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Can bad spelling indicate dyslexia?

(14 Posts)
StuntNun Tue 11-Feb-14 19:50:25

My DS2 is in year 2 and since Reception my DH and I have suspected that he might have dyslexia or a related learning difficulty. The school have said that he is not a priority and they cannot afford to have him assessed for a learning difficulty until year 6. DS1 on the other hand was referred in his Reception year and diagnosed with ADHD and then later on ASD. Two weeks ago I got a phone call from the school because DS2 only got one out of ten in his weekly spelling test, basically they were accusing me of not doing his spellings with him properly. But it's as if every day he's learning the words from scratch and sometimes he can remember them that day and sometimes he can't. Last week we worked harder than usual and he got ten out of ten in his spellings which he has never even come close to before. However now we're learning yet another set of words and he's only managed to get two out of ten correct. Even though we have spent two days learning the words he can't seem to get it. Used spelled 'yoost', swim spelled 'sume', bus spelled 'bos', excuse spelled 'exescuse' he isn't even making a good guess at some of these words. I'm wondering how much of an indicator of dyslexia these spelling issues might be (his reading is bad too and easily a year or more below where it should be) given that the school won't take any action to get him assessed for dyslexia.

funnyossity Wed 12-Feb-14 00:06:19

My Ds did v. badly at spellings in primary. He was given a screening test on which he didn't come up as bad enough to call it dyslexia.

Then at secondary they have said he has "dyslexia-like" problems. This has led to him being given some handouts instead of having to write notes and a few other slight adjustments were made. (Sadly MFL teachers always said he was lazy with his written work and didn't seem to twig that it's more total confusion than laziness!) Coming up to exams he may get extra time. So that's the extent of the accommodation given. There has been no extra support for English since a spelling intervention group in primary 5 and 6- ironically before he'd crossed their threshold for dyslexia.

His reading at primary was slow to start but then he had reached average by year 2. His spelling has finally improved and although it's not good for his age it's far better than I hoped when he was 7. Progress has been in fits and starts.

Definitely let the school know just how hard you and he have to work to do the weekly spellings (and if he's like my son by the next week he will have forgotten them all again.) I hope someone else will come along and tell you how to access more help.

StuntNun Wed 12-Feb-14 06:28:28

Thank you Funny. My DS2's school have suggested that we arrange for an assessment ourselves but then his paediatrician said he can only investigate with a referral from the school so we're going around in circles. I've looked into a private assessment by an educational psychologist but it would cost hundreds of pounds. Maybe that's what I'll have to do but I would rather only pay that kind of money if I was pretty sure of the result if you know what I mean. It's weird as DS1 got so much support, he was referred for the ADHD assessment and then by two people for the autism assessment. Then external people came into the school to help him with his fine and gross motor skills and his emotional intellgence, and he attended a couple of social skills training courses. Now DS2 is struggling and he's getting nothing which is very frustrating. I don't the teacher has quite clocked that he's the oldest child in the year by quite a big margin (born on the first day of the cut off between years) but he's in the remedial reading group with children that are nearly a year (50 and 51 weeks) younger than him which is quite a big difference at age 6/7.

It breaks my heart to see him struggling because he's so bright and insightful in other ways and his numeracy skills are excellent. Every Friday test he gets 9 or 10 for his tables but only 2 or 3 for his spellings. Numeracy homeworks are done in literally seconds but literacy homeworks are an awful chore to endure (for both of us) and his reading is so laborious as he learns the same words over and over each time he sees them, even when he has already read the word on the same page.

But the school says they can only get one person assessed each year and DS2 isn't a priority for the school. I suppose DS1 must have been high priority back in his Reception year.

gardenfeature Wed 12-Feb-14 07:50:05

Yes, bad spelling can indicate dyslexia. I would recommend this book:

I picked up a copy in our local library and it was very revealing.

funnyossity Wed 12-Feb-14 10:05:43

StuntNun the screening test in primary was nothing major afaik - so it was administered to quite a few children by the literacy support teacher. Can they do something at that level?

Practically right now you can keep reading to him to extend his vocabulary and understanding. Audio books are also very useful. My son liked reading non-fiction too and this helped his general knowledge so that at secondary he felt much more capable.

I found a workbook called Toe by Toe useful, though my son found it boring! It is for reading as well as spelling.

mrsbaffled Wed 12-Feb-14 14:38:47

My son can't spell. He was given a dx of SpLD in spelling, writing and fine motor coordination.

He initially did Toe by Toe, but it is for reading, not spelling, so we gave up and moved onto Word Wasp which targets spelling. School administered this for a year, but it hasn't helped with some really basic spellings, so they are back doing 1-1 in their own way with the reception and KS1 high frequency words. He is in yr 5.

greener2 Wed 12-Feb-14 20:24:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsbaffled Wed 12-Feb-14 21:17:39

We got assessed by going through the GP. School were useless.

greener2 Wed 12-Feb-14 21:43:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clio51 Wed 12-Feb-14 22:30:27

You can get assessed at the Dyslexic Institute, think they are in diff areas
We went to a Wilmslow and back in about 1999 it was £200

School would only bring me into school and say he was lazy, I knew different. It wasn't till we had the tests done and the guy went through his results with us that red lights started. He said he had short term memory(like he'd learn something is spelling and get it correct then the next breathe forget. Also his motor skills weren't very good hence his writing,doing laces, spilling things learning to buttons etc. so also picked up him being dyspraxic.

I was fuming that by year 6 even though one of his teachers was an Sen, nobody mentioned anything. So off I went into school(to late at this stage whole of primary school) spoke to the head. All I got was what can I say mrs ..... We have failed N...

All the time I used to shout because first he'd spell it and go over it again and he'd get it wrong. Or he couldn't grasps things like shoelaces.
God I felt so guilty.

So I would say if you have a centre near you and can afford it go, or push the school

greener2 Wed 12-Feb-14 23:23:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsbaffled Thu 13-Feb-14 08:51:14

How old is you child? The reversals etc are common up to 7/8, I think.
I think an ed psych is who you need to see. I don't think SALT would be the right person, but maybe they can point you in the right direction?

In our area, it was 'cognition and learning team' (specialist teachers) who came into school at the paed's request.

greener2 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:28:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsbaffled Thu 13-Feb-14 14:17:34

They will not be worried about reversals until year 2 or 3. Don't panic yet!

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