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I am contacting you on behalf of my brother and his 14 year old son

SusanneSusanne Member Posts: 2 Listener
This discussion was created from comments split from: Ask an Educational Psychologist.

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  • SusanneSusanne Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi. I am contacting you on behalf of my brother and his 14 year old son (T). My brother has been expressing concerns about T's progress and ability at school since he first started school but he has been fobbed off repeatedly and even made to feel that the real problem was him and his wife! T can not really read at all despite being an obviously bright boy. Teachers have frequently complained that he is lazy, a day dreamer and not motivated to learn but we always felt this didn't add up because he has been phenomenally interested in natural history, photography and cookery and tends to memorise facts in these areas. He is well behaved and popular, a school council representative and a gentle kind soul. At a recent meeting with his form teacher my brother demanded that T be assessed for dyslexia. He was told in July that the Ed Psych confirmed a diagnosis of severe Dyslexia. However it has taken until late November for a copy of that report to be made available to my brother. What was truly staggering was not the diagnosis but the reference to the first report diagnosing dyslexia in July 2010!! My brother and T feel betrayed and emotionally T is all over the place. He has spent the best part of his life to date knowing that he could not do what his peers could and simply feeling terrible about himself. There has been no explanation, simply a copy of the report in an envelope through the post. Not even the courtesy of a covering letter. I am arranging legal help to seek an EHCP as I suspect T might need counselling but what the solicitors cannot do is help us to ensure this never happens again. I don't even know what to ask you: simply is there anything you can say to help us help T to turn this situation around?
  • EducationalPsychologistEducationalPsychologist Member Posts: 119 Courageous
    Hi Susanne, such a shame for your nephew that he's been through such difficult times with his education. In terms of how to ensure it doesn't happen again, you can feedback your experience to the EP service as they should have ensured you received a copy of the first report. Always put feedback in writing. With regards to helping T I would strongly recommend a specialist tutor trained in helping children with dyslexia. This should be supplemented by opportunities to practise new skills 'little and often.' For emotional support, there are lots of charities around that may offer counselling services. As adults it can be frustrating when we feel our child has been let down, you may find that finally having answers provides clarity for T. Anxiety often stems from uncertainty and with knowledge of where he has difficulty, and why, he can begin to accept his difficulties and recognise his strengths. I often explain dyslexia to children in this way:
    I can run. I can run from one end of the field to the other. But I my legs are slow and find it very difficult. This is the same for learning literacy skills. T can make progress but it may be slow, difficult and in small steps.
    You may find these websites helpful: www.understood.org/en and http://dyslexia-assist.org.uk/for-children/
    Focus on building T's confidence in his abilities. Although as adults we often want to fix things for our kids, sometimes they just need to know that we understand how they are feeling and are there for them if they want to talk or have a hug!
    I hope things get better for T soon and he can enjoy the festive season.
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