In this blog, we’ll be discussing a school’s role in diagnosing dyslexia. The average person spends 15 years in education.1 So, what happens if your child finds school a challenge? What if they have an undiagnosed learning disability that impacts their daily experience?
How does your child feel about school?
The bell, the classroom, the whiteboard, classmates – school is a new experience for everyone. It centres around comprehension, and the ability to extract information and do something with it.
If your child struggles to read and process information, it makes every day at school a real challenge.
School can quickly become a place of frustration and worry, especially for an undiagnosed dyslexic.
Identifying and escalating learning difficulties
As a parent, you’ll know your child. Our indicator checklist helps to know the signs of dyslexia as a child develops through school and later as an adult. Do you find some of these areas relate to your child? What do you do now?
Has your child’s teacher noticed any areas that need to support your child through their assessments? If so, they should speak to the school’s SENCo to discuss the next steps and appropriate support.
The SEND Code of Practice states that if a teacher suspects that a learner has special educational needs (SEN) then they must inform the child’s parents and include them in discussions about what is the best support for their child. They must also tell parents about any special educational provision that is made for their child.2
Barriers to a dyslexia diagnosis
80% of children leave school without a diagnosis.
Sometimes, the signs of dyslexia are unrecognised because of a lack of training.
There is no mandatory dyslexia training for teachers in the UK. There are options available to them to learn more about dyslexia and how to support students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Most schools will have a SENCo trained in dyslexia and learning difficulties. Often you can find details of the SENCo on the school website.
The dyslexia assessment and diagnosis process
After speaking to the teachers and SENCo about your concerns, the SENCo or the child’s teacher will be asked to fill out a questionnaire for the assessor to learn about the child’s background and current difficulties. The child’s parents will also be asked to complete a questionnaire.
This is one of a series of steps outlined in our blog The Path to a Dyslexia Assessment.
A dyslexia assessment and dyslexia diagnosis will provide clarity and direction. It’s the starting point for solutions that can help those difficulties become less of a struggle and will be recognised nationally in both school and work.
Making adjustments in the classroom for a dyslexic individual
The school and teacher will be responsible for making reasonable adjustments to enable your child to reach their potential. This may include
- Use visual aids
- Use dyslexia-friendly fonts
- Avoid asking to read out loud or in front of the class
- Alter format options onscreen on an interactive whiteboard
- Allow time to respond, supporting dyslexic individuals by recognising their speed to process information
- Break information up into smaller chunks
Small changes will impact your child’s education ability and mental health. Suddenly school will be more enjoyable, and they’ll feel more confident and less judged by their peers.
Taking the step to speak to teachers or the school’s SENCo will have a huge impact on your child’s future, it just takes one step forward.
About Dyslexia First
Dyslexia First provides first-class dyslexia assessments for children and adults across the North West.
Owner Michala Morton has worked in the field of Special Needs for over 20 years, across a wide range of educational settings. She works closely with The British Dyslexia Association and The Dyslexia Association assessing children and adults.
Based in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, Dyslexia First is conveniently accessible by train, linking to Central Liverpool, Manchester and cities within an hour’s commute.
By helping you to get the right support, a world of possibilities will open, that might not have seemed possible before.
Contact us to discuss your assessment needs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07711 904 589.