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 Post subject: Dyslexia and CAT scores
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:17 pm 
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I've always had a niggling doubt that DD has some 'dyslexic tendancies' but as she has always been working at an average level her school have never really addressed any concerns we've had with her reading/writing problems.

Her CAT scores for year 5 were 105 verbal, 110 quantitative and 133 non-verbal.

We entered her for the 11+ at her request, we done a few bond ten minute tests and one practice paper plus a bit of extra work on maths with algebra as they hadn't done this at school (she's now in the top maths set). She didn't pass but her scores were 114 VR, 129 NVR and 123 Maths.

We were told by her school they would support an appeal if she could keep up the progress in literacy and whilst she has continued to improve I'm not quite sure she's up to the level she needs to be for grammar. Doing a little bit of research into dyslexia I read that, similar to the colour overlays being helpful, some people with dyslexia find the screen on a Kindle easier to read so downloaded her a book last night and she managed to whizz through 10% of it in a much quicker time than a paper book.

I also read about CAT scores prompting dyslexia testing and wondered if the spread of her scores suggest this as a possibility, though as her verbal was average the school didn't feel the need to look into further.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:56 pm 
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You can appeal without the school's support. If it were me, I guess I'd give it my best shot by doing whatever I could to improve her VR ------- more reading, improved reading - maybe the Kindle will continue to help etc etc. And then get another VR assessment done somehow shortly before the appeal date.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Thanks mystery, that's what we've been doing and will keep on doing.

Meeting with her teacher next so fingers crossed we do get support.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Location: East Kent
have a word with the teacher and senco. If you suspect that it may be due to her eyes an optician can tell you whether coloured overlays or lenses will help. The contrast between black and white can often cause visual disturbance. An interim solution maybe to have any photocopies at school done on different colour paper - it's not that difficult if the school get into the habit of loading one eg light green sheet of paper when doing bulk photocopying.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:25 pm
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Location: Kent
The Bromley Bexley Greenwich Lewisham Dyslexia Association are running coffee mornings on dyslexia.


Last edited by Mungo on Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:25 am 
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Unfortunately her school dismissed the matter once again. She's excelling in other areas and predicted the national average of 4b in literacy so they don't see a problem. We've decided not to appeal for grammar and sticking with the local high school, which apparently have a great reputation for picking up and supporting children with SEN, so looking on this as a positive.

Mungo, that sounds really interesting, I shall look into that, thanks.

I would really like to get an Ed Psych report done but unfortunately we just can't afford to do it privately.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:11 am 
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I wouldn't worry about that. I don't think you are necessarily going to find an Ed Psychs report that tells you that your child has "some dyslexic tendencies" particularly value for money. There are some free resources on the web which can really point you in the right direction in terms of teaching her helpful skills, rather than just doing things to maintain "the problem".

Can you tell us a bit more about what you think her literacy weaknesses actually are? When she reads out loud to you what happens? What sort of spelling errors does she make? What's her grammar like? What's her listening comprehension like i.e. does she understand an age appropriate book better when it is read to her than when she reads it for herself etc etc. Is her reading always slow, or just certain types of thing?

I'm sure if you put your mind to it there's a lot you can do at home, but there's a lot of not very helpful rubbish talked about dyslexia and you could go round the houses for years doing memory exercises with items on trays covered in teatowels and not a lot else if you are not careful.

I've got some good websites I think. Can you tell us a bit more?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:22 am 
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Oh I meant to say why have you decided not to appeal? Those are the kind of scores people get through on appeal with sometimes aren't they? Or is 114 not a "marginal fail" this year? If it is marginal, why give up so easily just because the school won't support the appeal - I don't think a panel is that bothered are they? The other scores place her in a high centile don't they? She'd probably score very well in an overall intellectual assessment if you did decide to pay an Ed Psych.

Also, if you were ever going to stump up for an Ed Psych I would focus on unpacking what her verbal skills are like and the different components that are making her verbal reasoning score poorer. It might produce something useful for the appeal, and also for her future literacy development.

Good luck!!

PS. Is the non-selective a good one? If so, I guess this would have made the decision easier - some Kent non-selectives are better in some ways than some Kent grammars. However if it's a bit mediocre I'd be inclined myself to bash on a bit more down the grammar route


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:42 am 
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OK, here goes, reading out loud she is very slow, there's no real flow to what she's reading, she'll quite often lose track and need to go back over what she's read. She has a habit of reading what she thinks should come next rather than what's on the page. She has never got the hang of being able to blend phonetic sounds, we've had her struggle over reading 'it' in the past, sounding out the i and the t but not being able to put the two together. She will mix up from/for, stared/started (can't think of any other examples but there's a few). If there's an unfamiliar name, for example the book she's reading currently has a character named Sheena in it, even though it should be relatively easy to sound out she reads it differently each time.

She enjoys being read to and does understand age appropriate material well. She definitely reads better in her head than out loud but her comprehension of the material would be better if it was read to her.

Spelling is slowly starting to improve with practice. I guess she spells phonetically but as she doesn't really get phonetics it can get very confused, if that makes any sense at all? We've been working on the magic e recently but she's still writing bit instead of bite, bak instead of bake. Writing wise she misses words out of sentences and can get her ideas muddled so it doesn't flow well. I've tried to get her to plan out a piece of writing beforehand when she has time which does help a little but obviously she doesn't always have time to do this.

You're right about the Ed Psych report, I guess I'm just looking for something to back up my suspicions. It doesn't help that her younger brother (year 3) is a bit of a bookworm and reads brilliantly, has a spelling age of 14 years, and they were both given the same level for a piece of written work the whole school did recently as a marking moderation exercise, I think this knocks her confidence quite a bit and I don't really know the best way to deal with this.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:52 am 
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With regards to the appeal, I contacted the grammar school we would be appealing to and they suggested to go ahead with the appeal if we had good academic evidence for literacy and I really don't think we have.

We put DD in for the 11+ at her request, I always had my doubts as to whether she would cope with the work required at grammar, and I'll admit was really surprised at how close she came to passing.

The non-selective school is definitely on the up, good ofsted report, outstanding in some areas, and whilst exams results aren't fantastic they are improving. DD actually preferred the non-selective to the grammar, but she is the type to be swayed by a massive climbing wall and fully working farm over narrow corridors, stairways and dark classrooms (her words!) It helps knowing I went to a (at the time) failing school and still came out with mostly A*s/As at GCSE.


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