From nursery school onwards, children and their families can become increasingly damaged if dyslexia goes unrecognised. Dyslexic children may be bullied, humiliated (through ignorance) or considered to be late developers, which leads to feelings of inade-quacy, frustration. anger and isolation. The earlier dyslexia is diagnosed, the better. Diagnosis brings huge relief and proper help enhances both ability and self-confidence. If the answer to most of the following questions is "yes" your child may be dyslexic.
Before age seven
Persistently jumbles phrases
Can't remember the names for everyday objects, eg table and chair
Difficulty learning nursery rhymes and rhyming words
Learns to speak clearly noticeably later than others
Is often accused of not listening or paying attention
Trips, falls over or bumps into things a lot
Has difficulty with skipping, catching, kicking or clapping to a simple rhythm
Has problems dressing and putting shoes on the correct feet
Ages seven to 11
Has difficulty with reading and spelling
Puts figures or letters the wrong way round
Has a poor concentration span for reading and writing
Takes longer than average to do written work
Has problems understanding what they have read
Confuses left and right, days, months and years
Has difficulty understanding time and tense
Can answer questions orally but has difficulty writing the answer
Is unusually clumsy
Has trouble with sounds in words
Is surprisingly bright and alert in other ways
Ages 12 to adult
Difficulty in taking notes, copying, planning, writing essays or letters
Needs to have telephone numbers or instructions repeated several times
Gets tongue-tied using long words
Confuses places, times
Most dyslexic children should get the help they need in school and may be assigned a special needs teacher. Schools are expect-ed to do everything possible to make sure children with educational difficulties are properly provided for. Call the Department of Education Publication Centre on 0845 6022260 for the code of practice schools should follow.
If the parents and the school agree a child is not getting enough help within the system, they can ask the Local Education Authority (LEA) to make a statutory assessment of the child's problems under Section 329 of the 1996 Education Act. Once the LEA has agreed to conduct an assessment it will gather reports from the parents, the school, the LEA educational psychologist (who may be independent or attached to the LEA), the District Health Authority, the medical officer, speech therapists and the school's doctor. It will analyse the child's special educational needs and should then make sure appropriate provision is made. Parents can give their own advice and to submit independent evidence. Once the assessment is completed the LEA should issue a statement which details the child's precise educational difficulties and specifies what should be done to give the child the help they need.
The British Dyslexic Association - Helpline 0118 9668271 or e-mail: adminatbda-dyslexia.demon.co.uk - for advice and information.
The Dyslexia Institute - 01784 46385 has a network of professional centres for independent assessments, costing pounds 200-pounds 300.
Network 81 - 01279 647415 - set up to help parents with special needs children.
Advisory Centre for Education - 0171 354 8321 - helpline open 2-5pm. Has publications on special needs.
Independent Panel for Special Educational Advice - 01394 382814 - supports parents and helps them get the right assistance for special needs, as well as offering a representation service for tribunals.Reuse content