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Dyslexic kids in secondary school

(7 Posts)
ButtonWhole Mon 13-Feb-17 12:24:07

DS is 11 and at a (rated) 'good' state school. He is dyslexic and has ADHD. No ECH plan. He got average scores in the SATs, and only just missed the pass mark in the SPAG test. So, doing ok considering, although VR and NVR tests suggests he is high ability.

However, his writing, spelling and tbh, all written communication are imo very poor. The INCO at the school says he is doing fine and doesn't need any extra support or teaching for this. She says he is within the 'normal perfomance' band, so doesn't qualify. I think without targetted teaching, he is just going to struggle more and more as school gets harder and he has to produce more and write more sophisticatedly.

To give an example of spelling - he had to write a list of favourite dinners for his tech homework. It read: raps, omelut, tosast, losana, rost. (wraps, omelette, toast, lasagne, roast). For another piece of homework he wrote "in this booklet you will learn a range of this that are interesting such as fact that will widen you knowledge of the subject I will be talking about". This was done on a laptop, so the spelling 'errors' weren't picked up.

This to me rings big alarm bells regarding his spelling and organising his thoughts, grammar etc, but school say he's doing fine.

My questions are - would you be worried? If so, what can I do to get school to take this more seriously? I'm worried they have him pegged as a low ability kid, and don't have high expectations for him.

It's the only school in our area by the way, so changing schools is not an option! Thank you.

Knickersinatwist36 Mon 13-Feb-17 19:16:03

Ok so if school think he is doing ok (and compared to other pupils he probably is) then you may want to do more of focus at home.

I don't say this lightly as I taught a very able year 7 boy who was dyslex and his parents had pushed and pushed for extra support and he was, at their request, put into a class of 11 with myself two LSAs. The problem was that the other pupils could not read or write at all. It was such a shame because he would have improved much more in a class where he could see others working and done better. I was able to differentiate for every pupil in the class including him but peer modelling would have been far more valuable.

Extra support if they can give it would of course be ideal, and you will know the school but if they don't offer you anything after you have asked it might be better to tackle it from a different angle. My daughter is dyslexic and we have used Nessy for the last year. It was torture and we saw no improvement for ages. Then suddenly she just got it. She still has problems and under pressure she still makes lots of mistakes but she has grown in confidence. There are loads of these websites and some are free I just liked the Nessy set up because I can monitor my 'student' as a 'teacher' by looking at the report rather than checking her work.
Not sure if that is helpful but I would also talk to other parents if you can to get perspective of what the school can offer.
Good luck flowers

ButtonWhole Mon 13-Feb-17 20:21:45

Thank you Knickers. DS's school doesn't set for subjects, so him only working with children with poor skills isn't an issue. My worry is that he needs intervention to enable him to keep up with the children who are the same ability as him, as his written work will always let him down. He then may be put in bottom sets as he goes up the school, which won;t be good for his achievement or his self esteem.

He did two years of Nessy at primary school, and while he got good at Nessy, it didn't make much improvement outside of that. The spellings/writing I quoted in my OP worry me. Would they worry you (as someone who has more experience of 11 year old boys)?

Doing work at home has always been a battlefield. The tablets he takes to help him concentrate at school have worn off by hometime, and he really needs downtime. I think getting him to do more on top of homework would just result in lots of arguments and a very unhappy boy.
What I want is for school to do something. However, if he really is 'ok' then I can't make them. However, I don't think he is 'ok'!

Knickersinatwist36 Mon 13-Feb-17 21:29:44

No that is really tricky flowers

I wonder if school have any kind of lunchtime drop in clubs (we had them at school and lots of the kids went - especially in winter, we were up north) or an early start club where they can go for targeted intervention. I do know how frustrating it is from personal and professional experience.

My dyslexic DD does the termly A4 sheet of homework as it is quite fun (DD2 with ASD - not so much) but homework is optional at the school mine go to so I can see it would be hard (I hated setting homework BTW because I thought they needed down time in the evening, if we couldn't teach them in 7 hours at school what were we doing wrong was my POV - not a view always shared by senior management).

I wonder if first thing in the morning working at home might be a better time? Ultimately though the school will need to help if you say it does often enough.

When he was tested did you have a report on what to do? We had a 25 page report but we went private for the diagnosis. If you haven't had one recently you could ask for a more up to date one or if you can afford one get a private one done which has a list of recommendations to show school. Our council will no longer test for dyslexia (why we went private) but they tell staff to use any documents from a diagnosis to help the child. Just a thought though. Sigh, it's so hard because you want them to be the best they can be. Good luck.

frazzledbutcalm Tue 14-Feb-17 12:50:37

OP ... have you heard of coloured lens glasses? My dc have them for Sensory Processing disorder and visual processing difficulties. They can work very well for dyslexia. We see this man in Ayr. He's fantastic. Other places do similar but not as good ime

Spongesecret008 Tue 14-Feb-17 14:31:56

My DS has a diagnosis of dysgraphia. He is 8 and the advice is to get him typing instead of writing asap. He has an alpha smart for written work at school and he has to be given extra time for written work. It is dysgraphia that will hold my DS back more than dyslexia. For my ds it takes so much effort for him to write that his working memory is full and can not think about spelling and what to write.

Spongesecret008 Tue 14-Feb-17 14:34:31

Oh and my ds' school are testing him to see if he needs to go for special tests to see if he needs coloured lenses. He has seen the man frazzled mentioned but I think he was too young at the time. The school refer to a university eye dept for tests.

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