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Possible dyslexia in 12yo dd

(7 Posts)
Swanic Fri 06-Sep-19 22:51:55

We've just had my daughter (who has just gone into year 9) diagnosed with moderate dyslexia/very slow processing speed/dysgraphia. Sounds like we were in a similar situation to your DC, bright child with no noted problems in primary school (top tables etc.), who started struggling a few months into Year 7 at our local grammar. We saw evidence of her frustration and slow processing speed/persistent poor spelling at home and spoke to the secondary school. One year later, she was on the SEN register, but apart from a couple of organisational workshops during year 7/8, no further support was given. A few tests were conducted at school which highlighted processing difficulties and poor working memory, but there was no definitive problem highlighted.
Watching her struggle at school and her self-esteem plummet lead me to investigate specific learning difficulties and I found out about private testing.
We attended the ADC in Maidenhead at the end of July this year. I found it through the BDA online and it was reviewed as a reputable organisation and being a charity, was the best price I could find online.
Fast forward 8 weeks and we had a diagnosis, a comprehensive report and a list of suggestions.
School have already invited us back in and have since started copying all communications to learning support, her form tutor, head of year, and pastoral head.
It just feels like we are being taken more seriously now with a formal dyslexia diagnosis.
I also think that although the school my daughter attends is, by all estimations, a well-funded school, the funding only extends so far. All the good intentions of the SENCO can only go as far as funding will stretch.
The ADC have also supplied a list of suggestions for school/home which include:

25% extra time in examinations; differentiated homework (my daughter spends up to 6 hours an afternoon on homework that should only take her 2 hours);
Various technology-assisted learning techniques and programs;
Recommendations for tutoring in specific areas;
A reader for examinations if possible;
A list of topic-specific vocabulary provided before starting a topic so she can practise spelling it/recognising it;
Touch-typing programs and
Providing handouts for lessons/peer notes from class/ advance notice so she can have sufficient time to read set works etc.
These, of course, are all suggestions and the school is not legally obligated to do anything. Luckily, they do seem to want to help in our case and am sure will do what they can.
Also, the fact that my daughter now knows that she is not 'stupid' or 'dumb' as some of the meaner girls have called her (and it's not just mum who's telling her this) has helped her immensely.
My advice would be that if you can afford private testing, or can make sacrifices to allow you to save up and test sooner/more comprehensively than school are able to, go for it.
And trust your intuition. I dismissed my daughter's problems for many years, as I was told how bright she was/well she was doing at every single primary parents' evening. My gut feeling told me that something was not quite right, as spelling and reading abilities did not correlate with her abilities otherwise.
Testing sooner would have perhaps preserved her self-esteem and allowed us to place her in a more appropriate school setting for her needs.
Anyhow, we have got there in the end. You know your child best and need to go with your gut. And try not to feel guilty if you find a learning difficulty later on: if educationists find it difficult to spot learning difficulties at times, chances are some of us parents are also likely to miss it.
I hope that you manage to get things sorted and wish you and DC all the best smile

sparkle789 Wed 28-Aug-19 21:02:59

Of course thank you

DyslexiaMum19 Wed 28-Aug-19 20:12:26

Will pm you if that's ok.

Main thing is to get an ed psych that does the range of tests recognised by the exam boards (I think most will do this but it's worth checking). Also check out the British Dyslexia Association website.

sparkle789 Wed 28-Aug-19 20:04:14

Thank you for your replies. It’s wrong that these just about managing children fall through the gaps. I feel that this is what will happen for dd.

How much did the private assessment cost if you don’t mind me asking?
I think we may have to go that route even if the school will put her in for assessment as we want to know asap and in imaging it would be a long process!

DyslexiaMum19 Wed 28-Aug-19 18:57:47

I've just got the (private) ed psych report back for DS who's just starting secondary. It has a lot of practical suggestions which hopefully can be put in place. In our case, the list looks like this:
1. Talk to the SENCo and discuss the report with them.
2. Extra time in exams (DS has very slow processing speed and writing ability).
3. Handouts rather than copying from the board where possible (his writing speed is so slow he'd spend three quarters of the lesson copying stuff down rather than doing the actual work).
4. Learn to touch type (possibly with a view to getting permission to use a laptop in exams - again because of the extremely slow writing speed).
5. Sit in front of the teacher to help him focus on instructions/lists of tasks.

I second what Luxury says - the school won't do these assessments if your child is just about coping. In my DS's case, he's very bright, but has quite severe dyslexia (up on the 95 plus percentile for most of the cognitive tests, some of the dyslexia specific tasks to do with writing or phoneme deletion are right down on the 5th or even 1st percentile!) The end result is that he uses his brains to compensate for the dyslexia, and the dyslexia masks his brains, so if you just look at his SATs scores, for example, you're looking at a child hovering round about the pass mark (so about 35th percentile) - so the school isn't worried, because he's not failing sufficiently badly to pull their performance in the league tables down.

Sadly (and I've talked to friends who're teachers and Ofsted inspectors about this), this sort of child is exactly the sort who falls through the gaps. 35th centile is deemed to be "good enough" so no-one has any incentive to help. It's up to the parents to scrape together the money for private assessments/push the school for help and support.

Luxuryhandwash Tue 20-Aug-19 22:55:12

Unless it’s very severe you literally get no help sad some authorities don’t assess for dyslexia point blank unless bad enough to warrant assessment for an EHCP. Talk to senco as a definite first. Yes a private Ed psych report if you can afford it is very helpful, it depends on severity of dyslexia should there be a diagnosis, as to whether any support is available, extra time, etc. Recording work on iPad can help, dragon speech, nessy etc, but obviously a proper assessment and chat with senco a
Good starting point.

sparkle789 Mon 19-Aug-19 20:33:57

Dd is going in to year 8. She has struggled with school work in primary but in year 7 it became very noticeable. Possibly because they way secondary works she wasn’t getting as much support from teachers.
I’ve looked at signs in adolescent girls and she ticks a lot of the boxes. I will speak to the school senco when they go back but does anyone know how long the assessment process normally takes and what it involves. Is it worth going private?
Also what support do children with dyslexia get in schools.
I feel bloody awful that I may have missed this. I’ll
Any other advice would be appreciated.

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