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Reading assessments can you help?

(7 Posts)
supermum98 Sat 09-Jul-11 05:59:39

My ds. is 13 and has a reading level of 11.5, I have been told by Senco, using Neale analysis. Given he had a reading level of 8 a year ago and since starting secondary school there has been little literacy intervention, we can't believe this. My husband and I reckon he is about 9.5-10 as a crude estimate and going on books he is reading. The problem is that the attitude at secondary seems to be that once you have got to reading age 9 there is nothing to worry about as you can access the curriculum. So if he has been given a higher score than is real, I am going to struggle to get more literacy intervention, which is what I want as he is on a reduced timetable.
My ds is desperate to read age appropriately and is enormously frustrated by his level.
I contacted the BDA and they said get a full diagnostic assessment done by an ed. psych for £450 or by diploma teacher for £350. We just haven't got the money at the moment and I want to get an idea before September.
Is there any way I can assess him at home myself? Does anyone have any suggestions?

IndigoBell Sat 09-Jul-11 07:04:26

Every reading age test will give you a diff reading age. There is no consistency between them. So it is possible he got that score despite not being able to read.

Even if you can prove his reading age is less, it sounds like school won't help him.

What extra help was he given at primary school?

If he hasn't had good quality synthetic phonics teaching yet, then you can do that yourself at home very easily and cheaply.

However if he already has had lots of that then he needs expensive therapy, which it doesn't sound like you'll be able to do.

However, don't spend your limited money on an EP report. It won't teach him to read.

CQrrrneee Sat 09-Jul-11 08:23:05

Ask them for the standardised score - reading ages mean very little. Ask for the rate, accuracy and comprehension scores - the Neale measures all 3. If A standardised score of less than 85 in any of those areas is below average.

IndigoBell Sat 09-Jul-11 08:24:17

Here's the Burt reading test, which will give you a reading age.

FastTrack AB is a reading program you can do at home with him, 10 mins a night.

It's just another synthetic phonics program, so is good if you haven't done a million of them already, but probably won't work if you already have.....

If he has done lots of phonics programs with limited success he needs a proper eye test (by a behaviour optometrist) and a proper hearing test.

supermum98 Sun 10-Jul-11 07:21:29

Thanks for info. I will ask for standardised scores in meeting on Monday. IndigoBell, can I do the Burt test myself? I am sure it isn't rocket science, where do i get the word lists from?

I am not sure about synthetic phonics, he has been taught phonetically and not just by whole word recognition, although I sometimes think I need to go back to basics as he has forgotten some of his blends.

At primary he was doing FFT 1 hour a day, which I think seems very like reading recovery, which covers spelling and comprehension as well. Now he is doing about 30 mins a week only with his Senco, who has specialised in dyslexia, although the BDA say they should have a Diploma to be qualified to do a reading testing. Not sure what I think about that. This is a big reduction in input, compared to primary and that worries me, as he is not where he wants to be and reading level has such a big impact on how they access the curriculum. THe only good thing is that at secondary the imput is with a teacher and at primary it was all TA led, but my ds TA had done the FFT training.

Our local resource, when I asked them what intervention they do for literacy, they said Toe by Toe, we started that a month or so ago at home, which is going back to basics again for him.

Any more comments much appreciated.

bigTillyMint Sun 10-Jul-11 07:33:04

Has the SENCO got an SpLD certificate for dyslexia? Presumably she is also very experienced as both a teacher and a dyslexia specialist? This should qualify her to both assess and teach children with dyslexia - AFAIK, the diploma is only needed if the assessment is going to have to stand up to the appeals process, etc.

In secondary schools there will be a great many children with literacy difficulties and the support will have to be spread around - it may be that your DS is one of the less needy, hence less time.

I wouldn't bother testing him yourself - although you are understandably very frustrated with the situation, the reading test is only one of many component tests that are used to fully assess the child and the SENCO will have used far more than one reading test. Instead, ask to see copies of all the tests used and for her to talk you through them. If she did a full assessment, there should be a report which would give you this information.

Ask (obviously) what you can do to support at home. I presume you already read with him every day? How is his spelling - this is often much more of a problem for dyslexic children.

supermum98 Mon 11-Jul-11 22:31:43

Hi big Tilly Mint, thanks for reply, I don't know what qualifications the Senco has and feel a bit embarrassed to ask. She has offered to get a teacher she uses to assess children in but I may have to wait. I think she has only done one assessment and that is the Neale test. I will ask for scores. yes we read with him everyday and spellings are diabolical. School take the view that I shouldn't worry about his spellings. A view I haven't heard a good explanation for. All the best.

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