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Hi I'm a regular here (DD#1 ASD and other issues) but posting this on behalf of a mum friend. Her DS is struggling in school (yr3) and school have suggested dyslexia and dyscalculia. She is now being told if she wants him tested for the dyscalculia that she will have to pay for the assessment. (I'm not sure what they are saying re the dyslexia though). It seems entirely unreasonable to me but it isn't an area I have any knowledge of. Apart from applying for a statement for him and hope they will assess or be forced to assess is there anything she can do to get the school to act without her needing to pay here? Anything in the SEN Code of practice to support her case perhaps? I presume there are specific things can be done in school to support a diagnosis of dyscalculia if it is made?
The fact her school has suggested dyslexia and dyscalculia is pretty kind (for want of a better word) of them. Dyslexics normally do not get much attention in schools and as a parent you have the fight of your life on your hands. It does not help when the child is well-behaved either.
Normal procedure is for school's Ed Psych to assess a child however it depends on the size of the school and whether they see the child as a priority. In other words, she should not rely on her child being seen by the school's Ed Psych. Has the school assessed him for signs of dyslexia? (dyslexia indicator test). Is he on the special needs register; SA or SA+?
She should start the statementing process now as it is a VERY lenghty process.
Get in touch with IPSEA or any such type of charity and gather as much information as possible.
As an ex teacher, the way it used to work in our school was that for the whole school (of 360 children) the Ed Psych would allocate a set number. This number would include all the annual reviews of already-statemented children, plus visits to children we wanted to move from SA to SA+. That generally took up all the visits - occasionally there was one or two left in the year for other children. however, for children with dyslexia or similar, there just weren't enough visits in the year.
It sucked, but it's how it was.
If we suspected dyslexia we would suggest the parents had them assessed privately. Mainly because if they waited for the Ed Psych in school they'd be waiting YEARS.
The school pays for all Ed Psych visits now, presumably out of delgated funding. I know at least one other parent there who is having a child seen by the Ed Psych and has not been asked to pay for this. Do the school have an obligation to have this child seen where they have reasonable grounds to believe the child has a problem like this? I get that the school are trying to save money here but the whole thing is just plain wrong to make the parents pay in my opinion. I have been through the statementing process with my own DD so can help her with that, but in the meantime if she can "stand up" to the school and insist he sees the Ed Psych and she is not paying is she likely to achieve anything? Does she have the right to ask this and back up her argument with fact?
Get a private assessment carried out by an independent ed psych - not dylsexia 'specialists' with shorter, cheaper assessments carried out by specialist teachers rather than ed psychs. LEA reports take ages and are unreliable - wrong assessments, too little detail etc.
Just do it.
The mum hasn't got the money for this unfortunately. She needs the school to step up and sort things out.
I totally agree with keeponkeepingon1; do not spend money on a diagnostic assessment costing in the region of £300 - £400. This test is only for dyslexia and no matter how well qualified and well respected the tester is, school will take no notice of this report nor will the LA.
Better spend the money on a independant educational psychologist (the best in his field, who has experience with tribunals and who can act as a witness at tribunal if necessary). Find one who will assess the child in school. Your friend's child is at the right age and in year 3. Start the statementing process now. As LA will reject parents statutory request and by the time you get appeal date, 8 months have passed and then another 5 months to get assessments done.
Is the other child to be seen by school Ed Psych dyslexic? Then she would have a good argument. I'm inclined to think that child is on the autistic spectrum.
She can find out whether there's an advocate near where she lives and they can guide her, go to meetings with her etc ... Ignore my previous post as it's about paying for things herself
Would an Ed Psych be the person to make a dyscalculia diagnosis, or someone else?
Yes, Ed Psych is the person who assesses for dyscalculia; confirm with Ed Psych before testing of course!
Thanks. I will let my friend know. Sounds like she just needs to go to the school and stand her ground from here then, given she can not afford to privately get this done.
You're welcome, and absolutely right, your friend should stand her ground and not be fobbed off. The loudest (in a nice way) parents are heard by the school. Best of luck to your friend.
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