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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am
Posts: 17
Hi mums,

I hope you can give me some advice on DD's situation. She is in year 5 currently and will be sitting for her 11+ exam in September 2018 (in Redbridge and Essex borough). I think DD has mild dyslexia, I say mild because she never had problems with reading when she was younger. She often used to write some letters backwards such as b, d, s and z until year 2/3. We spoke to the teacher about it at that time, they reassured us it's normal for that age. (We found it strange though as my younger DD who is 2 years younger never got those letters mixed up). She is very able in maths and her literacy has been good so far (above -average and never warranted any attention from teachers). She has always been on the top set at school for both maths and English.

We didn't realise how poor her writing is until now. She always avoided writing and said she disliked it so we didn't probe her further. Recently, we started writing every week in preparation for 11+ exam. Her handwriting is awful, her spelling is quite poor especially for words that has ie, au in the middle (e.g. field, friend, beautiful she would often swap the letter around). What's puzzling is she can spell it out correctly if I ask her verbally. She is very articulate but her writing does not reflect that at all, she can barely put her thoughts together. She doesn't do her capitals consistently and punctuation is very poor too. She reads a lot and is an avid reader, so we couldn't understand why she would have these issues. In the most recent parent teacher meeting, her teacher mentioned to us her thoughts and speech don't match up to writing but he wasn't particularly concerned. She struggles with comprehension tasks too, often missing a line or missing some texts. Same text if I read it out aloud, she understands it perfectly and is able to answer all questions correctly. In Maths she would read the number other way around, for example read 86 as 68. Both DH and I told her off many times for her silly mistakes and she would often say she didn't notice(now feeling very guilty about it). I mentioned these issues to a friend who works in SEN field, she immediately suggested I get her tested for dyslexia. She has been sending me some resources which I have been reading up on, it's like a light bulb moment.

The school she goes to has a SENCO department, I am going to flag it up to her teacher and SENCO to get some help. Other mums in the school said it's a very slow process. One of the mums have been waiting for a year to get a referral for EP appointment because the borough has many SEN children and limited funding. Unless a child has serious issues, they don't send for an assessment immediately. Since DD is above average, they are not likely to do anything soon. I would really like her to get some help at school and get a diagnosis asap (if it does come out to be true). Also I would like her to get a diagnosis before we apply for the 11+ test which is in June so that we can put it on her application form.

My question is shall I go down the private route? If yes, would the LEA (Redbridge and Essex) accept that to provide extra support at school and perhaps some consideration for 11+ exam? Is there anyone in Redbridge or Essex who has been through the process? Any advice would be appreciated. Also a private EP recommendation would be grateful.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
I’m dyslexic myself and have had suspicions about DD, although she is now in year 11 and is coping fine (even considering doing A level English!).
What you’ve said sounds familiar, but every case is different. I would expect getting an assessment through the school will likely take ages, and if your DD isn’t under performing in general they don’t ‘see’ any issues. Mixing up and reversing letters can just be a sign of immaturity in year 2 (I was told much the same), but at what point is it no longer just that. DD was still getting Js back to front in year 5/6.

If you can afford the private route it is probably worth doing, if only to make sure she gets the targeted help she needs. It is worth checking if their report will be accepted by LEA beforehand.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
You can find a Chartered Psychologist using the search tool here. Simply enter your postcode and select "Child" and "Educational > Dyslexia Assessment": https://www1.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/dcp

Although EPs can vary a bit in the quality of their reports, anyone you find on there will be fully qualified to undertake the assessment. The best way to select someone is then to have a talk to them over the phone because it will give you a feel for how enthused they are by the process, and also what follow-up support might be available if necessary.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am
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Thank you mums for replying. Any ideas on how I can help her to remember tricky spellings, capitals and punctuation etc?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:14 am
Posts: 171
You could do a search here to see if there is someone local to you who can do an assessment:

https://www.patoss-dyslexia.org/Support ... ssorIndex/

It may also be worth looking into getting an eye test with a behavioural optometrist as the problem could be a tracking issue.

I would suggest you speak to the school about the capitals and punctuation as I think it is odd for them to consider your DC to be working beyond age expectations (above average) if they are showing a noticeable weakness in this area, tbh.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:56 am
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The primary school (SENCO) should be able to do a test themselves. It won't carry any weight with the LEA but it will flag any potential issues and inform them of any next steps. From memory it gives a breakdown of the reading skills used such as "phonic decoding" and a summary such as "potential mild dyslexia".

The emphasis on phonics in KS1 has (in my opinion) let down a lot of kids who don't get on with phonics and would be better with a "whole language" approach but that's a rant for another day.

My suspicion is that you won't get enough evidence to warrant any help (from what you say) and given your daughter has been avoiding writing, it has probably exasperated the issue. You may need to encourage some extra reading/writing at home. I speak from experience. "her teacher mentioned to us her thoughts and speech don't match up to writing" - rang a lot of bells. In our case some extra reading/writing got us to a fairly decent level. Not going to win any spelling bees anytime soon but enough to pass an 11+ :)

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:47 pm
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https://find.redbridge.gov.uk/kb5/redbr ... o8CR1SQQKw

This link may assist with a general discussion and local advice.I would suggest discussing your concerns with the english teacher , the headteacher of the school and the LEA.It would also assist you to get hold of the schools SEN policy.You have highlighted one of the difficulties in that children brighter than average since they appear to be coping are not having their disabilities diagnosed.I wouldn't necessarily assume your child has dyslexia until you have a definitive diagnosis.Clearly she is showing signs of dyslexia but it may be another condition or conditions combined.

The local authority are likely to have both experienced psychologists and experienced teachers who can do a report in assessing learners with dyslexia/specific learning difficulties.A proper assessment can take the best part of a morning and can take place in school.The report should not assess general IQ,but should address and could include:
Literacy skills and attainment,
Written skills,
The wide range Intelligence test,
Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing,
Working memory test battery for children and British Picture Vocabulary.

What in particular the assessor and you will need to consider any scores which fall at 85 or under.

Through the local authority it is free for the assessments.If this route is not possible you will have to consider other routes.

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

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am
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To be honest, I am very surprised the school hasn't picked it up. She moved to a new school last year and had 3 teacher changes unfortunately, so it could have been missed. I only noticed how awful it is recently when I enrolled her in a creative writing course and the teacher marked her work (it looked red all over the paper for capital punctuation mistakes). Thank you for the PATOSS website. I found some local tutors there. I will contact them for an assessment. However, it seems they are not EP.

loopylala wrote:
You could do a search here to see if there is someone local to you who can do an assessment:

https://www.patoss-dyslexia.org/Support ... ssorIndex/

It may also be worth looking into getting an eye test with a behavioural optometrist as the problem could be a tracking issue.

I would suggest you speak to the school about the capitals and punctuation as I think it is odd for them to consider your DC to be working beyond age expectations (above average) if they are showing a noticeable weakness in this area, tbh.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am
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Thank you all for being really helpful. I made an appointment with the teacher to discuss. Hopefully, it would get somewhere.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 514
How did it go?

See threads above here (my Dyslexic DD threads) for details of our journey.

If you want your DC to sit the 11 plus then check with your exam board as they can give extra time for proven significant dyslexia: you are lilely to need a private diagnostic assessment for this as the school “screenings” are not deemed official enough for exam purposes. The British Dyslexia Association have regional centres which offer private one-off testing, it costs about £400-£500 so not cheap, but this is valid for 2-3 years and benchmarks your child’s abilities/issues against standardised testings. Check with your exam board: often testing has to be eg in the year before the test entry date. You want her to be at least 9years old as before that they can’t standardise handwriting speed properly (which is an important part of the test for your child).

Your child sounds like mine: bright, ok at reading superficially but can’t decode phonemes in long words, can’t spell well, mixes up middles of words, and can’t write due to the processing delay from head to pen. This is sometimes described as a “spiky” profile: would be v high achieving were it not for the language processing issues.

Lastly: make sure you pay careful attention to the SEn provision of both your target Gs and the non-selective backups. A good school due not equal good dyslexia support!
It’s v important that you are aware that more severe dyslexics find the 11 plus kuch more tricky to pass because of the processing speed issue, even the extra time doesn’t really compensate, and if they find the pace is just too much it may be they will struggle in a GS environment. So bear in mind this info and make sure you’re happy with theboptions should she not pass.


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