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My son has Irlens, Dyslexia - newbie needing help please

(6 Posts)
weeniewoop Tue 30-Nov-10 13:06:15

Hi all, im a newbie here, so sorry if iv posted in the wrong area.

I have just come back from a meeting with my sons SEN teacher and not happy at all.

3 years ago we moved back to Leeds from Scarborough and the teacher mentioned that my son was way behind on his reading, writing and everything else. i put it down to the schools scarborough has different teaching levels to Leeds, untill he got in to year 2, the teacher there told me that my son would struggle doing the SATS and i should think about getting him tested for Dyslexia, as the characteristics were there. we went through our doctors who were great, and wrote to a place, who then told me they dont do it anymore, i have to go through school. the school then said they dont do it till year 3. he went in to year 3 and i nagged nagged, they eventually did the test in easter 2010, but told me yes he has dyslexia but rather than get an special needs teacher to help, would just give him extra literacy lessons and more guided reading, due to the school funding been poor. I thought ok fair do's teachers knows best!. but then in july i spoke to another teacher who i know out of school and she mentioned that he has Irlens syndrome. i was fuming never heard of it before so looked it up and went into school all guns blazing, as why i wasnt told any of this. now my son was given a yellow overlay, but with no information to me, we thought it was as an underliner so when he reads he only has the 1 line showing and then we can move the sheet down once read each line. i then was told no this is what its for. i asked to see all the tests and everything about my son, i recieved nothing!. once starting the new school term in september and now in year 4, i waited and waited untill at parents evening, his teacher asked me if he could put him forward for dyslexia and irlens testing, imagine what i said. no comunication whatsoever!. he then told me they have lost the testing and would re do them, this was done last week. the teacher then told me, yes he has Dyslexia, irlan Syndrome and no periphal vision. i need to take him to the opticians. he is now on a turqouise overlay.
i went to the optician who he saw back in oct. and explained it all and he put me in touch with Dyslexia Action group and they told me to ring a specialist optician. now this optician is charging me £200 for the tests and everything. i made an appointment with the school today and they told me to ring this other number as they specialise in education with Irlens, they have told me minimum £295 but i would also need to buy the frames. The school also informed my that they had put my son on the SEN register last year. i was unaware of this!!

sorry about the long story - i just feel you need the full picture to see my anger at this school and basically what help is available, i am getting so much mixed messages. and am totally confused with it all. shouldnt this have been picked up before now? shouldnt the optician have known about these problems.
is there any funding help with the lenses and tests?

Much help is greatly appriciated.


IndigoBell Tue 30-Nov-10 13:20:19

Welcome to the world of SEN. All of what you have posted sounds very typical.

You need to be very careful you are going to the right optician. I have been to 2 opticians who were no help at all (and also free).

Then I found a Behaviour Optometrist who was brilliant and diagnosed all sorts of vision problems - all of which could be corrected.

Basically it's not the school's job to dx Irlen syndrome. And i am very suspicious that they did. I.e. their diagnosis might be all wrong, because they are not qualified to test for it.

I highly recommend you try an optometerist I recommended not an optician. An optician did tell us DD needed yellow overlays - and the optician was wrong. DD needed bifocals and vision therapy.

We were only charged £20 for DDs glasses, and £70 for the (hour long) test. Plus then we chose to do 5 weeks of vision thearpy at an extra £200.

Luckily we can afford this. But DD has gone from being unable to read, to reading in 3 weeks. So from our point of view money very well spent.

Don't spend too much effort getting cross with the school. Most of them are totally useless. Just accept that your child has these mild problems and do everything you can to fix them.

Your child doesn't need a specialist dyslexia teacher - there is no such thing. Ie synthetic phonics is the 'best' way to teach every child to read regardless of whether or not they have 'dyslexia'. If a 'specialist teacher' is presented with a child, they are not going to worry about a diagnosis, they are just going to teach them using synthetic phonics.

But irlen syndrome is not the same as dyslexia. If your child really does have Irlen syndrome than coloured glasses should help immensely and clear up all his reading problems.

brandy77 Tue 30-Nov-10 13:46:47

my newphew is 10 and has dyslexia and irlens, his school were very good and got him statemented aged 7. he now has a reading age of 8.3 years, which is fantastic but he wouldnt have got that far without support.

He has the overlays and they are brilliant. Kara Tointen (sp)the actress and who is in strictly dancing did an excellent documentary on her struggle with irlens and dyslexia. I didnt realise these conditions could affect behaviour, balance etc. I dont know if you could find the programme on BBC iplayer, it was very very informative, especially about the coloured glasses.xx

havent really answered any of your questions,lol.x

IndigoBell Tue 30-Nov-10 14:10:51

He got a statement for dyslexia????

Very, very unusual. Especially aged only 7. Do you think maybe he just got put on the SEN register?

But of course the reason you don't normally get a statement for dyslexia, is that normally you don't need one.

dolfrog Wed 01-Dec-10 11:47:59

Hi weeniewoop

Irlen Syndrome has other problems not just dyslexia, especially light sensitivity. have a look at Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome research.

borderslass Wed 01-Dec-10 11:53:11

DD1 has SSS and had coloured overlays and then glasses the lenses where ordered direct from specialist optician at the hospital who diagnosed it the only thing I ever needed to buy was the frames, you shouldn't need to pay for the lenses at all if he's under 16.

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