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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:29 am
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Hello all, this is my first post so hope I'm asking in the right place! My daughter is currently going through the extremely lengthy process of being assessed for dyslexia, and as she is over halfway through year 5 I highly doubt she will be any closer to an assessment by the start of year 6 when she will be taking the 11 plus. I had hoped she would have been able to have the extra time allowed for learning difficulties but as it is looking like this won't be sorted in time, I wonder if anyone has any tips to help improve her speed? She is doing well with practice papers etc, but not managing to finish in time. I have tried doing 10 minute mini tests with about 15 questions but she is still not quite getting finished. Can anyone advise me of anything that has helped your child to speed up?! Many thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
We went through all this last Sept but DD didn't have the challenge of dyslexia so I feel for you. Some tips for speed:
1) if you can't get the question - move onto the next one and mark the ones you have missed so you can quickly go back to them.
2) with multiple choice it may be easy to rule out some options quite quickly. But the best way is to know the answer already rather than look at all and then waste time picking - not really possible if you have NVR but good for maths, VR and English questions
3) check what methods they are using to work out the answers eg if they are doing their usual long handed way of answering maths questions give them tips on how to get quick answers eg a question timesing something by 19,remind them how they can round up to 20 and then taken away the number it is being timesed by. Not to be recommended for children easily confused with multiple methods but DD loved being released from the constraints of her thousands, hundreds and tens etc columns that they insisted on at school that could turn a simple sum you could do in your head to a two page essay.
4) start off by letting them do two ten minute tests picking only the questions they know and let them 'ignore' the ones they can't do. Let them do the first 20 questions (or number equivalent to the ten minute test) and build confidence that way - don't put a time limit at first but that will improve with time. It also helps you identify ones they can't do.
5) once you are working towards a real full refer teach them to go back and do the ones they've missed
6) teach that leave the last 30 seconds to guess any ones they don't know and quickly write in an answer or select an option if multiple choice.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:08 pm
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Forgive my ignorance, but why is the assessment taking so long?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:29 am
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Thankyou for the tips PettswoodFiona, I will certainly try your suggestions with my daughter. Kingfisher, my daughter is a good reader but struggles with spelling so her teacher and school SEN are not sure how to go about getting her the right level of help. They are trying different strategies in school to see if they can find something that clicks with her. Apparently the school can only ask for so many assessments per year and I suppose they feel as my daughter isn't falling behind she isn't a priority! Her teacher says getting a private assessment done will not necessarily help with getting her extra time so it feels like we are at a standstill!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
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Kingfisher wrote:
Forgive my ignorance, but why is the assessment taking so long?

I imagine it must be due to the lack of resources and waiting lists and all the administrative procedures that have to be followed - i.e. a school needs to carry out an initial assessment, decide whether there is a basis for a referral, write to a relevant department requesting a referral etc. It all takes time to process. The assessment needs to be carried out by a certified educational psychologist, a full assessment takes about 3-3.5 hours and there are not that many psychologists that education authorities can afford. It may be even more complicated if a school is an academy - I am not suggesting the OP's school is, but I'm just wondering how the process works with academies.

Incidentally, when done privately, it's usually quite quick. It took us 4 weeks, but only because the particular psychologist we wanted to see was away. A referral was not required. I know someone who had the whole thing sorted in a week.

Whether additional time in the exams is granted or not, has nothing to do with whether the assessment is done privately or through the school/LEA. The only thing that matters is whether in the Educational Psychologist's view a particular child's degree of dyslexia is severe enough to warrant allowing them the additional time. A relevant recommendation is a part of the report and it is the report (a copy of it) that needs to be submitted to the secondary school in question as a proof that a child needs to be granted the additional time in the exam.

I imagine when the teacher said that going private did not necessarily help getting extra time it meant exactly that - it is not about private vs. education authority, but about whether there is a justified need for the extra time. Going private just lets you find out much quicker where you stand with this.

NB. Initially, our school wouldn't even consider referring our DC for dyslexia assessment - he was top of the class for maths, quite good at reading but could not spell. It was only on our insistence that they agreed to a screening test done in-house and it came back with a 'moderate dyslexia'. We were told his performance at school was too good to qualify for a referral to LEA for a further assessment, but at least we knew what we were dealing with. We had no choice but to go private and very fortunate we were able to do it.

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