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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Location: surrey
Would welcome some advice.
A friend has a child in year 3 at an indie. Her DD has recently been diagnosed with Dyslexia( She paid for an Ed psy report). He is getting a little help at school but his behaviour has began to deteriorate as this term has gone on.
Worse day is a monday when they have double maths then double english and I think he is getting pretty stressed with all the work and homr work. He has had a few temper tantrums, refused to do work and then today got teased by a fellow pupil and threatened to pick up/ kick over his desk .She is now concerned that the school is building a case to have him removed .
Question is what is an idie obliged to provide with a child for SEN and does the parent have to pay for it.
I can guess it is different from what the state sector will provide as it is easier to access the LA's SEN provision if a child is attending a state school


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:46 pm 
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Oh I would be interested in that answer too. I'm not sure if they are obliged to do anything special are they? But surely they should teach him to read and write because that is what they are paying fees for.

I'm not sure how you find an up to date BPS ed psych who would diagnose dyslexia so definitively at that age - the BPS working definition is not like that.

Research would point towards the overwhelming majority of children who are struggling with learning to read benefitting from systematic synthetic phonics. If the independent are not teaching him this way the parents should save their money and educate him at home until he can read and write well enough to get some benefit out of a good state school. Of course he will misbehave if he can't get on with any of the work in the lesson because he can't read and write adequately. And paying the independent school even higher fees for someone to read the work to him in the lessons isn't going to do him much good in the long term either.

Does the independent school offer a short term course in learning to read which they could pay for?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:48 pm 
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I think some indies are better with such things than others and make a point of highlighting the support they can provide (usually at extra cost eg after school or 1-1), However other schools are not so great.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Contact your local dyslexia assoication or British Dyslexia Assocation for help. There are some fantastic indies that specialise in dyslexia, perhaps he would be better there. Shapwick School is the most well known, google it. If your friend contacts them they may also be able to provide guidance.

I have a dyslexic daughter who now has wonderful spelling and loves to read so all is not lost, but a difficult year ahead I suspect x

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:02 pm 
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So is your daughter dyslexic still would you say Sunshine? What was the secret to her ultimate success?

Moon Hall in Dorking is supposed to be good too. All depends where you live. Some schools are good at helping people "live" with dyslexia, others are good at teaching them to improve their reading and writing quite significantly.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:26 pm 
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I would say she is still dyslexic, my understanding of the condition is that you have it for the rest of your life but the most successful dyslexics learn to cope with it and learn to work around it. She also has mild dyspraxia.

Here are my top tips:
:D Check for Irlene (see an optician and ask for a colouromitry assessment) my daughter has pink tinted lenses it helped her enormously initially. Even now when the text is small she describes the text as moving around when she doesn't use them.

:D buy lots and lots of books at their reading level and get into a routine before bed, she reads one page you read one page, special one to one time with Mummy in a nice quiet environment. If they are too tired though don't push it.

:D get lots of books on the subject, knowledge of the condition is power.

:D Let the child know how many very successful and famous people there are with dyslexia and get them to think of it as a gift, there is a book called "The Gift of Dyslexia". Explain that they have more brain connections than an average child and they just need to train them to behave and not get all muddled up.

:D Attend courses, British Dyslexia Association and your local association will run lots of courses. Become a specilist.

:D Swimming and horse riding can help with balance and co-ordination so encourage them to take up a sport.

I could go on. But a positive outlook is certainly needed.

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Que sera, sera


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:26 am 
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Ah well that's great. From your list, would you say that the thing that you did that made the difference was the reading every evening? Or was there something else that you did that would have improved your daughter's reading and spelling? Certainly significantly increasing the amount of reading a child does would help a lot of them with reading and spelling difficulties.

I agree with you it is important to find out lots about the subject. However, it is pretty difficult to become a specialist in dyslexia as there are multiple definitions of what it actually is. So in the same way, it's difficult to say that it is a "condition for life". That is the version of dyslexia explained by the British Dyslexia Association, but if you go into the literature of reading researchers worldwide you'll find that that is a very simplistic view of reading difficulties.

If a child has been diagnosed dyslexic, he/she was more than likely "diagnosed" by using a definition which says that if a child's reading and/or writing attainment relative to the population at large differs greatly from where their IQ places them relative to the population at large then they are "dyslexic". e.g. child's IQ places them in the top 25% of the population but their reading and / or writing places them in the bottom 25% of the population. i.e. there is what is called an IQ discrepancy. There is no definition as to what this "discrepancy" should be for a child to be diagnosed dyslexic.

So if the child's reading and writing improves to the top 25% of the population through some thorough teaching, are they still "dyslexic"?

Other definitions would not use this IQ discrepancy - they might just say that if there was significant difficulty with reading and or writing the child has dyslexia.

There are other types of definition too. It's a whole area abounding with bad science too.

The most important thing if a child is diagnosed "dyslexic" or "dyslexic tendencies" is that parents and school make their best efforts ever to ensure that the child learns to read and write well. There are some methods which are more successful than others. In the "easy" cases like yours doing some shared reading each night will do the trick. It is unlikely to be so simple in most cases of true reading difficulty.

It's fantastic it worked for you. If you still feel that your child is dyslexic (and not because you define dyslexia as a condition which lasts for life) then I would suggest that you need to do some further analysis of the areas your child finds difficulty with and work on them in an effective (and of course enjoyable) way.

While some independent schools which say they deal well with dyslexic pupils undoubtedly do i.e. they radically improve those children's reading and writing attainment, others get away with charging huge fees and doing nothing like that. They get by with parents being happy because the children are happy. And the children are happy because they are with other children who can't read and write very well either so they don't feel out of place. And if it's a discrepancy definition that is in use, they are with other children who are pretty intelligent but can't read or write very well. So with good teachers they can learn lots about loads of subjects .... but not necessarily learn to read and write particularly well.

I think that's a shame. There is only a very tiny proportion of the population whose reading cannot be brought round to average levels with intensive remediation of the right sort (under 2% of the population in all likelihood). This is for the most part not the population at the independent schools specialising in dyslexia.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:48 am 
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Wow, i'm impressed with your knowledge. Actually I think the key to getting DD reading was an online programme called "Easy Read" I still remember the "Ants in Pink Pants" they used to send awards for meeting targets. It was expensive about £500 I think but probably the best investment we made. The school also did a "Dancing Bears" programme with her which helped with phonics. But yes read, read, read. They say her reading is now one year above her actual age. We read, read, read with my son from age 4 and he has a reading age 2 years above (not dyslexic though). Now it is her math more than English that she struggles with, I say struggles, but she is now average for her age, her school has lots of high ability children and so I shouldn't compare really. The trouble is it mean she is bottom set :-(

Is she still dyslexic ? well she will be re-assessed in the summer so we shall see. I see your point though. They say high funcitioning dyslexics can overcome most easily but then are they still then "dyslexic" good question........ :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Ah thank you - I was worried I may have said the wrong thing! Yes Dancing Bears in KS1 is rated very highly for getting children off to a very solid start with reading and spelling. I will look up Easy Read. I have not heard of that one. Thank you for replying.

Yes it would seem you and the school have done the two most important things to kick start her reading young - a good systematic phonics programme, and lots of reading.

There is the equivalent for maths. Which aspect of maths does she struggle with - at primary it usually falls into (a) fast mental arithmetic (b) problem solving. Which one is it do you know --- your assessment please not the school's one!


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