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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:52 pm 
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A question for Etienne:
In your experience what adjustments are made in Bucks for children with Dyslexia when taking the test? Our son has just got 109 & 110. He has dyslexia which the school (and not us!) were aware of. We are going to get him assessed and intend to appeal on the grounds that no provision was made for this.

We did suspect dyslexia and wrote a letter to the county and school prior to the test detailing our concerns and our intention to appeal should he not pass.

The school have given very strong support and it is backed by good CAT and SAT results from previous years. 5,4a,5 and 2&1.

I'd be grateful for your opinion and advice.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:39 pm 
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Dear Mark

I think it depends on the extent of the dyslexia, and just how much the school/BCC knew.

Exactly what response did you get to the letters you sent?

I would have expected BCC to write back saying "Please provide evidence from an appropriate professional such as an educational psychologist."

Under the legislation, the following tests are applied to establish whether or not there is a disability.

* a. Is there a clinically recognised impairment?
* b. Does it have adverse effects that are substantial (i.e. more than minor or trivial – but consideration should be given to whether the effects are substantial in the 11+ test situation even if they are not otherwise substantial)?
* c. Are the effects long term (at least 12 months, although the effects do not have to be the same throughout)?
* d. Are there effects on normal day-to-day activities (e.g. the ability to concentrate)?

If the answer to all the questions above is "Yes", and if the authority responsible for the 11+ arrangements is made aware of it, that authority has a legal duty to take reasonable steps so that the pupil is not at a substantial disadvantage when compared with other children, without justification.

I obviously don't know all the facts in your case, but it's possible that the school noted some dyslexic tendency, and took the view that it was only mild. I would guess that the majority of cases of dyslexia are mild and would not therefore qualify as a disability.

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:25 pm 
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Thanks for your prompt and detailed response Etienne.

BCC didn't respond to the letter other than to acknowledge its receipt and say that it had been placed on file. In their defence it was sent about a month before the actual exams.

We are having an assessment by Dyslexia Action done next week which should satisfy point a. Perhaps we could ask the pshycologist for an opinion on the effects in the 11+ test and whether they would have been 'substantial', to satisfy point b. The school state that he was diagnosed with dyslexia by them two years ago, which should satisfy point c. He was recently taken for an eye test after complaining of difficulty in copying spellings from the board in class. His eyesight is perfect. This is one of a few signs which made us suspect dyslexia. Perhaps they would satisfy point d.

I think you are probably right about the schools view, in that they thought it was mild. We ignored the signs for too long for the same reason.

We did notice prior to the test that he seemed to have a 'block' with the compound word type of questions (making a big word out of two small ones). If the pshycologist finds a particular problem relating to these or another type of question in the test then surely this will be valuable evidence in the appeal.

Thanks again for your kind help.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:44 pm 
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Dear Mark

Yes, even if you do not have a case on "disability discrimination" grounds, the psychologist might be able to provide you with "extenuating circumstances".

I think the dyslexia would have to be more than mild to explain the shortfall in marks.

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:20 pm 
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I don't understand what would count as extenuating circumstances in our case. Do you mean if the pshycologist found certain types of question were a particular problem with his type of dyslexia?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:41 pm 
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Yes, that's possible.

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:56 am 
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Hi Mark,

Whether your child's dyslexia is mild or severe depends upon their level of IQ and the shortfall in literacy skills i.e. if your child has a top 2% IQ (over 130) but achieves average scores then the dyslexia in measured terms will be much more severe than a child with an I.Q. of 85 (Below average range) who is below average in terms of classroom performance. Also you need to be aware that some children perfom better in I.Q. tests but that this doesn't always transfer to the classroom.

Unfortunately teaching staff will identify the child who is below average in terms of acheivement as having a difficulty when actually this child could be achieving in line with their IQ. Rarely in my experience will the child with the high IQ receive any recognition of having any difficulty at all.

The eyesight problem that you mention is possibly convergence insufficiency. It will not be picked up by conventional eye tests. You will need to see a behavioural optometrist. The difficulty that your son describes related to the eye having an inability to adjust its focal length from close work (i.e looking at his books) to looking at the board (which is at a distance). This has devastating consequences on the child and will have severe consequences on secondary when the demand on the eyes will increase owing to the volume of work.

It is worth considering the possibility of mild dyspraxia which is diagnosed by an occupational therapist. In any event the OT should assess your child's visual perceptual skills which can help identify an underlying problem. www.otip.co.uk

If you would like to register with the forum I could send you a PM on the behavioural optometrist who has treated my kids.

When is your appeal?

HP


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:02 pm 
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The question on the severity of his dyslexia is one I will have to try and get the pshycologist to make a statement on. The fact that he is a bright child is probably why we have ignored the signs for so long. He has been achieving quite well so why burden him with being labelled a dyslexic. Until now!

The problem with copying from the board doesn't seem to be too serious but something we will monitor closely. If it becomes a problem we may take your advice and refer to a occupational therapist.

We have no date for the appeal yet, but it will probably be sometime in January.

Thanks for your input. Thanks to the likes of Etienne and you this forum is a valuable place.

Mark


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:08 pm 
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Hi Mark

I thoroughly appreciate your not wanting to "label" your child,

Mark wrote:
He has been achieving quite well so why burden him with being labelled a dyslexic. Until now!



However, try and think about it from a child's perspective. If you had a broken leg that no-one was aware of, life would be pretty difficult for you. That difficulty is then made worse when others who cannot see your difficulty expect you to run and jump as well as your peers. In these circumstances it would come as a relief to be diagnosed with a broken leg and given a plaster cast. In the short term of course that plaster cast is cumbersome, difficult to contend with and screams to the world that you have a broken leg. In the long term with the right treatment, the leg gets better and the discomfort goes away. Left untreated, well, the consequences speak for themselves.

Dyslexia, dyspraxia etc are often hidden difficulties, but if left untreated becomes painful and uncomfortable in terms of consequences.

It may help you to know that I have two dyslexic children, and a third with more labels than your average jam-jar, :shock: :).

Keep in touch

HP


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:43 pm 
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It's not that we didn't want the stigma of him being dyslexic, just that he was performing quite well and it seemed not to be a problem. I agree, it is far better being diagnosed and treated than ignored.
By the way, we have received our appeal date today: it is 5th Jan


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