Were is everyone?

I have had dyslexia forever I know that the science of cognitive functioning is a tough subject especially if a person has reading comprehension difficulty. That is why we need this community which I think is sadly inactive. I am interested in the difference between the way the U.S. and the U.K speak to the issues of inclusion, accommodation and education just to name a few are there resources we can share?

7 Replies

  • I think that's a difficult question. Times have changed. When I was at school it wasn't recognised. By the time I was in my final year of uni it was. As a result education was pretty tough for me. I went to uni to prove those who said I'd never make it wrong!

    But if I'm honest now I'm seeing a distinct lack of support and awareness in the uk education system. I have helped a at least 4 people who have told me they are dyslexic, by pointing them to Ierlens testing. Which has changed my life. Purple glasses rule!

  • There has been a move towards saving as much money as possible in UK schools. I have been an SEN teacher for more years than I care to remember, teaching in inner London secondary and primary schools. I worked with teams of specialist teachers trained to teach children with various needs including dyslexia. About 5 years ago our team was laid off, and the school kept only the SENCO and gave 'helpers' our jobs instead. They employed people who were unqualified to work with SEN children. Obviously they were not paid teacher's wages. That happened all over the UK. It was a huge money saving exercise. Our SENCO tells me that since they made us redundant there are more children facing public exams who can't read, let alone write! Any commitment to inclusion is driven by money -they always choose the cheap option when it come to SEN provision. Lots of rotten politics. I am very disillusioned. It's a disgrace!

  • I didn't find out about my dyslexia until a few years ago. I went to Washington State schools in the 60s and 70s which had nothing for dyslexics. When my sixth grade teacher found out I was the slowest reader in the class, she did nothing because she could do nothing. Luckily I could keep up because I could take my school books home to read.

    I don't know about the schools now. I have a friend who is a High School English teacher. She was told to teach an English class for poor students so they could graduate. She was given the kids with dyslexia as well as kids with low IQs, behavioral problems as well as kids who couldn't speak English. Not only should this have been four separate classes, but my friend really isn't trained for it (outside of being very patient and compassionate.) So I am guessing things have not changed much from my day.

    I think the UK is probably doing more for dyslexics by even admitting we exists. You will note it was the BBC that turned the American Hank Zipser into a television show (they changed Hank into a Londoner.) No American company would touch it! I never knew I was dyslexic because of all the misconceptions surrounding it.

  • Hi there, as a dyslexic mother with a dyslexic son, it is so difficult to get time to kept posting. However I will try and post more regularly. My son is diagnosed on the autistic spectrum but he shows few of the symptoms of this, I think that dyslexia and processing difficulties are the real source of his differences. The condition appears to be variable so that one day he might be listening and talking quite well and the next he is stuttering and not able to process language well. Sometimes he reads better than others, he types sometimes and writes well sometimes but the variation in his difficulties is hard for him to understand and even more difficult for his teachers.It leads to a general "covering up" in him, he says he has learned to "shut up". To me this means trying to pass for neuro-typical, and not expressing his non linear style of thinking in front of people who do not understand him.This however leads to frustration and low self esteem. Every time I have tried to find other teenagers that he could be more himself with, it has failed, because when you are neither one thing or the other, that is neither reliably like other "typical" teenagers, nor autistic enough, nor hyperactive enough nor any other diagnosis enough to be like other people there is no group for you. You just fall between all the categories. Similarly there is no strategy to deal with you because the health service say you are not ill enough, not mentally ill, the speech therapists say you do not have a stutter that they can treat. The education people will not statement you because you are able to do some things sometimes. Because there is no name for this there is no community to help.Sometimes you are not sure what even to cover up or reveal. The diagnosis Autism is seen as some kind of social death, Aspergers means you have to be good at certain stereotypical subjects. People continually fail to understand what dyslexia is and how variable it is. People try to comfort you by either ignoring things or thinking that your child must have some kind of genius talent that will make everything somehow better. We are constantly given examples of famous people who are dyslexic as if we can all be like them.We are neither disabled and able to get help that way, nor "normal" and "like everyone else".

    Added to this you are presented with mountains of paperwork and multiple forms when you are the least able person to take on this form of bureaucracy. So, your variable disablements mesh with your child's and this leads to a double hidden disability where you and your child need help and there is no help because there is no name for it. I tell my child that he is just unique and that we will find a way through all this, but with GCSE's looming and him getting very low grades it is hard to know where we will turn next. When you have dyslexia which has been undiagnosed for most of your life and then your child has it, It is the loneliest feeling in the world. People forget that many of us will be in low paid jobs or not working to the most of our talents, because that talents can be variable as well.So we are unlikely to be well off enough to be able to pay for tuition or treatments.

    I will keep posting to let you know how we are getting on. Everyone out there who this rings a bell with please post as well.

  • Hi Rose, I find it so frustrating to read this. You both should be getting a lot more support. I wish you every success and remember that GCSEs aren't everything, it's possible to do them at college when your son is older, and there are other courses besides GCSEs you can do at college, more practical courses and probably much more stimulating and interesting ones too! Concentrate on his basic skills. Here's an article I wrote about how I support my son, I am an SEN teacher and I wrote it hoping that it would be of use to parents who are at a loss. It is for both primary and secondary aged kids - let me know if you find it of any use. here's the link: adventuretravels.hubpages.c...

  • That rings lots of bells!! I have a 9 year old son and it is so difficult to "name" what is wrong, but lots of things are wrong. He has support in school for dyslexia, has had language therapy to improve expressive language. He gets very frustrated with everything. Finds all sorts of situations stressful. I keep getting told by friends that I should have him assessed again but I have no idea what I'm supposed to get him assessed for. His abilities can be hugely variable. At my last meeting with the head teacher I said he still can't spell his surname but she reckoned his test scores don't show that level ôf difficulty. He finds it really hard to get to sleep, says he feels like everything is wrong. Yet he can be happy, sociable, kind and clever. Some days he can read fairly well, other days he gets simple words wrong or totally misses the meaning of a sentence because of mis reading one word. Then he's hugely stressed and frustrated. He spends hours writing a couple of paragraphs then can't read it himself and only a few words are readable by anyone else. He hates being rushed, hates not having a clear understanding of what is going to happen next. Struggles with days of the week. Tell anyone he's dyslexic and the reply is "he'll learn to read / write later". No understanding of everything that comes with dyslexia. And I'm dyslexic too, it's exhausting.

  • There are practical things you can use to help.My son uses a dictation machine with dragon software at school and an i pad at home. This is a really big help as you can talk into it and it will type for him. Coloured glasses are great for some people and they can be made up quite cheaply if you shop around. The best thing is to work directly with SEN people as they are generally good people.Most of all ignore all the stupid data that spews out of modern schools, this is rubbish and is hated byteachers and parents alike. Our children simply do not fit into predicted grades and other such rubbish.We have to start sticking together as a community to best serve our children.

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