Am I over reacting?

My daughter is 8 years old and she's always struggled with reading. However this year she has fallen so far behind and lost almost 50% of where she was at at the end of the last school year and send to be struggling more now then used to. She knows her letters and their sounds but when it cont'd to putting it all together to create the word she gets so lost. She mixes a few of her letters up still like b&d, she still writes some of her letters backword and will misplace letters in words when trying to read them. I'm beginning to think she may have dyslexia or some other learning disability, am I jumping the gun on this? If not Joe do I go about getting her checked out and diagnosed?

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I would get her tested if you think she may be dyslexic, the school tested my son and they said no he is not dyslexic just lazy I wouldn’t accept it I got him tested he is dyslexic and dyslexic, now he is in yr6 coming up to the SATS and because of the school he is even more behind than he should of been. It will be a hard journey for you because you are your daughters advocate and if she is dyslexic you will have to be on the school case to make sure they put things in place for her at school to help, they always start off great then you get the LSA teachers, not all of them, who don’t know enough about your child and don’t put the right strategies in place for them and don’t listen, and then your there again fighting, get it done now for piece of mind.

Sorry to rant can you tell I’m ready for a meeting with the school 😀

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No need for apologies I appreciate the input and info about keeping up on the schools too. I'm currently not impressed with her teacher and gonna figure it what I need to do to get her switched.

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I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time at your school and you're right to keep on at them because they will try to do things on the cheap if they can.

As far a the SATs result go, don't worry about them AT ALL. They mean nothing for your child or anybody else's for that matter. SATs are there solely for testing the school so that new parents can see whether it's a 'good' school or not. That is why teachers put so much emphasis on them, and literally stop teaching the curriculum in order to get the kids to do the tests well. Your boy will be tested in a more meaningful way when he goes to his secondary school. They will test him regardless of his SATs results. Also, if he has a diagnosis of dyslexia, that will be far more significant than any 'good' or 'bad' SATs results. I did not prepare my son ever for any primary school tests - I couldn't bare to watch him struggle and worry about things that were not helping him to improve. I hate SATs because they are very hard and not suitable for dyslexic children in any way, shape or form. In fact they damage their self-esteem. I would tell the school that you do not want your son tested at all. See what they say. If they insist, then tell your son not to worry at all about them - literally ignore them - tell him it's a load of rubbish and take him to do the things he loves -that will be far more beneficial to you both! Believe me they're not important. I have worked as a SEN teacher in secondary schools for many years and we just simply ignored SATs results.

Hope this helps -I am feeling your rage.

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You have just put a smile on my face thank you

I have just re- read his report from when I had him tested for dyslexia and the School are not taking his short term memory into consideration plus the dyspraxia, they don’t seem to realise that holds him back more than the dyslexia!!

I have my notes and a meeting after half term to see them, fingers crossed they listen

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Do make sure you get everything they say in writing. It's essential because you need evidence that you've asked or help.

My son is dyspraxic too, so I totally understand and agree with what you say.

Good luck tell us how you get on.

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I have now managed to get a half hour appointment with the senco and my son class teacher, I get the feeling they are not looking forward to seeing me, for when I was on the phone to her talking she turned round and said that he was still socially immature and that could be one of his problems!!

I was lost for words, yes he is one of the youngest in the year but how is that holding him back?

I think this will be a interesting meeting. Has this ever been said to anyone else?

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Yes it has! It's a load of flannel, nonsense and BS. They are all children -how the hell can they be mature!! My son was 5 when they told me he wasn't an 'independent learner' - this was nursery!! Make sure you keep notes and ask them to put any decisions made (or not) in writing. If they don't do that, then you write to them stating everything that happened in the meeting. Can't wait to hear what they say to you!

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Please can I recommend a book for dyspraxia: Developmental Dyspraxia by Madeleine Portwood. Published by David Fulton Publishers. The last person I recommended this to was able to obtain a second hand copy for just a few pounds, I think from Abe Books.

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I will look for it thanks

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Never mind a 'diagnosis' - get Toe by Toe...

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What is toe by toe??

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No absolutely - not. Without a diagnosis you will not get the help that you need. Toe by Toe is a programme that should be done by a professional who knows how to do it properly and who knows exactly why they're doing it. Otherwise it's next to useless. I have seen so many untrained people trying to do Toe by Toe and making things worse not better.

Go to the school SENCO and demand to be treated with respect, which means getting your daughter tested at school. If, because of cutbacks, they can't do that then you should get go on this site dyslexiaaction.org.uk/ and find an educational psychologist (ED Psy) ASAP. An Ed Psy will do all the tests necessary to establish exactly what your daughter's difficulties are - it may be that she's not dyslexic but has other underlying learning issues. Once you have that diagnosis you can go to the school, (and later her her secondary school) , with the written evidence/report and they will then be legally obliged to provide the right sort of help. Then, and only then, it may be that Toe by Toe will be a a right thing to do.

Put everything you say to the school in writing - including writing a letter to the school after each phone call or meeting, confirming what was said. Ask them to put everything in writing too. This is essential because then they can't deny that you have asked for help and also, they will find it very hard to put in writing that they are not helping your daughter. Keep a record of everything that happens. You may need it later on.

Good luck let us know how you get on.

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Sorry to hear of your daughters struggles. First thing is to definately have a word with the school teacher about your concerns. Teachers unfortunately are not given training on whether to say a child is dyslexic or not this is the job of an Educational Psychologist. First thing I would do is ask for your daughters Year 2 SAT results and see what she scored in those tests. If a low score this obviously highlights a concern. Also ask for the SENCO at the school to observe her and put it in writing so it is all documented on her school file. Girls tend not to be diagnosed for dyslexia early as they dont tend to disrupt a class however, if she was disruptive she probably would get alot more help earlier on. If you want to get her diagnosed my advice would be to go privately with an Educational Psychologist. The reason for this is if you let the school do their Ed Psych's are thin on the ground a typical school will get about 3 - 5 Ed Psych visits a year and they tend to look at the disruptive child rather than the quite dyslexic plodding on. Expect to pay £500 for a test which WISC or WIAT is favoured. In Birmingham there is a ex LA Ed Psych who I used for my son and she charges £300. Just remember that school Ed Psych's have their wages paid by the Educational Authority - according to my sons school Ed Pysch their was not one mention of dyslexia in her report just what he was good at and he now, after a fight with the local authority and appeals to tribunal, attend a specialist dyslexic school and is fully statemented transferring on to an EHCP which will see him get help whilst he remains in education up to the age of 25. So as you can see if you suspect dyslexia it is beneficial to get the right test, right diagnosis and the right education for your child so she can reach her full potential. Remember your right to go to tribunal which costs nothing unless you employ the services of a specialist solicitor do lots of research on net mums social media etc and look at IPSEA web site, Talking SENse, Maple Hayes Hall School who all give excellent information to concerned parents. Good luck

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