What age to diagnose Dyslexia?

(29 Posts)
happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 14:18:10

I'm not sure if I should be posting this on the behaviour board, if I'm in the wrong please forgive me.

Ds is 5.5 and is strugling with reading and writing. The school is very pro active and have set aside extra time for him with a TA and also they have asked the SENCO to take a look.

He has always had probelms with lauguage and had some very basic SALT at about 3. He has also been a very 'idiosyncratic' little boy, he had lots of ASD traits but is NT (some sensory issues, hand flapping, sniffing, a tendency towards repetatiove behavious but he points etc).

He has a very good memory, but is realy finding it hard to make any progress in reading. He finds it hard to sequence the letters so CAT is spoken as ATC etc.

Now I know he is very young. And I don't want to be a flapping, 'worried well' mum pain in the arse. And I'm not pussy, or wanting him to be Shakespere at his age.

Just if I could ask mums with children with dyslexia, what age did it become obvious? And what, if anything, should I be looking out for? Half of me wants him to run round and play, and half knows that early intervention can be helpful.

Help please.

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happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 14:18:52

Pushy!!!!!! Hell I'm the one with the spelling probelms!

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foxinsocks Fri 16-Sep-05 14:19:23

did you watch that ch4 program on dyslexia?

happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 14:21:49

No, but I read the article by the same guy in the Times Ed

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foxinsocks Fri 16-Sep-05 14:26:26

I don't know much about dyslexia (other than the fact that at one stage in junior school, they thought I was mildly dyslexic) but one thing that program showed was that any child with some sort of reading difficulty, REALLY benefitted from one to one early intervention. So even if it's not dyslexia, it would probably be worth his while getting some help.

foxinsocks Fri 16-Sep-05 14:28:17

actually just read your post through and realised I haven't answered any of your questions!! Sorry!

catgirl Fri 16-Sep-05 14:30:51

I think the age is 7 for diagnosis, not sure about picking up the signs as my ds is 3. My dh is dyslexic and finds the bda website (British Dyslexic Assoc) very useful. He has also recently had some glasses made with tinted (purple - very nice) lenses and his reading has improved no end - has taken him 38 years to find out about these (apparently they have to come in Prada frames, but not sure I believe that one .

catgirl Fri 16-Sep-05 14:31:53

oh, and the opticians recommended on the bda website check that the eyes are working together and other stuff too - not just 'can you see this' kind of eye test.

NomDePlume Fri 16-Sep-05 14:31:56

DS2 was diagnosed at 6

ScummyMummy Fri 16-Sep-05 14:34:32

I now think it's probably not till 7 or 8 that it becomes obvious whether there's a reading difficulty. Fwiw- I could have written your post about one of my twins this time last year and I did have moments of feeling really worried about him, not least because his brother was finding reading a breeze and I was finding the contrast very difficult to watch. But sometime at around the later middle of y1 he just suddenly got it and this year he's really taken off and has even caught the reading to himself bug. I know you probably can't help it- I couldn't!- but I do think worrying at this stage may be very premature. I'm very glad I didn't give in too much to my urge to pressure him.

happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 15:00:20

I realy don't want to pressure him. Interestingly my dd is a fantastic reader, and alawys was, from about the age of 3.....so the last thing I want to do it to make ds feel 'different'

It isn't so much that I am worried, but the SENCO getting involved has made me wonder if this is 'real' IYSWIM, and if I should be doing more

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ScummyMummy Fri 16-Sep-05 16:56:37

I honestly think our only saving grace with my boy was not doing anything. My really hugest worry was that his self-esteem would crumble if he felt that he wasn't getting anywhere- that's why it was particularly galling to have his twin sitting nonchalently on his laurels at the top of the reading scheme having cracked it, seemingly by osmosis. Apparently being pressured to read before they're ready, finding it hard and consequently being pretty much turned off school is classic for some boys and one of the reasons people like Steve Biddulph argue for boys to start formal schooling later and in classes with girls a year younger. Tbh, I think lack of readiness is statistically even more likely than a reading problem. My partner and I made a more or less conscious decision not to do anything special about it because- and I know this is not a popular view so am prepared to be shot down- I really believe that a lot of extra early intervention is pretty pointless and that kids will do things only when they are developmentally ready to do them. Additionally we felt that there was a real danger of giving him the message that we were worried and he was not doing well. We felt it was more important to protect his self esteem and hope to buggery that the reading would happen in its own good time. So we just made a really big thing of praising both boys for effort rather than results. I'm glad we did it that way but I know that's so easy to say in hindsight and I haven't forgotten the real worry of it at times and wondering if we should do something differently- sympathies.

I must say the school actually didn't express any particular concerns at my non-reading boy, anyway. Certainly no Senco interest whatsoever. I think quite a lot of the kids were in that position, actually, and as far as I know the majority of kids are reading without too many problems now. Do you think that your son's school is quite quick off the mark about this because there are fewer children not reading?

happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 17:47:49

We make sure that we 'big up' all his efforts and tbh the school is excellent at this as well.....for example he got this weeks merit award and has also been super star of the day. They get stickers for trying to read. It was excellent today since he aslo got his 10m swimming badge and they made a big thing out of that too.

I think that they are pro active because the class size is quite small and so ds stands out a bit!(10) but also because he hasn't realy made any progress over the last year at all.

I'm not worried, but I am just interested in the wise words on MN

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ScummyMummy Fri 16-Sep-05 18:05:47

You sound nice and chilled. Well done to ds for all his brilliant efforts at reading and swimming- little star. I hope some other people will be along to help later but it sounds like you are doing everything right to me.

rummum Fri 16-Sep-05 18:12:05

I don't think dyslexia is just about having trouble reading... a lot of people have:
bad organisation skills,
can't follow a list of instructions,
letter/number reversals,
muddling up left from right,

how is DS on these things?

happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 18:17:45

he does, but then if i am honest, so do I

I am also dreadful at spelling but an ace reader, so i don't know what that makes me, crap at spelling I suppose

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rummum Fri 16-Sep-05 18:24:21

I would certainly suggest you keep an eye on him... as I know from experience that the problems don't go away..

how did he do on his baby checks... did he meet his development milestones on time..

happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 18:27:30

met the milestones, but he was on the slow side of normal to develop 'good' speech.

He is a smashing wee boy, but language isn't his strong point. He is far better at numbers, telling time etc

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maggiems Fri 16-Sep-05 19:32:47

I dont know much about dyslexia but i remember reading john Clares column in the Daily telegraph, hes their education editor. He was replying to a question similiar to yours and he saif that he wished teachers and parents were more aware of a particular dyslexia test that could be carried out from aged 4.I recall him writing that it could be purchased for around £70 (i think) and he gave details. I remember it because a colleague was concerned about her 8 year old son. I no longer have the information but i see that there are quite a number of articles by him on the internet

Tan1959 Fri 16-Sep-05 20:00:19

I agree rummum, Dyslexia isn't just about difficulty in reading
Happymerryberries - my own experience with my son is that I started to worry when he seemed worried & unhappy, he did not want to attend school either. That started when he was five!. Sadly for my son he ended up being called stupid (by others) up until he was 10 which, as you can imagine, completely crushed any confidence and self-esteem that he had - I am afraid in my case his school just labelled him unco-operative. Okay, what you should look out for; poor concentration, difficulty with sequencing, reading & spelling, remembering alphabet, poor organisational skills, difficulty in remembering the order of days of the week, months of the year, what day it is and has little concept of time (although that might be specifically related to ADD) problems processing language at speed, difficulty telling left from right, has a poor sense of direction and confuses left and right. Needs to have instructions and telephone numbers repeated ie short term memory problem (I think); difficulty with planning and writing essays; difficulty processing complex language or long series of instructions at speed (information processing).

Some of the above will apply when he is older. My son is now 19 and up until the age of 9 he felt that he had a horrendous time at school, in the end I sent him to a specialist school for Dyslexic children until he was 16 where after a year, he just flourished, came out with 7 GCSE's (grades C and below what an amazing achievement)he was excellent at sport, ended up running for his County and just oozed self confidence. Although his main problem now is his spelling (often calls to me from computer asking for spellings!) and very slow information processing (it's this that really hinders him) still has terribly poor organisation, still forgets what day it is and just has no sense of time! He still attends college so is still battling away (bless his big cotton socks!) because of his slow information processing tutor will provide him with written notes, he has Dyslexic support and help specifically with planning and organisation, extra time in exams and a scribe. Thankfully his reading is great! HTMS.

happymerryberries Fri 16-Sep-05 20:03:09

Thanks for all of this feedback

Ds has some of these traits but no all. He may very well be being 'a boy' IYSWIM

Thanks again , and I'll discuss things with the \SENCO when she has had some time with him

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rummum Fri 16-Sep-05 21:42:07

Tan1959.... a lot of what you wrote about you son applies to my daughter... although she's only 9

good luck happymerryberries with your son...


nooka Fri 16-Sep-05 22:47:47

We have dyslexia strongly in our family (every left handed boy in ds's generation so far). ds went through a load of assessments last year (physio, OT, paeds and a social communication thing) they all came back as a bit immature but normal. The SENCO was of the opinion he is autistic (we see her again next week, it will be interesting to see what she has to say this time). One of the things that I was interested in was whether he had inherited dyslexia, however I was told at 5 it was difficult to say because many of the traits he was showing (inside out letters etc) were also part of the normal development of children learning to write, and that this developed at different rates for different children. They said they would test at aged seven. Oh - and his behavioural problems turned out to be largely that he couldn't see. Now he has glasses and he doesn't seem to stand out in the same way and we rarely hear terrible stories about his behaviour. I hope that your ds's issues sort themselves out naturally - it sounds like you have a good school there.

rummum Sat 17-Sep-05 09:10:36

thats a point.... have you any concerns about his sight? it may be worth having them checked...

happymerryberries Sat 17-Sep-05 11:30:38

ATM he seems to be OK. I am aware of sight probelms as I am ver short sighted and I know that there is a genetic elemet. DD wears glasses. So far ds seems OK, but dd's probelms didn't develop until she was about 6....so now would be the moment. Thank you for the promt, I'll have a chat with his teacher re seeing the board.

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