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Specialist Dyslexia School turned away severely duslexic son, help please(13 Posts)
Hi all, it's been a while since I've posted on these boards as life has been more than hectic these past couple of years. I am desperate though and this is the only place that can potentially give me some help and info re my DS's issues.
DS is 10, in year 4 (was in Scotland before and he started school at 5.5 so a year behind in English schools). Since he was in nursery we knew there was an issue with him but we didn't know what. We all thought ASD but as time went on I thought there was more to it. He wasn't assessed immediately and they just sat on it saying it might right itself but they put him on the waiting list for an ASD assessment. In the meantime he would cry when looking at books, couldn't remember any words even though we looked at them 2 minutes before and couldn't do any simple arithmetic. That said, school said he was a bright child with a vivid imagination who thought outside the box. We had him assessed privately when he was 6 against the schools wishes for dyslexia and they confirmed that he had an extremely spikey profile and that he had significant SPL issues with expressive and receptive language. School didn't want to know and said he was making good progress, the only issue they saw was him not socialisng normally which was true. We got a good SPL therapist privately who worked with him for 2 years and she didn't feel he was autistic as he is empathetic and is not at all rigid, she said it was his severe language processing that was causing his problems. Anyway, over the years we have tried various programmes, Fastforword, Davis programme, Tinsley House, IPP for retained baby reflexes, all the usual Toe by Toe, Jolly Phonics and the rest... We had him assessed 18 months ago by one of the top EP's in Scotland who said he was severley dyslexic with most probable ADHD and we should consider medication as his concentration was non existent as was his working memory and processing speed. At that stage we had to go abroad due to work which was a huge mistake as no resources for him so we have now managed to get back to the UK. He is now in a mainstream primary in Oxfordshire who said he is behind but ok in mainstream and not a candidate for an EHC plan. We think differently and are going for one ourselves. We live in Abingdon and took him along to the Unicorn School who have said they can't take him as gap too wide, he is currently at 1a for reading, writing and maths but did jump from 1c to 1a in 3 months at this school.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, they also said he has autistic traits but have said dyslexia is his primary need and they would have taken him if they had another couple of kids at his level but it just wasn't viable for the school to take him. He is having a trial at Appleford in a couple of weeks and if they say yes then we wil move to Wiltshire to start the EHC process, if they say no then I don't know what to do. We can find work around these areas but will be hard elsewhere and given that DS would literally hate to board it reduces our options. We have 3 other kids to consider, all younger than him with my youngest also having special needs in that she has Downs. I am desperate and feel that everything we try is failing. He knows his condition and is begging us to help him. He told me the other day that he doesn't think anyone can help him but he trusts me when I say we will, I don't want to let him down. We are going to have him assessed by a good psychiatrist to say yes or no to ASD/ADHD but I'm sure he is somewhere on the spectrum as it is so vast.
Does anyone have any words that could give us some insight as to what is happening here? Is this normal for schools to lie and say all is ok when it really is not?
Thanks so much for reading this mammoth post, I just feel so isolated with this and no one else really understands except other mums going through the same crap.
my initial reaction was - is start the ehcp process now - its a long process and you have to allow that you may get turned down along the way and appeal - I started my journey - very similar story to yours over 18 months ago - we have just got the statement now but having to appeal it to get dd into a specialist dyslexia school.
at the age your son is now there is a chance without an ehcp in place he will end up in a mainstream secondary school (which is what my LA are trying to do)
yes its absolutely normal for schools to lie - mine lied through 2 tribunals - now onto to no 3 they admit she has made no progress for 18 months - the whole 18 months where they said she was. we have had to get independent reports to show the true gap between my dd and her peers - she was also dx with asd along the way as well.
by all means keeping looking at schools - they are all different even the specialist one but the reality is you wont get a place without an EHCP so you need to start that now.
a lot of the dyslexia schools are boarding schools so you may wish to consider that rather than moving the whole family.
re the asd - we took my daughter to see daphne keen in London who was excellent and who lots of people on here have also seen
expect to get fobbed off at every turn but just keep going - it can be a battle and feels like you are climbing a treacle covered mountain but that's what they want you to do is give up as then it just saves the LA money
Is this normal for schools to lie and say all is ok when it really is not?
Only ever heard of one teacher who "refused to stick to script" in Tribunal
Oh - how about Frewen or perhaps better, Bethany?
How about Beech Lodge? www.beechlodgeschool.co.uk/
When they say 'he is ok in mainstream' they're not saying 'he's ok'. They're saying they're happy for him to keep coming to this school every day.
Thanks ladies, I'm glad to see I'm not alone with this but it's sad so many are having to face this. I naively thought it was a one off with the rubbish primary school in Scotland and whilst the school here have been mucn better it beggars belief that they say he is not a candidate for an EHCP. He can barely read or write and his 6 year old sister is already ahead of him. The specialist school says his case is severe and there is no way he should be in MS. They also think his ADHD is significant as he can't concentrate for more than a couple of minutes.
My worry is that since one dyslexic school have turned him down what will the others say? The school did suggest Beechlodge and I spoke with them but they said they deal mainly with adopted children with separation issues so not really geared towards dyslexia. They also suggested LVS Oxford but from what I gather this is a school for mainly ASD and whilst I think DS has traits I don't feel this is suitable either.
We are going for the EHCP as soon as possible but just want to now if Appleford will take him as we will apply through Wiltshire. We are also looking at Mark College, Frewen, Shapwick and Centre Academy. I will look at Bethany also, thanks for the recommendation.
Thanks BJK re the psychiarist vs paediatrician. I was thinking about that too but it was the solicitor who suggested it. DS is also awaiting a CAMHS review as he is showing signs of classic OCD, I know the symptoms all to well as I have it too. I looked at DK's website and she looks like the person we need to see him so thanks again.
Anyway, it has helped a lot just knowing there is somewhere to offload a bit. Couldn't sleep at all last night for worrying about him. He is the most sweet boy you can imagine who is so tolerant of all we ask him right down to his diet, he really wants help and if we say something is good for him he will do it. We will fight on for him and it sickens me so other kids are not at least given that chance. What sort of system does this to children - I am disgusted.
Thanks again ladies, it really means a lot.
good luck and keep posting on here - most of us have been through so much that there is always someone who will have an answer - I am currently fighting for centre academy. fab school and very small which suits my dd. quite a few on here have children at various dyslexia schools. we started off with just dyslexia and a year later as we fought on the list of dx is now huge and the schools all they way up to year 4 said she was 'fine' when clearly she never really was but she learnt not to cause a fuss so was ignored.
I certainly wouldn't go to a psychologist for a diagnosis - I suspect the solicitor is right about a child psychiatrist being needed. You do however need an educational psychologist to deal with his educational needs. The best one for dyslexia is Lindsay Peer, but she's expensive.
Thanks again everyone for your comments and suggestions, all duly noted and I will be following up on all of your advice. I just wish I'd been on here sooner as would have been more proactive earlier instead of faffing around these past years. I really hope I haven't mucked things up by leaving it too late but I won't be making any more mistakes thanks to you ladies.
I will be on here a lot more now and will do all I can to offer any help and support I can, thanks again.
please , please don't even think about Frewen . My daughter was so badly damaged after being bullied and it being hidden she has ended up at CAMHS AND been off school for 7 months. Since 2014 this school has been destroyed by the new head. Awful place if you have a child that isn't prepared to be as vicious as other Students/ bullies.
I doubt that Centre would be appropriate. Is More House a possibility?
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