You know what dyslexia means and are starting to have a niggling feeling that your child might be a dyslexic learner. How can you know for sure and what should you do about it?
Read on to answer your questions.
What are the signs of dyslexia in children?
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has a useful ‘signs of dyslexia’ section. Please follow the relevant link to see if your child is presenting any signs of dyslexia:
Early Years Foundation Stage
What can I do if my child is presenting as a dyslexic learner?
So, you have read the relevant section and still feel that this is relevant for your child, now is the time to speak with your child’s school teacher and the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). Every school has a SENCO, and if you are unsure who they are, their details should be on the Special Educational Needs section of the school’s website, along with their contact details.
Arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher and SENCO to highlight your concerns and see if the school shares these.
If so, you may as a team, decide to carry out a screening test. This is not diagnostic, however, it may further identify needs and it may support your decision as to whether you feel a full diagnostic assessment might be useful in the future.
What happens next?
You and your child’s school should now have a good understanding of your child’s needs and a plan can be put together to support these needs. This may be through the universal provision or via a more tailored support plan such as a Pupil Overview of Provision or Individual Education Plan.
It is really important that you and your child are involved in agreeing on the support being put in place at school and reviewing it at least termly.
If you still have concerns after at least two cycles of targeted intervention, it may be time to consider having a full diagnostic assessment carried out.
If you spot any signs of dyslexia, a full diagnostic assessment will reveal whether your child is a dyslexic learner or not. Some schools can offer this as part of their core offer, however many do not. But, there is the option to pay for this to be carried out privately. Only a certified Dyslexia Assessor can perform the assessment and confirm/rule out a diagnosis.
How can a full dyslexia diagnostic assessment help my child?
Such an assessment can support your child in their application for funded support at university – Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). It can also provide evidence for exam access arrangements for year 9 and above, at college, university, or studying for professional qualifications.
This assessment will provide a detailed report of your child’s individual learning needs with recommendations that can be implemented, both at home and in school.
Now you can look for the signs of dyslexia with your child, know to speak to your child’s class teacher and SENCO, get involved in the planning of intervention for your child and understand the options for non-diagnostic screening and full diagnostic assessments. We also have further information and resources available here.
The fact that you are reading this shows just how supportive you are of your child’s needs, and so with you, your child’s teachers, and your child’s understanding and determination, whose footsteps will your child follow in? Albert Einstein, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise, Leanardo Da Vinci or even Walt Disney?
At ADys, we conduct diagnostic assessments for young people and provide support for parents. To request an assessment or advice, get in touch with us here.