Thursday, 30 November 2006

Jan 2006 -Dec 2006 Important Observations

Early Jan 2006 we visit the Language support teacher, expecting to have to push for the assessment. She doesn't need any pushing, his reading age before Christmas is (-24 months) using the Neale analysis for accuracy, fluency and comprehension, she wants us to go for an assessment. We think we are going for a statutory assessment at no point was this explained to us that it was just an IQ & reading/spelling assessment.

I start again on Toe by Toe and keep at for 6 months.

We receive the forms and fill them in.

An assistant Ed Psych is sent out to assess as she speaks English and Welsh. I ask if she is going to assess him within the classroom environment-no. Ask her to look at his books -she doesn't.

Result of assessment- average IQ (in spite of very poor verbal IQ).
Told he isn't dyslexic after being asked several times, he can read (Dyslexics can't read this well) (-16months) or spell (-16months) different testing regime to Neale, no reference to fluency, accuracy and comprehension. The only thing that they respond to is the Speech and Language difficulties.
Refer on to Speech and Language Coordinator, who came out to assess this area. Word finding problems are highlighted and fidgetyness. Mmmm word finding difficulties, haven't I seen that as a Dyslexic trait somewhere?

Put to panel, success we have 2 x 30mins sessions /week.
We believe we have a diagnosis and support put in place for September 2006.

I nervously believe that things will improve now he has help.

Autumn term starts, a new Languge Support Teacher begins with Matthew, 1 hr a week group support. She doesn't start until Oct. After doing her own assessment, she takes a visit to the class teacher to ask "How are coping with Matthew, he's severely dyspraxic (fine motor)?" the reply is "I'm not". This comes out in the parents evening late Oct., together with the fact that Matthew's progress has platauxed again. He has no concentration, cannot get more than a few lines of work down on a page. The Ed Psych is called out to assess him again urgently.

We meet with the Language Support Teacher a highly dedicated lady on the verge of retirement (No!!!!) she loves her "children" and totally understands their needs. She confesses to us that in her opinion Matthew is like a Venn diagram with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADD and he is plum in the middle. She also tells us that many children recieving specialist Dyslexia help currently are not as half as bad as Matthew, she would like to see him with more help but observes that he already has speech and language and probably won't get any more help although he needs it.

Nov 2006. Urgent reassess requested.
Ed Psych reports that Matthew has Specific Learning difficulties (which could be a mix of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia) and his reading is +12months(1 word reading test) spelling -24 months. Due to the spelling he would like to refer Matthew to the Dyslexia Panel in Feb, but will reassess his reading/spelling closer to the panel date. His Language Support Teacher conducts a reading age test in Dec. -the Neale test for accuracy, fluency and comprehension he is ( -12 months) in reading??!!.

Confused yet?

The school also agree to apply for 1:1 support in Nov 2006, but don't apply for it until 20/12/06.
Example of Matthew's Work Dec 2006 (8yrs 7months)

Toe by Toe 1

After being told Matthew could be dyslexic in May 2005 I buy Toe by Toe and start it. We progress nicely through until the teacher says no she doesn't think he's dyslexic I stop Toe by toe through the summer holidays.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

From the beginning May 2005-Dec2005

I knew from around 4 years that Matthew was different from his older brother (then 9) and his friends. I knew he was bright, when he played all his older brothers Educational CD-roms to play, loved them and determinedly finished them from start to finish. He taught himself chess with a Lego chess cd-rom. My husband and I looked at him and thought, "We've got no worries with this one". He was also miles ahead empathathicly, knew how everyone was feeling, was very caring. Sadly this was not the case at school he was falling behind at reading. At the age of 5 he was having reading support lessons 30mins once a week, we were told nothing to worry about, some children are a little slower. Matthew at this stage had trouble remembering nursery rhymes, he seemed to be getting th's mixed up with v's and his language was immature.
Moving on to May 2005, barely 7 years old, his infant teacher asked us to consider if Matthew could be Dyslexic, she would watch him closely. After this I read as much as I could about Dyslexia, his reading was slow and painful, he read words on 1 page and then seemed to not know them on the next, he lost words guessed words and read then end to start, his short term memory was poor, he could not remember instructions. From all this I could see he was most probably Dyslexic. I returned to the same teacher in July for some advice and some reading books for the summer. The teacher said no she did not think he was Dyslexic.

Sept 2005 Matthew starts juniors with 2 job share teachers, I wait to see what they think, nobody contacts me with any worries, so I stop worrying. Reading support has stopped. Mid Nov 2005, Parents evening:- the 2 teachers talk to half the class each. The teacher we see says that Matthew is immature, but is OK and hands us some targets and asks "any worries?". We launch into all our concerns, the teacher is concerned and says she will consult with her job share partner (shouldn't she have done this already?). I phone the school in the next week to speak to the other teacher, amazingly the other teacher has grave concerns about Matthew. He has made little progress since Sept. They are going to give him reading support again, the reading support teacher will test his reading age and we will go from there. The first teacher pulls me aside at the Chrismas Fayre as tells me "you must push for an assessment but don't mention my name!!" I consult the SENCO (also the Headmistress) asking for an assessment. She says we will sort it out in the new year.