11 Plus Exams Forum

SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self este
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Author:  Aethel [ Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self este

I would appreciate advice from those who have done this before.

My DD1 is currently awaiting her 11 plus results (we DIY'd at her preference).

My DD2 is at the start of year 5. She has announced "maybe she'd like to try to have a go to get into the grammar school"...
She is every bit as bright as her big sister but is Late August born, and has had big self esteem issues due to very slow writing and awful spelling. Thanks to a very switched on SENCO at school and repeated pressure for them to investigate the huge discrepency between what': in jer head and what goes onto paper, she has been fully looked at through school and has now been put onto the SEN register.

School have been great: she has a scribe for tests, yellow paper filter for reading, and now has a 45 minute one-on-one assistant in class (not sure if that is temporary)
They have called it "probable specific learning difficulty" which isntms actually saying "dyslexia" but on looking at her issues, I think it is....

So I suppose I have two questions and would be very grateful for advice.
There are their grammars near us that specifically mentioned their SENCO support at the open days (and another thatbremained conspicuously silent!)

1) is it possible for a child to have a reasonable chance at passing CEM with dyslexia (we would be learning/practicing in a different way to DD1 to work around her issues, far more verbal discussion, work on increasing speed, work on spellings and speed-maths as she is very quick at NVR but slower at word-based problems)

2) if I apply for her to enter and mention the SEN on the form is it possible some of the stuff she normally has (eg scribe, possibly a seperate room) might be allowed? Or is it a-bit/of-extra-time-and-that':-it? )

3) Am I likely to knacker her self-esteem by even contemplating this?
It': important to me that she's happy, but intellectually she's very capable, creative and I think would thrive if she were in a supportive school and her SEN were sensitively supported. But does that automatically exclude a grammar?

Help! Advice appreciated, I'm genuinely unsure of the best decision here.

Author:  Aethel [ Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

Ps I clearly can't count, that is three questions!!!

Author:  Guest55 [ Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

Which 11+?

If it is Bucks the Head can apply for adjustments but don't expect much! Yellow paper and maybe some additional time [5/10% even if 25% is given for the KS2 tests].

There are many dyslexics in Grammars ...

Author:  Aethel [ Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

We are right on the border of berks and bucks:
So our "local" options are Burnham in Bucks or Slough consortium (DD1 sat both).

The primary head is very ambivalent about 11 plus, as the school
Is in Berks so it's "opt-in" over here (which doesn't stop a lot of local parents getting extremely into the preparation aspect. Which is why I'm concerned about the implications should she try and not pass: there is so much playground chat about tutoring/homework/etc.)

Author:  semb [ Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

Hi Aethel

I will pm you my experience of requesting exam adjustments in Berks.

Author:  Aethel [ Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

Thanks Semb, really useful.

I am still a little unsure about how realistic it is to try to coach a child through 11 plus when they have issues with spelling etc. Having just done it, so kuch of the verbal reasoning depends on very subtle spelling/vocabulary nuances, surely it will be nigh on impossible for a dyslexic to do themselves justice?

Author:  fifilarue [ Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

I've been trying to work out something similar for my DS with ASD/Aspergers who tries to avoid writing. Fortunately we are in a CEM area otherwise I wouldn't think about it any further!

Your current SENCO or the SENCO at your preferred school should be able to help with "Access arrangements" for the exam - no idea about your specific region though.

If you are only on SEN Support you may need some sort of official report to qualify. If you have an EHCP some of the arrangements are automatic (eg GCSEs ) but I've no idea how it works for 11+. Don't necessarily expect that your current school will help you get a report - you may need to go private. Look at the PATOSS website for details of assessors and tutors who specialise in SpLDs.

I think it depends on the school. As you say with a supportive SENCO any school will be a success. You need to speak to the SENCO at your preferred schools and see the pupils to see if she would fit it - and aim for the school where you think she would fit in best. Good luck

Author:  Aethel [ Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

We shall see.... I'm very pleased to say we've just come to the top of a waiting list for a local dyslexia-specific tutor. So we'll start one session a week with her after half-term.
The aim Of that is not eleven-plus tuition as such, but to help DD2 understand how to order her thoughts better into written sentences, and how to gain confidence with things like comprehension and writing answers down.

Interestingly we looked at some verbal reasoning at the weekend and she was surprisingly good at the homophone multichoices, even withbwords I didn't think she'd be able to spell independently, she was able to recognise them when picking from a list. So maybe it will be worth a punt.

We shall see how things go, and if we do decide to enter her I will definitely request extra time/adaptations. Ta for the advice!

Author:  twomonkeys [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

Hi Aethel,

We just came through this with our DS who took the Bucks exam this year. Here's what we learnt along the way.

He is severely dyslexic and we had to pay for an Educational Psychologist report to have this confirmed. The Ed Psych suggested 25% in the exam but our Bucks Head Teacher said to either use the time or use the report in any qualification appeal. From others on the board it appears even if you have a report you will rarely get the full 25% extra time. Our Head is on a review panel and was quite certain to use one or the other, the Senco also said we couldn't have our cake and eat it. Again, this is what we were told and our HT has almost 100% record with pupils supported by the school going through on appeal. HT said they would definitely support if overall score 116+, more difficult if it was lower, but so long as his Maths and NVR scores were over 121, with the Ed Psych report the VR could be lower.

We choose to not take the time as our DS wouldn't be able to answer certain spelling questions regardless of the time he was given due to his dyslexia. He usually finishes tests and that way if he VR score was low we could use the Ed Psych report on appeal. Each child is different.

Another thing was we went nearly a year ahead of time to talk to the Head as it takes time to get the reports in place. It also flags that you would be looking to potentially appeal and the HT spoke to all DS teachers to find out if they thought he was suitable for GS. Also our HT remarked it would be helpful if the Ed Psych could note in the report, if it were applicable ' that the report should be taken into consideration regardless of whether the extra time was taken, as certain styles of test aren't as accurate for testing dyslexics true ability'.

The other thing with the private Ed Psych report is that you'll get an IQ test which the appeals panels like as its hard data.

Separately a dyslexia tutor worked wonders for our DS. The school funded for a term and we used her for a few terms thereafter privately. A massive difference, but I agree, its not helpful for 11+, just general support for dyslexia and he went from reading fairly ok to being a voracious reader. We were thrilled!

I found buying Bond books helpful to ascertain where DS's ability level was and strengths/weaknesses. They're inexpensive and easy to do at home.

When visiting schools ask them what they do to help dyslexics and will they only help if there are falling below a certain level. Lots of schools we visited would only help if they were falling far behind. We wanted a school that would help him regardless.

Hope this helps.

Author:  Aethel [ Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN newbie...Dyslexic DD...is it worth the risk of self

Thanks twomonkeys, that's so helpful!

I think we will see how things go, and look into the extra time thing nearer the entry time.
We have an ed psych report that states extra time would be helpful for some tests, and school already are aware she may be sitting the 11 plus and are hopefully planning to repeat it at some point this year (partly to see if the interventions are helping).

We'd probably ask for extra time rather than appeal, because prolonged uncertainty would be difficult for DD and we do have a pretty good non-selective option were she not to pass. I think mentally she'd do very well at the right grammar but I need her to be happy and have good self-esteem and that's more important to me than "any grammar at any cost".

We shall see!!

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