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(8 Posts)
zoemaguire Thu 27-Apr-17 12:50:34

I am just venturing over for the first time. Apologies in advance for rambling - I'm still figuring things out! My DS was born at 26 weeks, is now 6 (nearly 7) and in yr 2. He is struggling academically - maths and writing in particular. He's performing at early yr 1 level in maths (only just) and nearer reception for writing. But his reading is very fluent - he's been on chapter books since the end of reception. His teacher and DH and I all think there is something up, but he doesn't score highly enough on their basic in-school tests to warrant further investigation, and they are willing to do nothing until age 7/yr 3 anyway.

I'm now wondering about a private assessment - he hates school and his confidence is at rock bottom. Up until now we've thought the problem was just that he is too young (he jumped up a year because of his prematurity - due october born june) and would catch up when he is ready. But I'm now wondering about dyscalculia, and even potentially dyslexia too. Is that possible even though his reading is amazing?!

His handwriting is very poor - he can write his name but with frequent reversal of letters. His spelling is still almost entirely phonetic. He's making progress but it's really very slow. Getting him to write even a single sentence is a massive effort. With maths he has really basic gaps. He doesn't really 'get' numbers intuitively, struggles to know which is bigger/smaller after 10. Still counts basic 5+3 type sums on his fingers. Has only just about worked out counting in 10s, but only on a good day. As for the times tables homework he comes home with, hahahaha sad If we go through things at home, he'll seem to understand everything one day, then it's totally gone the next. His concentration is good when he's doing something he enjoys, but terrible at school.

I still think he is too young for all of this but the reality is that he's now at the end of his third year of school and finding things so hard, he's about to go into year 3 and such a long way from writing fluently or understanding numbers. Does any of this raise red flags for something diagnosable? I wonder if his fluent reading and being generally bright (and therefore skilled at compensating) has blinded us to some fundamental learning issues. And how do we go about getting assessment if so? We are based in the SE. Socially he is fine, behaviourally too, apart from being a stubborn little so-and-so at home grin). I sometimes wish he'd act up a bit more at school - he's essentially invisible to teachers because he's well-behaved, and not far enough behind to warrant dramatic intervention.

Sorry for the essay, thanks for reading this far if you've managed it, any advice would be enormously appreciated.

Tainbri Thu 27-Apr-17 15:09:10

Hiya, difficult to say whether it's a red flag or not tbh. Have you met with the senco? Are the school being supportive? My son has very severe dyslexia and dyscalculia but is 12, cognitively able but about the same level with literacy and numeracy as your child is now. He has to record things using assistive tech because his writing and spelling is so poor and he uses text to speech/ speech to text software to access the curriculum. He also has a reader and a scribe (and EHCP) They didn't fully assess him until he was nearly eight. Speak to the school first or maybe call a private ed psyc and at least have a chat.

Tainbri Thu 27-Apr-17 15:11:40

Ps: If you're in the south east, we used MPA Brighton (educational psycholgist private)

LIZS Thu 27-Apr-17 15:14:38

Don't try to preempt a diagnosis. Ds read well but struggled with spelling, handwriting, maths, fine and gross motor skills. He's dyspraxic and struggles with some areas of processing. Some of his learning support was based on dyslexia resources though as there can be overlap.

zoemaguire Thu 27-Apr-17 17:33:12

Many thanks for the replies. The school aren't really supportive unfortunately - the teacher is pretty good, she gets him extra 1-1 support with various parent volunteers where she can and agrees that there is an issue. But she spoke to the SENCO and basically came back and said that they wouldn't get involved at this stage. If it's still the same SENCO that I spoke to before he started school, she was as much use as a chocolate teapot anyway.

That's a useful point about not preempting a diagnosis. I remember being told that the learning difficulties ex-prem babies struggle with tend to not fit into easy diagnostic boxes, and that seems to be the case. I also wondered about dyspraxia but his fine motor skills in other areas (ie not writing/drawing) are pretty good, and he's not clumsy at all. It's all subtle enough that various friends and family keep saying I'm looking for problems, but then they keep saying 'but he's very bright' as if that excludes the possibility of learning issues hmm.

zoemaguire Thu 27-Apr-17 17:33:37

Alas not near brighton - east anglia.

LIZS Thu 27-Apr-17 17:52:18

Ds was "very bright" in some areas (at 10 his verbal skills were assessed as 16+) but this definitely doesn't eliminate the possibility of sen.

zoemaguire Thu 27-Apr-17 18:05:50

No indeed, very aware of that.

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