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Talking to school about your child's dyslexia

The role of the parent

 

You will be aware of your child’s difficulties in the classroom.  If you can describe all the difficulties (special educational needs / SEN) that you think your child experiences, you are quite likely to reach some agreement with the school.

 

There may well be disagreement as to why your child has these problems or what to do about it, but the evidence of the difficulties is hard to deny.

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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 (SEND Code of Practice) states in Chapter 6, Section 6.14 “The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for the child or young person.”

 

The SEND Code of Practice also states in Chapter 6, Section 6.20 “In particular, parents know their children best and it is important that all professionals listen and understand when parents express concerns about their child’s development.”

 

Describing the special educational needs

 

A dyslexic child will have special educational needs in some of the following:

 

  • reading
  • writing
  • spelling
  • numeracy

 

With possible deficiencies in:

 

  • working memory
  • sequencing
  • phonological awareness
  • visual perception
  • organisation skills

 

They may well have additional problems with:

 

  • self-esteem
  • social skills
  • behaviour
  • motor skills
  • spoken language

 

The definitionnecessary of special educational needs is a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made.  Once it has been established that your child has special educational needs, school governors have a responsibility to make sure the school does its best to provide the right sort of help.

 

If you have any worries about your child’s progress at school, you should not hesitate to talk to the class teacher.  It is best to put all your questions and points in a letter to the school.  It will help the teacher to be clear about your worries and will make sure that everything you want to talk about is recorded.

 

Special educational provision

 

Once your child’s difficulties are agreed, you can discuss with school the appropriate provision that should be put in place.

 

If you are doubtful about the value of the suggested provision, you can ask:  ‘Why do you think that strategy will be effective?’ or ‘What progress do you expect my child to make as a result?’

 

Finally, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the school.  Suggest arranging a date for a follow-up discussion before you leave.