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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:44 pm
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We have just had a diagnosis of Irlen syndrome. The report recommends extra time, natural lighting and coloured paper. Until we get the glasses it is hard to determine how much they will improve things and whether these things will be required in addition to the glasses. Not sure the extra time will help - she is generally fairly quick anyway and can't spot mistakes because it is still jumbled the second time. Natural lighting is essential and should be ok in her school. For coloured paper hopefully the lenses will correct it enough and I am concerned that the school might make an error when photocopying or the quality won't be as clear. Will it be possible to request it but only use if needed in September? She probably will benefit from coloured scrap paper though. She has been using coloured paper and overlays for a while but might not need it if the glasses fully correct, but would need it if her glasses broke for any reason. It is a bit like a person who needed reading glasses needing a magnifier if her glasses broke. We have a meeting at school but not sure what to request (for Kent 11 plus).


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:21 pm 
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We are Kent, and are going through a similar situation. DD has Irlens too, and has coloured glasses. From what I understand, requesting coloured paper/ photocopies is quite straightforward.
We are looking into the possibility of extra time. DD had an Ed Psych report in October, which identified relatively slow processing speed and dyslexia, and advised DD would benefit from extra time in tests. However, despite her year 4 teacher (who left last summer) recommending various interventions, none have been forthcoming, and the school have not acted on the Ed Psych report. Now the SENCo is more or less implying that it is difficult to apply for extra time. She says as DD is working at above average levels (except spelling), it is hard to request extra time...but surely most, if not all children sitting the 11+ will be working at that level? She will try if we really want her to, but......
I am cross that there has been no support in school, and now because the school have not put interventions in place, the Senco is saying it is difficult to apply for extra time. I am unsure whether to pursue it or not now. Also, like you Monochromat, I am a little unsure of how much benefit it will be...spotting a spelling mistake will be difficult no matter how long she has! But given that, DD needs to score as high as possible in the comprehension, so to that end, extra time might be good.
We need to let SENCo know what we want to do.....any advice anyone?!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:06 pm 
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Hi,
Extra time is there to level the playing field. There is a lot of paperwork and some SENCOs find it overwhelming. However, Kent are quite accommodating and provide guidance to SENCOs, therefore I would insist in requesting the extra time. If not granted and the child does not pass you would have something to say at appeal.
More importantly, children who get extra time get put into a separate room when taking the test and this can be reassuring for some children. However, others may feel embarrassed and may not want to explain to their friends why they go somewhere else.
I would ask the school if they will be requesting extra time for SATs. If they will, then there is no excuse not to request it for the 11+.

If the SENCO doesn't cooperate, I would contact KCC and explain the situation; provide the information prepared by the health professionals involved. Ask for guidance as it's not fair that the SENCO should be blocking your application. At the end of the day, all you are asking is for the panel to consider your child's case.

Have all documents scanned and offer to send them. Do remember that there is a deadline. Above all, don't give up. Your child is at a disadvantage and the fact that the school do not follow the recommendations doesn't mean that they are not needed or that the secondary school will not put them into place. Remember that the SEN file follows your child to their secondary school.

Good luck!

Salsa


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:36 pm 
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Thank you, it sounds as if we should request extra time even if it won't help much. I think one thing which would help would be extra break so might ask for that. She doesn't have lenses yet but she has been wearing tinted sunglasses which her tutor has said have made a difference and she is performing well on timed tests. I guess after experience with older daughter I am looking at everything from the viewpoint of an appeal, so I think that I will email the report to school/SENCO and highlight the recommendations then at least I have a paper trail and so if it comes to appeal I can say 'look I asked school but they didn't request/ wasn't granted'. If it is granted (but still need to appeal) then hopefully we can still show acceleration after diagnosis. Her progress over 9 months with filters has been substantial and she says the lenses are even better. Fortunately she doesn't have dyslexia so that is one less hurdle to overcome.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:54 am 
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I don't really know if this is helpful, but my daughter is Autistic and also has Irlens and is using overlays. She sat 2 separate 11+ exams last year, for 2 different boroughs and passed both with flying colours. As she had not been diagnosed at the time of the test she had no special provision. Now, it has been recommended that she takes exams in a different room from other kids in future and that she sit by natural light. She has sat her SAT's since her diagnosis - I asked her what she wanted. She chose to sit in with the rest of the kids, only the comprehension was printed on coloured paper, apparently, photocopying some maths graphs and images onto colour paper can distort them and so it can be counter-productive. She got 120 in English and 116 in Maths. Have you asked her how she feels about it? Does she think she can cope with minimal adjustment? Instructions are pre recorded so there is little you can do but prepare her to listen very carefully and make sure she is comfortable with the timing. I can't remember who said this (might have been a SenCo) but I've heard that they rarely give extra time now and part of what's expected in a Grammar is related to speed. (...and don't get me onto the subject of how many questions they have to answer in a tight timeframe!!!) Wishing her lots of good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:18 am 
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This was a useful discussion on this topic on a previous thread relating to such applications in Buckinghamshire for the 11 plus and SATs in relation to dyslexia.

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=43510

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:47 pm 
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She has had the lenses for about 6 weeks now and they have made a major improvement. She is getting in the 70-80% range on practice papers, she only needs a bare pass to go to her preferred school. Most importantly she seems happier, fewer verbal tics, her reading is much more fluent and she seems more confident. We haven't heard yet about extra time, the SENCO said August, so preparing for no special conditions - although they have said that she can choose where she can sit which will really help. I have heard that they tend only to give time for the writing, but at least it might be useful in an appeal to highlight her disadvantage. Just have to hope that her spellings catch up with her reading soon.


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