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Hi, I'm new here. My son is 11 and in year 7 at school. the recently ran a LASS Lucid Analysis on him and have said it showed "well compensated dyslexia", which absolutely fits with the problems he has.

I home educated him from the age of 8 (year 3) as his primary school labelled him "lazy", whatever evidence I presented them with.

He actually had bacterial meningitis when he was 3 weeks old and I get the impression that this can cause all sorts of problems due to brain injury.

He's a lovely lad and very bright, but really does struggle with certain things. The good news is that the school are going to provide him with a laptop for class work and he will be able to use this in exams. They will also apply for extra time for GCSE exams in the next academic year.

His "label" has been a total relief to him, as it gives him reasons for the difficulties he has.

I guess I'm just here for general support when needed. Thanks for reading.

Sophie

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  • My son is also in yr 7 and hated primary school and became disruptive and frustrated and was very unhappy. I paid for an assessment in July which confimrmed dyslexia and he probably has dysgraphia and or dyspraxia as his writing is very difficult to read. He is much happier at secondary school as the structure seems to suit him better but they have not given him a laptop and I don't think all the teachers are aware of all his difficulties. I'm not sure if it is a funding issue for him to not get a laptop or if they dont feel it necessary at the moment. Interesting that they apply for extra time in yr 8 for GCSE's so I will make sure I will ask the SENCO. There is so little support around and our local support group has shut down and it is difficult to get a list of dyslexic tutors. Mind you after a day at school my son does not want to do anything school related and homework is always a battle. My son also felt a bit relieved about the diagnosis as all along he felt he was stupid and not as good as the others which added to his frustrations. He is still young (youngest in yr) and is still trying to understand his brain works differently and to work out how best he learns.

    Mary

  • Hello Mary,

    Your son is not too young for a laptop and I would go to the the SENCO about that as well as the exam arrangements. The thing about getting special arrangements is that the school has to prove that the child is getting help as a way of coping with his every day school life. In other words the school has to prove that you child works better with support. Also tell your SENCO about how tired he is after school (that's not unusual) and arrange for differentiated H/W. For example could he tape record his work instead of writing it down, or could he draw something in stead of writing it, could you be his scribe - I used to write down my son's words and help him to make his book lovely so that the teachers didn't perceive him as lazy. I am a special needs teacher with a son who has dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia and so I have a great deal of experience.Here's a link to an article I wrote specifically to give practical help to parents like us. Hope it's helpful: wehavekids.com/education/dy...

  • Hello Sophie, Welcome!

    My son struggled through secondary school even though we moved miles to find him one that should have been perfect! The three main areas of difficulty were bullying, recording work and changing the teacher's perceptions of my son.

    The bullying was never resolved. My son is gorgeous in every way ( well I would say that wouldn't I!) so the bullying came because he was different - you can't hide dyslexia, nor should you have to!! So keep an eye on that.

    The classwork improved a lot with the lap top, but make sure your son properly records the homework, he'll need help from the teacher to get that right.

    Finally, changing the teacher's perceptions was a huge hurdle and in the end we home educated him through his year 10 and 11 and he did his GCSEs at school as a private candidate.

    You probably already know all this but make sure you meet regularly with the SENCO and that the tutor is aware of his needs - keep records/minutes of all your meetings. All his teachers should have his IEP - Individual education plan. The lap top is very useful. Report all instances of bullying immediately, again keeping records, and make sure you know what the school's policy is so that you can hold them to account. Don't let them fob you off, if your son says it's happening, then it most probably is! Help your son with organisation eg school bag & homework. My son was given extra time and a computer for his GCSEs and that was a big help.

    The most useful thing you can do to improve his literacy is encourage your son to listen to ebooks. My son started with The Wind in the Willows, and never looked back. Choosing ebooks online is fun online. Don't worry about the actual reading, he should just lie back at bed time and listen - this will develop his vocabulary enormously and a sense of good English. It will help him with all his subjects as understanding and comprehension are vital for academic success, much more than just spelling!! Also, you will open up a wealth of wonderful books for him. My son loves his Kindle.

    Hope I've been a help!! Good luck. Nice to meet you.

    Giovanna

  • It is very hard getting School's to believe you, my son was also labelled lazy and they said he wasn't dyslexic but guess what he is also has Irlen syndrome but because they haven't heard of it they don't believe there is such a thing.

  • Hello - isn't that disgraceful - you've never heard of something, so you don't believe it exists -huh!! It sounds as though you've got a real fight on you hands! Go to your SENCO ASAP and tell her to google this: irlenuk.com/about-irlen-syn... - there are lots of other sites with info online - there's no excuse for ignorance! It's a SENCO's job and responsibility to know about these things and to support their children so that they can properly access education. That's the law! I would go and see the head and explain what's going on. Keep a record of the meeting and demand that something is done for your son. Have you seen this site? irlen.com/ Has your son got an IEP ( individual education plan?) If not demand he has one written and that the school properly assess his needs.

    Good luck. Your son needs specialist support and he won't get it unless you demand it!!

    Hope this helps.

  • Sounds like the school are prepared with laptops - which is a great support. See if they have any of these - cpenshop.com/product/examre...

    I used to be a teaching assistant - now gone onto teacher training and I'm dyslexic myself (only found out 11 months ago) but when i was a TA we tested and trailed those pens on several dyslexic students, they loved them that much the school brought ten .... and are looking at buying more. Those pens can be used in exams (approved by the exam board) - so the exam paper can be read to your son! I know GCSEs are a little while off but i also know how long these things take to sort and to get use to.

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