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Statutory Assessments for Dyslexic Children

(14 Posts)
stressedbutfabulous Wed 19-Oct-11 17:40:44

Does anyone know of a case where their Local Authority has granted a special needs statutory assessment for a profoundly dyslexic child? I am struggling to get any kind of acknowledgment of my son's need for specialist teaching within a village primary school. Whilst the school are doing everything they can within their teaching and funding provision to help him it clearly isn't enough. Any advice would be gratefully welcome.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 19-Oct-11 19:04:02

Yes I do (twice now) but its been a hard slog on the part of both mothers to get to that particular stage. The emotional cost to both parents and children has been very high.

MadameSin Wed 19-Oct-11 19:29:27

Yes, I do. But they had to fight and make a nuisence of themselves. Have you got a 'good' diagnosis certificate?

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 21:42:26

Not unless he's in the bottom 1 percent sad

Aero Wed 19-Oct-11 22:24:42

Yes, I do and like attlila says, it was a long, hard and very costly slog, but it has paid off as the child concerned is now in a specialist dyslexia school. You would need a huge amount of hard evidence and a strong determination which you'd need to hold fast to because they'll put up walls every step of the way. You would need to show very clearly that despite your school doing everything within their power/budget they can to support your son, that is is not enough or not working. There would need to be a severe lack of progress over a long period before they will consider assessing.

dolfrog Thu 20-Oct-11 00:41:42

stressedbutfabulous

The problem regarding dyslexia has been a decade or more of the UK not keeping pace with International research regarding the underlying causes, and an industry which is more concerned with its own funding rather than the problems facing those who have the dyslexic symptom.
Another problem has been fringe parents acquiring a diagnosis for children who does not have dyslexia just to gain some extra help for their child.
Dyslexia is a man made problem, a social construct, about having cognitive problems processing a man made communication system the visual notation of speech, or decoding and recoding the graphic symbols society chooses to represent the sounds of speech. Dyslexia is language dependent, and in societies that do not use the visual notation of speech as a communication system there is no dyslexia.

Nearly all dyslexic children have developmental dyslexia, which has a genetic origin and three cognitive subtypes: auditory, visual, and attentional. Which means that an auditory processing disorder ( listening disability), a visual processing disorder, an attention disorder, or any combination of the three can cause the dyslexic symptom. And each of the different subtypes require different forms of support and remediation. MY list of Key References provides links to the key research papers etc, which can provide more detailed research based information.

Ideally dyslexia should be diagnosed by a multi-discipline (multi - professional) assessment team consisting of an audiologist to identify an auditory processing deficits, an optometrist to identify and visual processing deficits, and a psychiatrist to identify and attention deficits, with further multi discipline assessments for any individual disorder assessment and diagnosis.

The cognitive causes of the dyslexic symptom, all have a clinical / medical origin and diagnosis, so may be your GP could refer your DS for a clinical assessment, preferably at a regional centre, but if not you could always suggest Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Ilovefluffysheep Thu 20-Oct-11 13:24:28

I have finally got round to joining the forum just so I can reply to this (have been reading for months!!).

I went down the statutory assessment route for my son. I believed him to have severe dyslexia (for numerous reasons), and despite being on school action plus, he just wasn't moving forward at all.

It was a battle, but once they agreed to the assessment (which they did straight away as I had so much evidence) it was all very plain sailing, and he was give a statement. They didn't put dyslexia on the statement, and the Ed Pysch basically said they didn't like to "label" things, so he was put down with specific learning disabilities. He is an intelligent boy, but his reading/writing/spellking skills are appalling, and it very much effected his self esteeem.

The statement went through when he was at the beginning of Year 6, and he has now just started Year 9. After being recommended to apply for DLA for him I did, and never ever expected to be awarded it, but was. I will be using this money to pay for extra tutoring and also aids to assist him (currently looking at a wixcom reading pen which sound fab, but cost £160).

I have read some of the threads on here, and think I have been very lucky to be honest, my only regret is not applying for a stautory assessment sooner, but I didn't know about them, and as soon as I found out I applied.

stressedbutfabulous Thu 20-Oct-11 22:07:01

Fluffysheep: your story gives me confidence that if I continue to make a nuisance of myself and have enough firm evidence of his requirements (I now have quite a few reports) then I might just get through to them. At least the school are fully behind me and agree that Action Plus just isn't enough and more help and funding is required.

My DS had lots of extra tutoring in the summer hols and also went to several sports camps and the difference at school in his attitude, concentration levels and enthusiasm were amazing for the first three weeks of term. Sadly that has now started going downhill again as he just gets lost amongst his class despite their best efforts.

I will not give up as it is my duty as parent to get the very best for him!

dolfrog Fri 21-Oct-11 14:03:09

The problem with dyslexia is that it is not a medical condition, but a shared symptom of many conditions, which can either individually cause the dyslexic symptom or can combine to cause the dyslexic symptom.

The conditions which cause the dyslexic symptom are lifelong medical issues which usually have more serious symptoms than the dyslexic symptom, and these issues need to be fully investigated.

These life long conditions out live the education system, and in the adult world there are no statements for employers, co-workers, and social contacts. So those of us who are dyslexic have to understand the full nature of our disabilities, and the full nature of the alternative compensating skills and abilities we are naturally able to develop to work around our issues. This is all important so that we can self advocate, and so we not keep on setting ourself up to fail be cause we do not understand the full nature of the limitations imposed by our disability or disabilities, which on a good day we may be able to work around and conceal, but which lets everything go wrong on a bad day or an average day.

So a statement may help in the short term while in the education system, but there are also more important life long support needs.

stressedbutfabulous Fri 21-Oct-11 21:38:34

Dolfrog: I understand and agree with what you say but at this stage of my son's young life I simply want him to be able to gain enough confidence and security during his early school years to give him the best chance to further himself educationally later on in life. I have no doubt that he will end up doing something practical and outdoors as that is what really dirves him and that is absolutely fine with me but at the same time he HAS to learn to read and write. He is a highly intelligent, funny and thoughtful child and deserves to have the very best chance to succeed in life.

Effectively being 'word blind' will cut off him off from what the majority of us take for granted and inhibit him in so many ways. I do not think that a statement is the only answer but I do believe it is the LA's responsibility to give every school child the best possible chance to succeed at the most basic level. Reading and writing are such fundamental requirements in the 21st century western world and it annoys me when other political red-tape issues are put before this most basic of needs for human beings.

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 21-Oct-11 22:03:32

Totally agree stressedbutfabulous. All I can do is make sure my son gets the best education he possibly can given his limitations. I sometimes think it is a case of the more you make a pain of yourself, the more you get listened to.

Like you, I realise a statement is only going to be valid whilst he is in education, but at least it means he can access things that he perhaps wouldn't anyway. I spent years at primary listening to the senco who told me he wouldn't get a statement, they don't statement for dyslexia, he wasn't "bad" enough, etc etc. This from a school that was classed as outstanding and a "beacon" school. They had to eat their words somewhat when he was statemented as a result of the statutory assessment with no fighting on my part whatsoever.

I'm glad I've given you some hope, keep going and keep fighting to get what your son needs. At least you'll know you've done all you can, as I have. When my son is an adult he can start fighting on his own behalf, but for now he needs Mum to help him, and I've glad I've been able to do that!

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 21-Oct-11 22:05:34

Don't think I can edit my post, but just re-read yours again and wanted to add that my sons primary was in a village as well. As previously mentioned, ofsted outstanding, beacon school etc etc. As far as my son was concerned though, I didn't rate them at all. My daughter got on fine, but there was a few children who were statemented all around the same time, and their parents experienced exactly the same attitude from the senco as I did.

dolfrog Sat 22-Oct-11 19:51:30

stressedbutfabulous

I am dyslexic, and am not able to phonetically sound out new words, due to the Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) that is the underlying cognitive cause of my dyslexic symptom. And as you can see i can read and type quite well.

You need to find out what the underlying cause of your DSs dyslexia is so that you can begin to work out the best alternative compensating cognitive skill and ability options may be. All children who have a disability like mine begin to develop their own ways to work around their information processing deficits from birth. The brain tells us that we need to find alternative ways to process missing information. So what you have to do is to work out and understand the coping strategies your Ds has already developed, and provide information in a format that he can process which will enable him to learn to read and write (type) in his own way. We all have to develop our own coping strategies to work around our various information processing deficits and disorders using our various alternative cognitive skill strength options.

Unfortunately there is no one size fits all support option for dyslexia, as there are three cognitive subtypes, and each subtype requires different support and remedial options.
So with regard to developmental dyslexia which has a genetic origin you may need to discuss these issues with the others dyslexics in the family and find out how they have coped with their dyslexic symptom. Which may provide some indication as to how to best help your DS, possibly be the basis of a future statement.

dolfrog Sat 22-Oct-11 19:54:36

stressedbutfabulous

I am dyslexic, and am not able to phonetically sound out new words, due to the Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) that is the underlying cognitive cause of my dyslexic symptom. And as you can see i can read and type quite well.

You need to find out what the underlying cause of your DSs dyslexia is so that you can begin to work out the best alternative compensating cognitive skill and ability options may be. All children who have a disability like mine begin to develop their own ways to work around their information processing deficits from birth. The brain tells us that we need to find alternative ways to process missing information. So what you have to do is to work out and understand the coping strategies your Ds has already developed, and provide information in a format that he can process which will enable him to learn to read and write (type) in his own way. We all have to develop our own coping strategies to work around our various information processing deficits and disorders using our various alternative cognitive skill strength options.

Unfortunately there is no one size fits all support option for dyslexia, as there are three cognitive subtypes, and each subtype requires different support and remedial options.
So with regard to developmental dyslexia which has a genetic origin you may need to discuss these issues with the others dyslexics in the family and find out how they have coped with their dyslexic symptom. Which may provide some indication as to how to best help your DS, possibly be the basis of a future statement.

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