Is it worth getting a private assessment or should I be patient and hang in with the schools investigations?

Hi everyone, I have joined this forum as I'm feeling overwhelmed with worry about my daughter. She is 7 and in year 3. Her teacher has put her forward for tests and extra help. She has had a lucid test which has come back high probability of dyslexia. She also has visual stress and has started using the over lays. The SEN did some further tests last week for balance etc but hasn't as yet confirmed if they will do the full dyslexia test. I'm getting worried that the academic year is flying past and things are moving too slowly, but at the same time I know I need to be patient with her teacher and SEN who have been very helpful. Any advice welcome. Thank you.

15 Replies

  • It sounds like school are progressing and you should work with them as much as possible. It is great that they have also looked at visual stress as some schools are not so aware of this difficulty. You could get a Private Dyslexia test done if you wish, as schools are not obliged to do this. However, even then it is up to the school whether to provide exam arrangements etc. I hope this reassures you somewhat, but you might be best to share your concerns with school and ask them what 'next steps' they are planning.

  • Dear mummycaf

    You need an

    (i) independent report from an educational psychologist .

    (ii) An OT referal with a report

    (iii) an expert who acknowledges what exactly her needs are

    The longer the delay the harder it will for her to access the work within the classroom as the work becomes harder , she may fall behind further.

  • Hi thank you, can I ask what is an OT? Thank you

  • An OT is an occupational therapist they can be very helpful

  • I had a private assessment done at the age of 23 which I played for. The school always used to say their where test me but their never did. I feel going private have help me so much and I feel if I have this younger it would of help me so much

  • It does sound as if the school is moving forward, and it will be better not to alienate them, however that does not mean you can't be assertive. I would make an appointment with the class teacher, or even the head if you feel the teacher can't answer your questions and say quite clearly that you want to know when they are intending to send her to see an educational psychologist. Just insist that this is what you want. It sounds very clearly that there is, even within the schools limited view of dyslexia, clear indications that she has dyslexia, so apart from the usual school issue of money, what could be the reasons for not getting an ED Psych assessment. Yes you can pay for it, but why should you. I have also heard that parents have the right to go to their GP and request a referral via that route if the school stone wall you. But I think if you calm, polite, but clear and insistent there is no reason why they shouldn't refer her. Many parents just swallow the delay tactics and their children never get that formal assessment, of course it's all about money so you can understand why schools take this into consideration, but if you are clear and assertive about your demands I would be interested to know how you get on. Good luck.

  • As a parent I suggest you take action and help at home. Use an easy mobile solution and read from pictures. Then your daughter can read everything with her ear's. She will loose the stress and learn some 6,000 words in the first year. And then learning speeds up.

  • Hi, can I ask what you mean by a mobile solution? It sounds great.

  • The whole thing does seem overwhelming at first. In the end I had my son tested independently but it didn't move the school on any faster. For reasons best known to themselves schools are typically slow in all matters. If they were running the country we'd still be weaving our own cloth! You do need a report from an educational psychologist - gently but regularly remind the school you need their help. Speak to the classroom teacher about the everyday accommodations your daughter needs in the classroom. Help her with homework. I am an SEN specialist and a parent. I wrote this which I hope you will find useful

    Good luck

  • Oh my goodness, thank you so much for all your replies and for taking time to do that. Giosang your blog is exactly what I needed. It sounds like there is a good community of people effected by dyslexia and I think this will help me cope and feel like less of freak! I will be reading back through all your replies again and starting with a meeting with the school and take it from there. Thanks again I feel a big sense of relief knowing we are not the only ones!

  • Hi Mummycaf

    We have a 9 yr old son and have been in the SEN process since Sep 2012 when we realised our son was far behind in school work. We went to Dyslexia Action for him to be assessed and were shocked to learn he was very severe with working memory problems and dyslexia, dyscalculia and visual dysgraphia. We had alot of help from a school specialising in dyslexia and I can certainly recommend getting a private Ed Psych to look at your daughter they will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong and give recommendations to help her. Our son went to see another Ed Psych and the report recommended a specialist school. We had to fight a long hard road and now he is in a specialist school in a class of 8 pupils (before in mainstream a class of 35) and works independently and is improving in all areas. He will be at this school till he is 17. Pls remember though you think the school is on your side it all boils down to money in the pot and when you have an independent report give them a copy and ask the SENCO what they are going to put in place following the recommendations. You can ask the LEA to assess your daughter they will say no then you appeal to SENDIST (and then they concede and investigate ) this is the way to get a statement if your daughter needs one ie 8 hrs a week TA support etc. Wishing you lots of luck

  • Thanks again. I am setting up a meeting with the SEN and teacher to discuss her latest tests which were I think Pearson tests. But now I know some terminology so will be asking about school action and educational pscychologists. Can I also ask, as I have looked on the british dyslexia website and found good recommendations of private tutors who carry out the dsylexic tests if it comes to it, But is that something different to an educational pschologist?

    She is turning 8 in June so my main worry is missing out on help in that crucial time and I know she is aware that she can't keep up.

  • What Bill and I did was to combine the old way into Windows Mobile and later Android and iPad. When I worked in a country I always visited the Concert Hall and The Dyslexic Organization. I used HeyTell with 20 countries and Dyslexic to verify, get feed back, get changes into a very easy solution. Take a picture and hear the words on a mobile with a headset. Hear the text messages and speak a text message and translate anything. This is where you can start. Once you are confident and know that you can read (takes 1 minute) then you over time move to a larger version and lastly to the University version. It might not be what Bill and I designed and programed because you may find other solutions better for you. About 30,000 users globally are using the solution as I type. It is pound sterling 1.75 on Google Play.

  • Hi. No the BDA list specilist tutors they are not Educational Psychologists they are trained to teach children with specific learning difficulties. They can do tests and possibly charge the same as an Ed Psych but you need the top dog test and tell them it is for a tribunal because 9/10 cases go through sendist. When you ask for a statutory assesment to the LEA you are asking them to carry out tests and look at health etc they will say no 9/10 beacuse they want you to give up and go away. They did tht to me and look where my son is now. A statement and in a specialist school. They rely on parents giving up and going away and being daunted by a confusing process. So when you get your letter saying no they wont assess because your child is doing ok according to this and that normally looking at nnational curriculum levels you apply to sendist to see them at tribunal to let a panel decide whether they should assess or not. Once the LEA know you are going to sendist they normally pull out and concede to do a statutory assessment because why pay money and waste time doing a assessment that they will still refuse to issue anything at the the end of it! The process takes 26 weeks from the date you apply to assess. Dont mess about wasting time with any other test other than what an Ed Psych can do time is of the essence bearing in mind if your child needs help you are talking about a year down the line if you have to go via assessment and through tribunals to get it. Just bear in mind that to get maximum help for your child you want them to be working at their lowest levels which means dont put in extra help ie BDA teacher dont help with homework etc etc it is hard but the whole point is that a child needs to be working independently not having someone by their side constantly reading out for them or writing for them. If they cant read the homework question and can only put a dot on the page then so be it. Photocopy it and keep for evidence you need to be collecting evidence now ie school reports writing examples building profile up because you will need all of this to help your cause. So number one priority get the Ed Psych to assess then send report to SENCO at school and send to your local LEA with a covering letter asking for a stat assessment if the ed pysch recommends it. If the Ed Psych says she is not tht bad help at school ie extra TA support then meet with senco and arrange that way some schools can be brill at helping and others shockingly bad. Hope this is makes sense, it is very confusing and believe me having gone through this last year it is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. It is frustrating and doors are slammed in your face constantly but with blogs like this on DA site you can find lots of answers

  • Hi I'm in refusal to assess tribunal at the moment. LEA ed psych did an 'assessment' and said no dyslexia. He's just been seen by dyslexia action EP and told he's mild-moderate dyslexic but without specialist help he will fall into severe dyslexia. He will need a scribe, reader and extra time in exam situations. I'm still going to tribunal as it costs us nothing and I'm sick of my child losing out due to funding. I've said for 3 whole school years that he's dyslexic and looked at like I'm a neurotic mother!

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