In December we found out our daughter is Dyslexic. We could really do with some help finding the right help for her. Can you help?

She is 9 years old, in year 5 at school and has been put on school action.

She has issues with her memory, spelling, times tables recall and handwriting.

She loves anything to do with drama, music and is very creative.

I need help with:

Knowing what help to push for at school?

What questions to ask?

How to find out if a Secondary school is Dyslexia friendly?

What outside help is available?

As a probable dyslexic myself I've found the pages and pages of information on-line hard to trawl through! Any help would be much appreciated.

7 Replies

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  • If you had an assessment done to find out your daughter is Dyslexic then there should be some useful suggestions of next steps in the report? In any case I would suggest you build up a good relationship at school and have a meeting to find out what extra help is being put into place now that she has gone up to School Action. It sounds like support with some aspects of maths and literacy would be useful so discuss the issues you have mentioned in your post and ask how these areas can be addressed. You can have some outside private tuition from Dyslexia Action or find the list of specialist teachers in your area (via the BDA or Patoss websites); but see what schools proposals are first.

  • Hi

    You might also like to get in touch with other parents through Parent Champions (www.parentchampions.org.uk) Their website is a little easier to trawl through! If you live near a Dyslexia Action centre, you can go in for a free half hour consultation and advice session. Another option would be your local authority Parent Partnership service.

  • If you live in England find out who is your nearest parent partnership, KIDS. This is a national charity and they have a parent partnership scheme that will help you talking to the school.

    You need to google SEN Tool kit and codes of practice. You can ring and place and order free of charge. This will explain about school action, school action plus and statements.

    She may need to be on school action.

    She will need an assessment from an education psychologist if she has not had one done at the moment. The senco in school can only test for traits.

    Your local dyslexia action can do this, the assessment is a few hundred pounds, but well worth the investment. I did this with my two boys and it is worth every penny.

    The local authority will have access to an education psychologist, however, the process of getting an appointment is long and never ending. In other words do hold your breath.

    You may consider lessons at Dyslexia Action, there are burseries, for your daughter. You can take your child out of school and this is the recommended route. Do not leave it too late to put this into actions as teenagers find this intervention difficult.

    The is also the website Dyslexia Action and Dyslexia Association. Both are excellent.

    Do not loose hope there.

    I am appalled that all this information is not on dyslexia action website!!

  • Dear littlehook,

    I wish I had answers for you. your daughter sounds so much like me at her age. School was a complete disaster for me. I never even learned my multiplication tables until after I had graduated from college and was teaching third grade.

    I wish all children like us would be allowed to work and play at those things that give them joy and let them use the creative aspects of their minds. Could you get your daughter into some sort of arts school where she could grow in her real talents and interests?

    I wish all dyslexics and their loved ones would read Thomas G. West's book "In the Mind's Eye" Prometheus Books 1997. The dyslexics he writes about were mostly in the fields of math and science, and they made huge contributions to our world, yet most of them could not do high school math! these were people like Einstein, Faraday, Maxwell, and Tesla, to name a few. After reading this book, I am proud to call my self dyslexic!

    Here in the States we have Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who was not able to do high school algebra, yet is now the designer of the world's best, most humane cattle-processing facilities because of her ability to visualize the movement of the animals, and their reaction to what they see.

    I wish we had alternatives to our current standardized schooling, because it is absolutely wrong for about half the population. There are so many of us, dyslexics, ADD, autistic, asperger's, right-brained and other non standard thinkers and learners out there, that is is criminal to torture us because we cannot learn they way "they" do.

    Please reassure your daughter that school is not the end of the world. Lots of people like her grow up to be happy, productive citizens, in spite of the terrible times they had in school!

    Most adults only have to do one thing well to do their jobs and earn a living. Please promote her in those things she loves and is talented in, and overlook the negative notes from school. Prepare her for a life doing the creative things she already excels at! Many ordinary people would give a lot to have such talents!

    Cheers! digits

  • Hello

    I too have a son who was identified with severe dyslexia, very poor working memory, dysgraphia he is 8 1/2 yrs old and in Year 4. Firstly you need to start collecting evidence ie copies of her writing in school books, homework etc School Action is used by schools when children are not making sufficient progress at school. If still no progress after a reasonable length of time the child is moved onto School Action Plus which the school can arrange for outside interventions. Again no time to be on this is stated in the code of practice but a year would be seen to be reasonable length of time. Also you need an Individual Education Plan (IEP) make sure the school has a copy of the Psychologist Report and that her strengths and weakness are recorded on the IEP. Ask to see her school files (write to the head and they have 15 days in which to comply) look at all files, SEN, Computer etc again gather evidence what she has been put on etc. Any meeting you have with school, teacher etc document time, date, what was said. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU WILL NEED EVIDENCE. If your daughter does not progress on SA or SA+ (and some children with dyslexia do) but if severe then unfortunately you will need to apply to the LEA for a statutory assessment.. People will tell you "you cant get a statement for dyslexia" this is false look at SENlegal.co.uk IPSEA if a brill web site as well. We are in the process of getting an SA done by the LEA. Best advice we have had is to get a Ed Psych report done for Tribunal always say it is for a tribunal and you want recommendations what your daughter needs at the end of it. Do not let the local authority assess your daughter with their own EP they work for the LEA so they are not going to have your interest at heart are they now! Some schools KS3 are dyslexic friendly schools and when you go looking at them this year and next ask to speak to the SENCO. Unfortunately, if your daughter is severe and needs high level teaching and specialist intervention then you will have to look at specialist dyslexic schools in your area. Contact Parent Partership too for advice and IPSEA have a free helpline for advice whether like you are now or us in a tribunal situation. GOODLUCK

  • Hi Littlehook

    You can contact your nearest Dyslexia Action centre who would be happy to talk through options with you.

    You can find your nearest centre here: dyslexiaaction.org.uk/find-us

    We have a section on our site containing advice for supporting your child here: dyslexiaaction.org.uk/advic...

    and a page with information on external organisations as well here: dyslexiaaction.org.uk/other...

    Do shout if you need any further info :)

  • Many thanks for all your help.

    I have had some success calling the Parent Partnership services. I spoke to a lovely man who was very helpful. Unfortunately, Dyslexia Action hasn't got an office in my area, West Sussex. Will try calling the nearest one to us.

    I have just arranged a meeting with the SENCo at our catchment area secondary school. I've sent her a copy of the report from the Educational Psychologist for her to have a look at first. I'll also take her current IEP with me when I go. Any advice on questions to ask would be much appreciated.

    Now to look at all the links you've recommended.

    Thanks again.

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