Go to navigation
It is currently Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:49 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 77
I have been concerned about my daughter (now 10 in yr 5) and her inability to retain spellings and use them in her work for some time. I brought this up at her last parents evening (March 12) and was told it was normal and not to worry too much. I also was concerned about the frequencey of spelling errors in her work books which were not corrected. I was advised by her teacher at the time that it is best not to shatter their self esteem by correcting all spelling errors. I called the school in June 2012 because my daughter was a little emotional for no apparent reason, randomly bursting into tears without an explanation of what was upsetting her and I was concerned there were problems at school. Her teacher said she would keep an eye on her and then called me two weeks before the end of the term inviting me into school for a meeting about her progress. I met with the teacher and sen advisor who said they were concerned about recent grades from her assessments and she had made no improvement in the year, although in previous years she had always attained marks to keep her in the top sets. The mentioned that upon looking at her work more thouroughly that she shows some traits of dyslexia and could they use an assessment tool to decide her probability. I was advised as it was at the end of term that this would not be done until the new school year. Last week I called to school for an update and it was apparent that her new teacher knew nothing about our previous conversations.

The Sen teacher called me Monday to advise they would be using the tool today, and today she called to say that the Lucid Rapid Dyslexia Screening tool showed a high probability of her being dyslexic. Her reading age at 10yrs and 0months is 10yrs and 10 months. She misses small words out, but had quite a good flow. Occasionally she losses her place. Spelling in tests is very good, normally 22-25/25 but incorporating it into her work is a different matter. The screening shows that she has severe difficulties in phonological processing.

I feel awful, I kind of thought it was a slight spelling problem rather than anything else because she reads well. The school have said that they do not have the budget this financial year to get a formal diagnosis, which of course i'm not greatly happy with and the earliest they can carry it out would be March 2013. They have assured me that she will get extra support with her phonics and spelling, but what do I do next? If I pay to get her accessed how will that help me? I know nothing about SEN, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. My daughter would like to do the 11 plus and if she is willing i'm happy for her to partake. I'd love to give her as much support as I can so any support on this website would be very welcomed.

I'm a bit overwhelmed to be honest and riddled with guilt that I never picked it up.

Lisa


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:02 am
Posts: 50
My advice would be to write a letter to the local LEA and ask for a formal Assenssment for a Statement of Special Educational needs. This is really (from my experience of having one Classically Autistic child with learning difficulties, and one with Aspergers/ADHD) the only way to do it. The school can apply, but probably wont, and if you write directly to the LEA they have a legal responsibility to acknowledge it within 6 weeks. I can only go from my personal experience, but I would recommend contacting your local PARENT PARTNERSHIP, because they are the well of all knowledge here! They can help you with every step, and will make sure things get done!

We had to fight for a statement, it took years in both cases, and they try to tell you they're not needed, but without it we would have had a harder time than we already do - and it is very helpful to have one if you intend to go for the 11+.....

Good luck!

x


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:28 pm
Posts: 417
You won't get a statement for dyslexia but your DD can be at School Action or Action Plus which means either she is receiving extra help from the school or outside agencies (for plus). Ask school to apply for your DD to have an ed psych. assessment. Waiting til March, although not ideal, isn't the end of the world now that the school realise your DD is dyslexic. When you have the assessment report you can use this to help get extra time for the 11+ which your school SENCO should do for you but make sure this is done and if necessary contact the grammar and local authority for advice and support. You will find a wealth of knowledge if you read through old threads on here about dyslexia. You can do a course for parents on dyslexia with the BDA. In the mean time, your school SENCO will probably meet you and do an IEP to focus on things they can do to support your children.
Try not to feel too worried, it is a pain but dyslexia is not too dreadful and sometimes there are special "gifts" that go with it so make the most of those. Learning to touch type can be useful esp in secondary school and perhaps school can photocopy on to coloured paper and make sure they don't rush through work. As I said there are loads of useful tips if you browse through this part of the forum. Just ask away as you need to know things and people will probably have had experience to help.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Sorry without you seeing the tests she has been given, her responses, and the scores this is possibly all pretty meaningless. Dyslexia screening tests are pretty crude and cheap and cheerful.

There are so many different dyslexia definitions it's all a bit of a strange area. The important thing is to find out what your daughter needs to be taught so that her spelling is as good as you would like it to be, and that her reading faults ( whatever they are in addition to missing out words) are ironed out.

A lot of schools are not great at teaching the early stages of reading, and not great at teaching spelling in any systematic way. This is the result for many children - inaccurate reading and poor spelling. The school is probably saying she is "dyslexic" because her spelling and reading accuracy do not match up to other aspects of her ability. Of course this could be for numerous reasons.

Look up the BPS working definition of dyslexia and you will see that it is the teaching that is key, not a one-off assessment to diagnose whether or not a child has "dyslexia".

Try looking at http://www.dyslexics.org.uk and stop trusting any "dyslexia" expert that you meet unless there is good reason for trusting what they say. A lot of it is old fashioned out of date nonsense and what is needed is for the child to be taught the right things.

Of course there's a good reason for a "dyslexia diagnosis" if you want your child to receive extra time in 11plus and SATS etc, but the last thing you really want is for a ten year old to be given a laptop and spellchecker and someone to read when all she needs is to be taught to read accurately and spell better than she does currently. It's not rocket science but some schools make a load of hocus pocus out of it.

I can see it is likely happen to one of my children at the moment; the school has given them all a half-baked spelling test at the start of year 2, she has dropped spelling groups as a consequence and is back to receiving reception type spellings. They don't teach spelling well in school and the stuff that is sent home is rubbish so unless I do something, or she is just a "natural-born speller" (which she seemed to be until school go their hands on her!) there's not much hope of her becoming a good speller.

Some schools are extremely annoying. My year 2 daughter started holding a pencil very badly two years ago in reception. I've mentioned this to them loads of times, they have done absolutely nothing, not even shown her how to hold it correctly. Now in year 2 the head says it might be too late to do anything! I'm sure that at some point they'd love to do a "dysgraphia assessment" to show that there is something "wrong" with my child.

This is probably nothing at all to do with your daughter, just the way she has / has not been taught.

When you think about it logically, what's the big deal about her missing out little words? She has just got a sloppy reading habit. She needs daily nitpicking exercises to make sure that she always reads from left to right and doesn't miss out words. She's is perfectly capable of that I am absolutely sure. And who know if she is missing out words when she is reading in her head or if she just is being sloppy when reading out loud.

There's so much hocus pocus and bad science in this area it is maddening.

Your daughter needs teaching the right things, that is all. Try communicating with an EP like Derrie Clarke on the RRF website to get a better grasp of all this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:02 am
Posts: 50
Mystery - my son held his pencil wrong too - and no matter how many times I mentioned it to school, they did NOTHING about it until he was in year 5 and had a diagnosis of 'dyspraxia' (which showed in other areas too). He used to hold his had curved, with his little finger at the tip of the pencil. He wouldn't learn how to hold it from me because 'I'm not a teacher' (he is all about rules and things being where they should be). They wanted him to use a laptop but I kicked up a fuss - because children need to be taught how to write!!!

BUT - once he got this diagnosis in y5, and his statement, and it was written into his IEP they gave him a 'wedge' to write on (its like an A4 Binder on its side) and spent a little time with him, and now he is holding his pencil very well, and his writing has improved dramatically.

So there deffinately IS something they can do about it! Whether they do or not is another story.....

Good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Ha well maybe I'll try and get a dyspraxia diagnosis then - although she's clearly not - whatever that is or isn't. It's a shame it takes a diagnosis to get a child taught properly. Trouble is at our school I've seen the stupid things that the SENCO tries to do with children she considers are "dyspraxic" (and she can't pronounce it properly - she calls it dysparaxia!). They would just annoy my daughter and not improve her penhold.

I'm pleased that your son did get some help. As you say it's impossible at home. School is "high status" with children as they say. There's no way I can get mine to do much at home that school does not expect. Unfortunately poor pen hold seems very common with slow laborious writing as a consequence. I observe it round here in many, many school children and adults. They are certainly not all "dyspraxic".

I'm sorry to say it but there is some shocking ignorance about a lot of these issues in primary schools and within the BDA and Dyslexia Action. I'm afraid when people on here say "go to a talk about dyslexia for parents at the BDA" my heart sinks because unless it is someone with some real knowledge rather than the drivel which both of these associations mostly peddle, you're not going to get anywhere with that apart from some memory games with objects on trays, writing words on children's backs, standing on one leg, endless eye tests and coloured pieces of plastic for children who don't need it.

Teach them to read and write I say, using a sensible systematic system - and that would usually include synthetic phonics except maybe in the tiniest, tiniest minority. There's a huge amount of terrible practice out there amongst "experts". Well aimed one to one for about 30 minutes each day will work wonders with a huge percentage of children with reading and/or handwriting and/or spelling difficulties. Instead we get them diagnoses, readers, laptops, strange glasses, watered down books, and pack them off to secondary school badly taught and ill-prepared.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:02 am
Posts: 50
I have to agree with you!

Dyspraxia is something a child can 'grow out' of, as it is. Practice really does help with a child with Dyspraxia - but it has to be at the level the child can work at...throwing and catching a ball might be great for one child, but not needed for another. It does seem to be the blanket diagnosis for motor issues, but the program needs to be suitable for the individual. My school hadn't heard of it before, but once the program was in place it really has helped (that and me on the case!) Its stupid that we had to wait for a diagnosis before they would sit down and show him how to hold a pencil!!!!

I do think all the pain of going to the 'specialists' could have been avoided if the school had stepped up and stepped in earlier - unfortunately we are noticing that unless you have it written down, the schools are unlikely to do anything.

Our situation has been quite traumatic, over the last 8 years it has been constant fights, and now my eldest is 13, in a specialist high school, but still doesn't read. His whole school experience has been - he's happy, thats the main thing, and, he'll probably bloom next year.... Where my youngest has just taken his 11+ (eek). The eldest has floated through school because he is quiet and easy, but doesn't learn. I really don't know what the answer is, I often feel like we are fighting our way through the school years, and teachers think 'its ok, we don't have him/her next year'...... Soon they will be out of education, and missing basic skills....

eeek - I'm ranting. Its an emotive issue in this house, one that has been on my mind all weekend whilst trying to teach my eldest to spell 'WAS'....

Oh dear....

x


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
That must be a nightmare Disney-Mum. I'm sorry to rant but I see children who are badly taught and on badly thought out, or badly applied interventions at primary schools I volunteer at and I feel so sorry for them. From the outside the parents of some of these children will think there something seriously "wrong" with their children when that is not actually the case.

A logical, thorough, well-taught programme would see the vast majority of them through the learn to read and write process. Thing is if it doesn't happen at school and there isn't the time or skill at home ( and once a child is at school all day it would be very hard to anything about a major short-fall in attainment even if one had the time and the money) it just doesn't happen unless a child has a "magic breakthrough". A good proportion of children will "intuit" the alphabetic code for themselves at some point - but by no means all - and it has no connection whatsoever (except at the extreme end of the IQ spectrum) with IQ.

The longer it goes on the less likely this is to happen as the child will have lost the idea that they might ever fathom out reading.

Teaching the spelling of "was" - yes this is frustrating with a lot of children ("dyslexic" or not), particularly if they are just being taught everything on a "learn to read or spell this word from memory" process rather than it fitting in to the context of a letter a after a w usually making an /o/ sound as it want, watch, what, wand, waffle, etc etc. It's not one more thing to learn then, but part of a pattern. w followed by a vowel sound is often different from other consonants followed by the same vowels.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:02 am
Posts: 50
It has been a nightmare at times, a lot of it avoidable I believe - and I totally understand what you're saying. I agree with your rant (hehe). I do think we are lacking adequate education in schools - last year my youngest had 7 teachers in year 5 - that was hard on the whole class, and must have had a huge impact on their education. Continuity is the key for all children. All the things we have learned in the 'Autism' courses are actually good parenting/good teaching skills - its often common sense! and don't get me started about laptops and i-pads in primary schools....

Unfortunately with my eldests conditions, no explaining to him seems to work. His memory isn't great (unless its Harry Potter or Star wars!!!) so the memorising thing doesn't help. He has a whole ball of issues from Autism to Multiple and Profound learning disability. Apparently he is NOT dyslexic (but the tests couldn't be performed detailed enough because of his comprehension issues), just unable to learn effectively. He struggles to write his own name and gets d mixed up with b, p, q... m,n,r,h are also difficult ones. The specialist school he is at now are erring on teaching life skills more than education, which I understand, but its hard when I see his younger brother working so hard and coming along so well. (Fingers crossed for good results in 2 weeks - eek!)

I think its more my problem than his - he isn't really aware of it at all. I refuse to give up though - the teachers comment last year of 'he might just never learn to read and write' is not an excuse to give up at age 13! Its so frustrating that nobody seems to have any idea on a better way to teach him. If we could break down the words barrier I think it would enable him to understand more. Going back to the beginning every year doesn't work, there must be something else out there. Maybe if I find it I will publish it and be able to help others **would be nice**

The english Language is very strange indeed - I was trying to find ways to help him remember SAID, but really, why would AI sound like 'e'.... I was looking at the word myself and after a while it started to look wrong to me too! haha

I'll be back in 10 years time boasting about how we didn't give up and now he's fully supporting himself and has a bright future. Positive thinking. :-)


x


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Where do I start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Ok, I have no experience in teaching a child with profound difficulties, so I might be saying completely the wrong thing. But if your son is not reading yet is there much point in slogging away with learning how to spell "said" and "was"? If his memory isn't great, logical patterns (which a good synthetic phonics reading and writing scheme will help build up for him) will be even more help.

It sounds as though a very old-fashioned approach is being taken - learn by heart how to read and spell all these words on a high frequency word list. There are much better ways of doing it and then at some point spelling "said" and "was" will fall into place without too much effort.

If you give me an idea of what he can currently do I might be able to suggest some reading and spelling programmes for home? But apologies if I am interfering and barking up completely the wrong tree.

It's a shame that school is giving up on the reading and writing. The social skills etc are of course equally important but one might hope there is time for both in the course of the school day, particularly at a specialist school. I feel your frustration!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016