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 Post subject: dyslexia and appeal
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:11 pm
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can anyone provide advice and guidance please.

Our DS has just failed the 11+ score 120 and 116 - we will be strongly suppoted by the school and he has a very good academic record , top groups in scool , high reading age, etcetc - i dont there are any worried there ?

A couple of years ago we had him assessed by a consultant educational psychologist since his then year teacher suspected he was Dyslexic (and to be honest we did also). To cut a long story short he got very high scores all round in IQ etc (97th percentile) but he is Dyslexic and this was confirmed in the report (eg scored 6 on the Bangor scale).

we then took this information to the head teacher (twce once supported by the Brtish Dyslexia association) but since he was working at average or above and actually doing well she was unable or unwilling to do anything to help . We let it go and did extra work at home , mostly reading and spelling.

my question is - is dyslexia a mitigating circumstance in the eleven plus appeal process ?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Mark2

Dyslexia is most certainly a mitigating circumstance for an appeal. A verbal reasoning test is always going to be harder for a dyslexic child and panels do recognise that. The gap of only 1 point on the high score would probably be seen to be attributable to proven dyslexia, although the panel will of course be scrutinising the score of 116 as well.

The EP report is perhaps a little older than a panel would like - they prefer it to be less than a year old. If your finances run to it, can you revisit the Ed Psych for another assessment? You might be able to persuade them to just do a short battery of tests to update the previous report? That might be a little cheaper.

I would be interested to know just a little more about the case you took to the school (and the support from the BDA), because there may be something in that you can use at the appeal. If you prefer to email that information to us privately, there is a facility to do so at the top of the Appeals section. You can also attach any relevant documents. We will respond to you on here after reading it.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Sally anne many thanks for your reassuring answer.

I will share this with my wife later and she can send you details of the school visits with the head , she also did all the phoning round to county and the DA and a million other places - but the head simply said we dont have funds he is average (or above) and there is nothing we can do ! This all happened in year 3 - we then did our own work in year 4 and 5 leading up to the 11 plus.

actually my wife was telling me that in year 3 he was really quite bad and the school did some addittional work with him (without telling us ) for a short time - it was something like writing letters on his back so he could recognise them ! not sure of the details but it didnt go on for too long !

The EP report was also done in year 3 (he was just under 8) - i dont have a problem with getting it done again if that helps our case.

one section says index scores -verbal comprehesion 125 , not sure if that is good or bad full IQ was 128,

kind regards


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:06 pm 
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Hi Mark

I would go for a new EP report. The scores of 125 & 128 aren't at all bad, but you might get even better scores in a new report.

I think the panel may ask if he has additional support at school for his dyslexia, which is why I am curious about your exchange with the Head. If you then say "no" without some explanation, they may conclude that the dyslexia is extremely mild and not a contributory factor to his 11+ scores!

I will wait to hear from your wife, but I would certainly take the documentation relating to it with you to the hearing. You can then at least prove that you asked for support, but that the Head chose the "inertia option" for whatever reason.

The objective is to prove the dyslexia (with up-to-date information if possible), make it clear that he is achieving good academic results despite it, but that a VR test is very different to normal academic schoolwork.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Sally anne thanks for yur thoughts and comments .

On th issue of school support we asked for it but didnt get it ! Apart from not having funds the other reason they gave was that he was working at avearge or above so therefor his Dyslexia MUST be (i think they said significant).

and this is where we are stuck - the EP reports sayd he has it - the school dosnt (or cant offer extra support) - so we cant say at the appeal the school recognises the Dyslexia . should that go against us or carry more wright that the EP report - afterall the report wasnt done to support an appeal it was done in year 3. kind regards


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Hi Mark

He has dyslexia and the school is in denial. The fact that he is managing to produce good results despite that is due to his ability. I don't think that point will be lost on the panel.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:43 am 
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I agree with S-A. We hear of so many cases where children are overlooked if they are 'above average'.

By the way, it depends exactly what is meant by a "couple of years". An 18 month old report would be acceptable. If it's more than two years old, I think it's out of date.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:45 am 
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I went to appeal last year for my daughter who has moderate dyslexia. She scored 120 and 118 in her 11+ tests. I had asked the school to apply for extra time in May but they would not as she was working at an 'above average' level.

As advised, you need to explain whether there are circumstances why your son did not score 121 and provide sufficient academic evidence to show that he is best suited to a grammar school.

Dyslexia is undoubtedly a mitigating circumstance and could easily explain the difference of one mark - make sure that you tick the box on the appeal sheet to say that he has a disability recognised by the DDA.

I provided an EP report which confirmed her dyslexia and that her VR score was much lower than scores for IQ, NVR and numerical reasoning.

You do need to show as much academic evidence as you can - as well as the EP report I provided
- Y5 report which included great SAT results and comments
- headteacher's recommendation sheet
- a letter from her class teacher which identified her as G&T in Science
- school SENCO reports which showed that her reading comprehension was well ahead of chronological age.

I also tried to explain that she would easily cope at a grammar school by proving examples of her learning methods - using visual methods, for example, and her determination that her dyslexia would not stop her succeeding, evidenced by her fantastic results in weekly spelling tests.

In the appeal interview itself, the panel asked
- why we hadn't applied for extra time
- whether she usually finished papers on time
- which questions she found particularly difficult - these were the type where a letter needs to be moved from one word to another to make two new words and the type where a three letter word is missing from inside a group of letters
- whether we thought she would have achieved 121 if it were not for her dyslexia - of course!!

Fortunately our appeal was successful and I am so grateful to Etienne, Sally-Anne and everyone else for their help and advice. The Appeals Q&A section on this site is brilliant, use it as a bible!

My daughter has been at grammar school since September and is loving it. Her half term report shows that she is somewhere in the middle of the class, which is absolutely fine. She will always have to put more effort into her written work than most, but can now produce more of her work on the PC, which helps.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Thanks for that, Guest11! It's great to hear from you.

I would only tick the disability box if there is evidence that the dyslexia is more than mild (as it was in Guest11's case) - otherwise it might look like an attempt to over-egg the pudding! According to the DDA, the condition would have to be 'substantial' (which means more than mild).

Dyslexia, even if mild, can still be considered by the panel as an extenuating circumstance.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Just a point - don't underestimate the impact of dyslexia in some instances, even where it appears to be mild. My DD is diagnosed dyslexic/dyspraxic, but she has no literacy problems, probably because of the manner in which I taught her to read even before she started school. Her dyslexia/dyspraxia *might*, therefore, be considered mild. Yet I believe that it affects every aspect of her life, because it impacts on the speed of her functioning. Though she is highly intelligent, it takes her twice as long to complete a task as it would an otherwise less able peer. It has taken 6 years for these thoughts to crystallise fully; and I only now (when trying to get her extra time in her GCSEs) realise the disservice her primary school did her when they completely ignored the EP report which recommended that 'appropriate allowances' should be made for her in timed tests. Do pursue these issues and make sure that, wherever your DC ends up, any problems are flagged and recorded from the outset.


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