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Dyslexia Rss

Why is it such a dirty word in schools?

I asked that my DS1 (almost 7) get assessed earlier this term after a lot of concerns started stacking up, and we have a strong male family history of it in my husband's side (including my husband)

Noone likes the word. Its 'labelling' apparently :S I was also told that if we were in the UK he would have been screened by about 8yrs of age, and that they have an amazing array of programs in schools over there .. yet in Australia they virtually won't acknowledge it sad .

I have also been told I am better to get my child assessed for ADHD or SLD (specific learning disability), as these are recognised disabilities by the government, and you will get the most assistance as a result.

I am not after financial assistance or a 'label' just for the sake of a label! I am just wanting some answers so I can source the appropriate help for him!

Is anyone else going through a similar thing? Has anyone come across a similar attitude to dyslexia out there in the education system?
My cousin is going through this with her ds. They don't even call it dyslexia anymore apparently (??) Despite her pushing and regular calls and letters to the education department and other institutions they all said they would not test for any learning difficulty until he was 8. She finally got him into the SPELD Foundation for assistance when he was about 7+8mths [url=http://www.mysmiley.net/free-sick-smileys.php][...]
TBH from what I understand of what my cousin has been through (not sure if this differs between states) it would be better for your ds if it was "labelled" as some other learning difficulty as they won't recognise dyslexia (or whatever they're calling it) as needing extra in class assistance (in the form of a teachers aide) But other learning difficulties DO make him eligible to get extra help.
The [url="http://www.dyslexia-speld.com/"]SPELD Foundation[/url] is in WA, but maybe you could find an equivalent in your state or they might be able to point you in the right direction. Best of luck <span class="emoticon smile">smile</span>
[quote name='~Ruby~Gloom~' date='21 June 2011 - 09:13 AM' timestamp='1308647619' post='3011447']
My cousin is going through this with her ds. They don't even call it dyslexia anymore apparently (??) Despite her pushing and regular calls and letters to the education department and other institutions they all said they would not test for any learning difficulty until he was 8. She finally got him into the SPELD Foundation for assistance when he was about 7+8mths [url=http://www.mysmiley.net/free-sick-smileys.php][...]
TBH from what I understand of what my cousin has been through (not sure if this differs between states) it would be better for your ds if it was "labelled" as some other learning difficulty as they won't recognise dyslexia (or whatever they're calling it) as needing extra in class assistance (in the form of a teachers aide) But other learning difficulties DO make him eligible to get extra help.
The [url="http://www.dyslexia-speld.com/"]SPELD Foundation[/url] is in WA, but maybe you could find an equivalent in your state or they might be able to point you in the right direction. Best of luck <span class="emoticon smile">smile</span>
[/quote]


Thanks for the reply. SInce posting this I have come across Liz Dunoon's -Helping Children with Dyslexia site. She is campaigning the exact argument I've discussed above lol

I did have a look on her website and she mentions the SPELD foundation, another parent has also recommended them to me, (and yes we do have them in Qld <span class="emoticon smile">smile</span>)

DS' OT, thinks we are on the mark, but agreed it would be hard to get a diagnosis through the school system. She has recommended I get him assessed in visual and auditory processing then take these reports to an educational psychologist. I really believe these assessments will explain a lot so we have arranged for them to be done.

It does however beg the question in my mind as to whether we just get these assessments done so we can see where his deficiencies lie and we can learn strategies to help him. DH is a little hesitant of going through the 'labelling' process, particularly if it will be futile anyway. He has made the point that if DS1 does become 'labelled' it may restrict his choice of career when he grows up, as DH couldn't apply for the policeforce or army after he was diagnosed 'dyslexic' ... food for thought <span class="emoticon wink">wink</span>

Thanks again for sharing your cousins story ... I am glad to hear I'm not alone in how I feel.
Since there seems to be a lot of 'views' on this topic (but only one reply sad) I'm guessing this must be a topic of interest/concern for others?? I just thought I'd update where we are with this if anyone is interested?

DS1 has since turned 7. He has also now had an OT assessment and a visual processing assessment done by a behavioural optometrist. His handwriting and pencil grip is immature, however his fine motor skills are average for his age and so therefore there are no physical reasons existing that would explain his poor handwriting and pencil grip. Relatively good news.

His visual motor perception and visual processing is below average for his age as I suspected. That means he has difficulty processing words/information that he sees 'visually' and then putting it down on paper. These results only further highlights my concerns about dyslexia ...

On the advice of the other therapists, we are paying to have a language and speech assessment done next week. I've advised the speech therapist of my concerns re. dyslexia. She is also DS2's regular speech therapist - yes we sure did hit the jackpot with learning issues with our boys didn't we sad ). She is very well versed in it, so depending on the results of this next assessment we will decide whether it is worthwhile, or advantageous, for DS to proceed to an educational psychologist (armed with allied health assessment reports in hand) to look at getting a more definite diagnosis and hopefully assistance. In the meantime I have been advised DS1 appears to rely heavily on learning using his tactile senses. So this term I have some new strategies to try with him to help him learn and remember his sight words (including 3D letter shapes, making the words from playdoh so he can 'feel' the shapes and letters etc)

One thing I have learnt from this whole experience is if you think your child needs help, or may have a learning disability, when they are under 8 years of age, YOU need to instigate and be proactive about it. I have doubted myself a lot. I am very capable academically and school and uni came very easily to me. It breaks my heart to see my boys struggle with school like DH did. However if I don't help DS then he will continue to fly under the system and these early years of learning are so vital in my mind. Hearing from the therapists that you achieve the most significant leaps in under 8's while their brain wiring is still very immature, has me knowing we are doing the right thing.
I don't have personal experience but I do think good on you for fighting the system for your children.
I am sure it is not easy.. smile

I don't have personal experience but I do think good on you for fighting the system for your children.
I am sure it is not easy.. smile


Thankyou Karena for your lovely reply smile

I get frustrated and sad for them at times seeing both of them struggling with different learning issues at school ... however on the other hand I remind myself that we are SO very blessed as they are such beautiful, bright, loving and healthy little men too. I wouldn't change who they are for anything smile School is only a fraction of the rest of their lives, yet at the same time it is a big chunk of it in the immediate future too, so I do want to help make things as easy as I can for them wink
I can't comment first hand on the subject, but my MIL teaches a programme for dyslexic kids and adults... the Davis Dyslexia Association. It's an American Programme with teachers around the world and i presume in Oz (we're in NZ). There is a book called 'The Gift of Dyslexia' that is apparently great, focussing on the positives and I know she does a lot of work with clay, making the letters etc. as you mentioned and it really helps her students. She is always full of really inspiring stories about the improvements in reading, writing and comprehension. Good luck with your boys!
I have a DD who is almost 10 years, she has a learning disabiltiy of sorts and I have avoided having a label put on her.

She started with speech difficulties and then I was clear very early that she had difficulty retaining some information- like colours.

She is a tactile learner and I dont nessecary see it as a bad thing, I just see it as her thing.

She has a learning support teacher and will continue to have one for the rest of her schooling if she continues to be in the lower percentage of learning.

I have always had a lot of faith in her and have maintained that she does have skills that are hidden that are waiting to come out. Untill 9 years of age her only strengh was leadership skills. In the last year she has become very interested in maths and 3D type of art. She is very interested in cooking and can come up with recipes that are very workable- one of them was a very yummy sounding truffle recipe.

I spent many nights agonising over how my DD was going to make it in the world, but I have got to a place where I am not so worried anymore.

We focus on her strenghts and instead of highlighting her weaknesses we help her learn stratagies that can help her in everyday life. She is a very intelligent little girl who just has some blocks in her learning.

When she is older we will help her with choosing a career, which I think will be hands on and to do with the food industry- going by strenghts and interests at the moment. We will also help her extend skills that she may need to acheive what she wants to acheive as an adult, like for example how to confidently understand and read a recipe.

She is also a whiz on the computer so we use the computer at home and at school as an important learning tool alongside the traditional techniques. I find it amazing how she cant process alot of things easily but it only takes one session on how to log on, and navigate a site on the computer for her to be able to do it again easily.

I no longer worry as much, my DD has such determination which has been enhanced by her learning difficulties I know that she will achieve what she wants in life. She may not be destined to be a laywer or a doctor but not everyone is...

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Thanks LuLu's. Your MIL sounds like she is doing a wonderful thing to help kids smile

Dansally your DD sounds gorgeous and very bright smile I found your post a really interesting read, particularly given your daughter is that little bit older at 10. One book I have read explains learning difficulties as a gift in a sense as the children have to work hard to heighten and use their other senses, their social skills etc which I really believe too smile

Our boys school has a laptop program from year 4, where each child has their own laptop in the classroom to compliment learning. I have been told that many kids who struggle with traditional reading and writing, find learning using a computer much easier, as it sounds is the case with your DD.



Our boys school has a laptop program from year 4, where each child has their own laptop in the classroom to compliment learning. I have been told that many kids who struggle with traditional reading and writing, find learning using a computer much easier, as it sounds is the case with your DD.


I have found it really interesting reading through this thread! I believe that the way the school system exists, it just doesn't help kids who are different to maximise their potential. I find it a tragedy that kids who are actually very talented (or have the potential to be) in their own individual "fields" (couldn't think of a better word) will often struggle at school and be forced to learn and be tested in certain ways. It saddens me that so many children get so discoouraged by the school system, when they really shouldn't have to feel that way at all. Just because a child is not skilled in the "traditional" sense ie ROTE learning, writing, reading, written comprehension etc, why should that mean they suffer through school instead of doing what they are good at?

I think that's really good that there is the laptop program you mentioned.

Also, the "dyslexia" labelling thing: why is it that it may stop someone getting a job in the professional world? Don't people with dyslexia learn to read regardless, just with more difficulty? Excuse my ignorance, I just assumed that once identified, there were strategies for them?

I have found it really interesting reading through this thread! I believe that the way the school system exists, it just doesn't help kids who are different to maximise their potential. I find it a tragedy that kids who are actually very talented (or have the potential to be) in their own individual "fields" (couldn't think of a better word) will often struggle at school and be forced to learn and be tested in certain ways. It saddens me that so many children get so discoouraged by the school system, when they really shouldn't have to feel that way at all. Just because a child is not skilled in the "traditional" sense ie ROTE learning, writing, reading, written comprehension etc, why should that mean they suffer through school instead of doing what they are good at?

I think that's really good that there is the laptop program you mentioned.

Also, the "dyslexia" labelling thing: why is it that it may stop someone getting a job in the professional world? Don't people with dyslexia learn to read regardless, just with more difficulty? Excuse my ignorance, I just assumed that once identified, there were strategies for them?


I agree entirely. Meet my kids and they come across as articulate, creative and bright. And they are smile. DS1 is the most amazing lego builder and very good at sport. DS2 is 'king of the kids' in his class, socially he finds a friend wherever he goes, plus he's so creative with anything he picks up, 'I'm bored' is a phrase I've never heard come out of his mouth wink. It is just becoming increasingly obvious that the mainstream education system does not suit their styles of learning (nor does it for so many kids), thus why I am researching my little heart out at the moment so I can help determine what they need, and how I can get it for them. The idea of home schooling has even crossed my mind lately LOL

My DH is ADD and dyslexic. He's IQ is tested in the top few percentage, much higher than my own. I graduated with an OP4. He got an OP25 (on a scale from 1-25). The school system did nothing for him, yet he went on to do a trade and runs his own successful business. He is great at what he does, but 'yes', he is still a weak reader and writer/speller despite having tried heaps of various programs through his school life (this however was 20yrs ago now of course wink). He's memory is amazing so he is good at memorising what he needs to know too. Text is like a jumbled different language for him. I write all his business reporting/invoicing for him wink He calls me from site if he needs help with spelling on reports. We are a good team lol smile I am not 100% sure if it is still the same now, but when DH was contemplating career choice he could not apply for the police, defence force etc as dyslexia was classified as a disability.

YOu are right Windmill. It is all food for thought. I am learning lots as I go wink

It is just becoming increasingly obvious that the mainstream education system does not suit their styles of learning (nor does it for so many kids), thus why I am researching my little heart out at the moment so I can help determine what they need, and how I can get it for them. The idea of home schooling has even crossed my mind lately LOL

My DH is ADD and dyslexic... The school system did nothing for him, yet he went on to do a trade and runs his own successful business... Text is like a jumbled different language for him... I am not 100% sure if it is still the same now, but when DH was contemplating career choice he could not apply for the defence force as dyslexia was classified as a disability...

YOu are right Windmill. It is all food for thought. I am learning lots as I go wink


I have been contemplating a lot of things for my kids too. Even for something that is not dyslexia, I agree with you that there are so many kids that are not having their needs met in the mainstream education system. People are constantly hung up on "labelling" when really it is about identifying and so being able to find solutions. Have you found any research that identifies your son's learning troubles as genetic? Have you considered part time home schooling?

As you mentioned in a prior post about the dyslexia often being a gift, I agree. Like you said about you husband having dyslexia, he would have learned clever ways of interpreting things without text, and his memory would be amazing as a result of that too. I have read somewhere that kids with dyslexia often fool others that they don't have a problem, because they are simply used to finding other ways to give the right answer, or to figure out what is happening by being very attentive and through memory and recognising patterns. I found it amazing that they had mastered their skills so well in this way.
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