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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:44 am 
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Hi All, I wonder if anybody has specific experience of how SEN's are dealt with for the 11+. My DD was (very recently) assessed for dyslexia. The tests showed that she did in fact have dyslexia and the SEN co-oridnator advised that we had her assessed for Irlens syndrome. It turns out that she has a real problem with double vision and blurring but that this is in fact caused by convergence insufficiency - a binocular vision disorder which means that she struggles focussing. Regular eye tests had not picked this up and the poor girl had not complained. She has always been a strong reader but had started to struggle in yr 5 when the content and difficulty levels and therefore the processing required increased. She also makes lots of silly mistakes, which now seems to be because the maths symbols for example have been blurred or she struggles with shape and symmetry etc. I'm not qualified, and will of course be led by the experts, but I don't think she does have dyslexia - she has this eye problem. We have been doing exercises to try and strengthen her eye muscles, but it's likely she will need a little operation to correct the problem but it certainly won't be solved by October when she sits the 11+. Her consultant has offered to write a letter supporting extra time and the need to take in a piece of black card so that she can properly line up the questions to the answer pack, but my query is, do I submit a request for SEN considerations on the basis of the dyslexia assessment too? I'm sorry this is such a rambling post, but I am so worried for her. She is a bright girl and I'm really upset that not picking this problem up until now puts her at such a disadvantage not to mention that she has been struggling in silence and losing confidence all year. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. Jo


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:21 am 
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Hi Jo,

I am certain someone will be along soon to give expert advice but have you tried ringing your LEA ? If not perhaps you could try and speak to the Manager of the 11+ section there or at least find out their name/email address and consider emailing them for advice about making a late application for adjustments. Good Luck !

Tigger


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Thanks Tigger. My DD's school have emailed the 11+ co-ordinator so fingers crossed we will get a response soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:34 pm
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Hi, my son has exactly the same problems. He was diagnosed with convergence, blurred vision and tracking issues during year 4. His eye are now fixed after months of eye exercises but he is left with slow visual processing /dylexia. His consultant says that the eye problems mask the dyslexia. His school have applied for extra time for him but I don't hold out much hope as his full dyslexia assessment is not until after the 11+.

I know that this doesn't answer your question but wanted to let you know that you are not alone.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Thanks DaisyDuck - it's kind of you to reply. My DD was only diagnosed at the end of year 5 and it was the first time I or our school had come across this type of problem. I just feel so sad that she has been struggling and losing confidence so much over the last year. Her consultant has been shocked that she has managed as well as she has so far, but she has had a really tough academic year. The 11+ is almost secondary. I say almost, because it means so much to her, that if she doesn't pass it will just knock her confidence further. Fingers crossed for both our children!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Hi !
That is good that the school have contacted the 11+ manager but I am still wondering if perhaps you could too and have a word because you are clearly very concerned and it might help .....does your daughters school support her taking the test? Was she, despite her difficulties, still achieving levels that would indicate that she would do well at gs? We are in Kent and when I asked dd's school to apply for special arrangements for her the advice from our LEA was that dd should get the same sort of adjustment that she has been awarded in school for normal class work and test situations. There is an excellent thread on the reasonable adjustments policy in one county on the Sen forum that was very interesting. Perhaps your county has one too...I wish ours did !! Have you got a good school as back up?
Tigger


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:51 pm 
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I would go for adjustments on the basis of both the sight problem and the dyslexia (even if you suspect the "dyslexia" may no longer be there once the sight problem is sorted - after all you don't know that and you need your daughter to have more time and maybe a reader too if she wishes?).

Presumably she can reduce the blurring etc by shutting one eye? But it would be quite a strain to read every exam question with one eye shut and would require extra time in itself and maybe a painkiller for the headache by the end of the exam!

I wish you luck. Hopefully you will get this sorted out happily as clearly neither issue relate to your daughter's ability so they shouldn't be allowed to become a cause of 11plus failure.

As a matter of interest for others, how did the convergence problem finally get picked up when routine eye tests had not done so?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:34 pm
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Jo123,
Reading your post is like looking at my son. He too has crushed self confidence and so desperately wants to pass the 11+ as his older brother is already at the grammar. He described his world as like watching a 3d movie without the glasses. When I asked him why he didn't say anything he answered "I thought everyone sees like that".
He too has had a disasterous year in yr5 as his teacher took no notice of his extra needs, instead she embarked on a campaign of bullying . Once when he asked for help, She said "lots of kids cant read very well, why are you special" !! Although he is still achieving remarkably well, we feel like we still don't know how much more he is capable of.

My son also is the first child that his school has come across with these problems. His was picked up by a Specialist Teacher who was brought in to look at the possibility of dyslexia and Irlens. He was then refered to an opthomologist and then a orthoptist.

It is really good to find someone else who is going through exactly the same worries. X


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:33 am 
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Thanks everybody. DD's school has been very supportive and we are very lucky that they are so helpful. I have asked DD's consultant to write a letter and will be send this in to the SEN co-ordinator for the test. Not long to go which is a mixed blessing. We don't have a great back up plan. DD goes to a small independent prep, and whilst we are lucky that we have the option of continuing down that path the local indies do not have great standards - especially wrt academics, but at least pastorally DD would get the support she would need via smaller class sizes and extra resources, so perhaps a better option than the local comps. Open evenings start again in the next week or so, so we will go back around them all to try and form a proper back up plan.
Thanks again everybody! Problems shared might not be halved, but they definitely seem better!
x


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:28 pm
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Jo, your DD should have extra time for the 11+. Make a direct enquiry to the grammar school where she is sitting the test and ask how to go about getting this. It would normally be requested by the SENCO at Primary but you might need to act quickly if the test is coming up. Make copies of any consultants letters/SEN meetings you have. Also contact your local authority where you can ask SEN questions too. Is your DD due to have an ed psych consultation for dyslexia through the school? She might be able to have one more quickly given the circumstance of sitting 11+ or you could go for a private test.

If necessary you could appeal at a later stage when you have further medical and educational evidence to show your DDs exceptional circumstances.

My DD2 had extra time for her 11+ test due to dyslexia and DD1 was tested in Y10 and found to have a slow processing speed (which also affects dyslexic DD) which caused her to struggle in finishing exams. She was given extra time and has just got A* 100% pass in her first GCSE. It really is worth persevering with getting the help and support your DD is entitled to. It may be that when her vision problem is sorted then she won't need further support at school but until this happens don't be afraid to press for some support for her and the chance to sit the test without any disadvantage. Please remember you are only making sure it is an even playing field, not giving her any advantage. Other DCs have not had the same pressures and difficulties your DD has had in Y5.

Daisy - what a shame for your DS with such a thoughtless teacher. I can sympathise, my DD had a teacher that publically made fun of her in front of the whole class for needing extra time. I hope you get everything sorted and ask about extra time - it could be 25% extra which might help after having such a difficult year. It can help with confidence knowing that time is there even if he doesn't use it all.


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