.

Daffodilcrazy Tue 14-Mar-17 22:10:46

So pleased that she is getting some decent referrals, especially OT.

Bubblysqueak Tue 14-Mar-17 22:19:00

Has she had her eye sight checked. Ds was severely delayed in speech. He had his eyes checked at the 2yr check up and it turns out he has really poor eye sight. You would never know. Since he started wearing glasses his speech has come on leaps and bounds as he can actually see the face shape etc. Since starting school he has had another eye test and a stronger prescription. Since his new prescription he is writing his name more clearly and remembering the phonics that he has been taught as he can see them clearly.

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