School think she's deliberately pushing the boundaries. I think it may be dyslexia

I'm concerned my daughter may have dyslexia but that it won't be investigated by the school.

She is a bright, imaginative 6 year old, and kind to her 3 year old sister.

However, she does not seem happy at school and her teachers are often unhappy with her behaviour and levels of concentration in lessons.

My husband, her father, is dyslexic and wasn't checked or tested until he reached college at 16. He said he suffered miserably at primary and secondary with being held back at breaktimes in order for him to catch up with work he couldn't manage in class time. He was labelled a troublemaker and lazy, and he was left feeling he must be stupid.

I really don't want for this to happen to my daughter. So many on here seem to wish their dyslexia had been diagnosed so much earlier in their lives, so I just want to make sure I do all I can to help my daughter if she is suffering from dyslexia too.

I don't accept that she is a bad girl as they seem to imply at school. I think she struggles to meet their demands in the time allowed because she needs longer to process the information.

I realise I haven't gone into much detail, and she can read and write (although not great, but you could say it's early days as she's in Year 1).

Any comments? Thanks

9 Replies

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  • I really hope you get this sorted, like you say she could well be dyslexic, I went through school without being diagnosed (no such thing in my day) it was bloody miserable. I wont advise you as someone will be along shortly to give far better advice than I can.

    Meanwhile there are lots of "Dyslexia symptoms in children" sites if you Google it.

    Best of luck for the future.

    Ian

  • Hi Thebes- There are so many posts on here just like yours and you will have to bare in mind that the tests required to diagnose Dyslexia are often best done aged 7years, but your local education authority may be able to point you in the right direction to special resources in your area. Do discuss your thoughts and concerns with your child's teachers and Head as they should also be able to advise and keep an eye on her progress. You can get independent assessments but again best left till aged 7 apparently as results are clearer by this age. Kids all learn at different rates so she may just be taking more time to get to grips with reading and writing but most very young dyslexics reach a learning plateaux and stop progressing around 5 - 7 years as they don't get the whole phonics process as they are more visual learners.

    Also remember that even in school a SENCO teacher may assist your child but may not have received any specific training dealing with dyslexics. When a teacher has no understanding of how to help a dyslexic child you have to get involved at home and assist you child all you can. Until an assessment can be arranged at 7 years do what you can to encourage daily reading and read to her so she is not scared to pick up a book, but encourage her in an good subjects and concentrate on what she can do and achieve so her self confidence stays high. It's when a kid gets labeled as disruptive or slow but you know they are intelligent and bright, it's the school's lack of understanding not your child's abilities, they are just not getting the teaching methods being used which are not suitable for all kids. I hope this helps, you are by no means alone in this. Try the web for info and you may try having her ears and sight tested also as glasses also helped my son. Good Luck!

  • You can be clearly diagnosed by a specialist from the age of 6. Go to your nearest Dyslexia Action and ask for your daughter to be assessed by one of their recommended educational psychologists. We went through Bristol and they sent us to Paul Sanderson who was fantastic and also recommended to us by a friend. An specialist educational psychologist will be able to assess for a range of issues not just dyslexia. Their report doesn't come cheap - but not more than most people spend on their Christmas presents - but it's worth it's weight in gold. You control it - you don't even have to tell the school you are having it done but the school has to take proper note of any report presented by a qualified ed psych. Don't wait - get on with it. We've gone down this route twice now with our children (one was diagnosed at 6 and the other at 11)and three times with friends; all of us had tried the conventional route and found it wholly inadequate. If you think there is something your child needs then you are probably correct especially if learning difficulties already are in the family. Don't wait and take control of this for your daughter's sake.

  • Dyslexia can be hereditary but the way a child is treated also can make a difference so concentrate on creating a supportive home environment where books are enjoyed and read together rather than becoming a chore. You should inform the SENCO at school that the reason you are concerned, even at this early age, is that a close relative has Dyslexia. Distractibility and bad behaviour (often to avoid the tasks which they find hard) can be a sign of dyslexia. There is a good observation sheet which could be a first step for you: bso.bradford.gov.uk/userfil... - sorry about the long website address (use cut and paste!). Some of this won't be relevant to your child as this age but it will help you (and the SENCO) look for signs.

    Hope this response is helpful

  • Thank you for your comments. They are providing me wth ideas and a little confidence not to give up. I think I will follow up on requesting attention from the school senco. I have not mentioned my suspicions of dyslexia as yet in this school year but I did bring it up in yearR. I'm concerned they won't take me seriously and say I'm making excuses for her behaviour which I don't think I am.

  • Keep fighting and don't give up! You are the parent and you know your child better than anyone else. We battled with school for years and gave up in teh end to home educate our son. Looking back, I wish I had moved him sooner to a more sympathetic school, but I kept thinking things would get better. You can also contact the education pychologists at the LA yourself. They were more helpful than I thought they would be - and you can apply for an assessment directly as a parent if school won't help. It may be something other than dyslexia blocking her learning (is she being bullied?). In my experience the LA will 'wait' to see if she outgrows it - in the meantime she may still struggle so you need to force them to step in.

    I would recommend Dyslexia action for an assessment - it made no difference at school, but it helped us understand what was happening. It also helped my son to realise he wasn't thick but had something that was making it hard for him to learn the same as the other children. Also the paediatric occupational therapist did a general assessment - we had to really push for an assessment through the GP, but they have been helpful with the non-dyslexic problems.

    Best of luck and don't give up, given the right help your daughter will hopefully settle down.

  • i would say get your child assessed and get yourself a back up of knowledge, THEN go speak to the head and first ask them if they know about dyslexia and ask questions , because all you know A. they don't have a clue what it is, B.they may "know" but in fact have a very misguided knowledge about it.

    talk to them in a polite gentle manner but be the one in authority on the subject considering this is your child we are speaking about. tell them your child has it, tell them the level (if you are told) and tell them what she goes through and how she sees and understands things. go from there with them and , if IF they don't come forward and ask or offer what they can do to help for a brighter future for your child. that's when you need to put your foot down.

    after all considering teachers may soon be forced into learning about dyslexia as part of their training, this as a school may be a boost to their new direction of teaching

  • i was in a simmiler situation to your hubby, i got assesd at 16 when i went to collage, all thourgh primary and secondary school i was sean as a troublemaker, or a bright child who will not coperate. I knew the answers but couldnt explain them,when i went to collage i was assesed for irlen sydrom (needing overlays) which helped with the conserntation, then got assesd for dyslexia and found i have that too which helped with getting help for college, i then got found to have ADHD which explains things but doesnt help. i suggest you put pressure on the school to asses her ASAP, in the meantime proveide appropreate support xx

  • HI - Our son showed dyslexic tendencies age 6 and now aged 8 we had him assessed by an Ed Psyh at Dyslexia Action. Firstly I would recommend that you speak with the teacher and if they suspect dyslexia ask for an Individual Education Plan and that your child be placed on School Action where interventions can be now made. Keep all school reports examples of work as like us you may need them in the future. Our son progressed from School Action to School Action Plus where the school should provide outside intervention. We are at the stage now we asked the LEA for a Statutory Assessment and they refused so now we are going to Tribunal as we appealed. Our son was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and we were told by the Ed Psyh that we would have to fight the local LEA. We have found a local teacher who is a specialist in Dyslexia (look at Patoss) where our son attends a class every week and without this help he probably would not be reading like he does. Remain positive also and still encourage to read. Self esteem is the biggest problem with a child identified with dyslexia as like our son his younger sister by two years overtook him with her reading and he had a major meltdown calling himself stupid and an idiot which is heartbreaking too watch a child not feel like they are good enough. It is a double edged sword you put interventions in place as a parent but then your child gets by at school and the school say they are doing OK but without the after school lessons they would flounder and self esteem is low and then it can lead to behaviour issues sometimes you cant win. Good luck

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