What to do with dd! Child who verbally tests high but scores very low on paper and bottom group

(28 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 10:35:07

DD actually does not start secondary until September but looking for some advice and experience.

She has processing issues and issues with writing and spelling, she is currently on school action plus and IEP but no statement, when tested verbally she tested 3/4 years ahead in some areas.

She cannot get this down on paper so is on paper 2 years behind.

I have been told by primary and by some secondaries that she will most likely be in the bottom group because she is so behind on paper. But she does know it in her head she just cannot get it down on paper.

Her confidence and self esteem is very low.
One school told me if she went in the sen group/bottom group in year 7 she would never get more than an E at gcse as the level of teaching was aimed so low they could never catch up.

Reincarnatedpig Sat 11-Jan-14 12:10:01

Has she been tested for dyslexia?

moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 12:12:55

Sorry she is dyspraxic and has a processing disorder. She has maths issues, spelling and writing issues.
Her reading age miles ahead but she cannot break words down at all, she has learnt by her own method.

Reincarnatedpig Sat 11-Jan-14 12:22:15

I think you need to go and see the senco at the new school and ask her/his advice. If it is a handwriting issue would using a keyboard help, even a scribe further along the line ?
Does your DD get any help in class?

I don't think it is necessarily true that the bottom set are confined to low level teaching, but thinking of my DDs school some kids do BTEC and just maths and English GCSE because they have low IQ or SN.

moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 12:41:57

Thanks, at the moment she gets intervention in small group work for literacy three times a week for around an hour each time.

I am majorly wobbling because things are deteriorating massively at primary at the moment and I do not think she will cope socially at either of the local secondaries sad

I have been googling suitable private schools with specialist support but they are either down south or way beyond our price league.

Absolutely see if you can arrange a meeting with the secondary Senco. Ours are way more clued up than primary.

Also, can you afford to find a tutor. Not to push her, but to work with what she can do and give her confidence.

Likewise is there any hobby or activity she does that gives her confidence.

My dyslexic DD sings, a DF's dyspraxia daughter found she loved riding. It's really clinched, but finding something you're genuinely good at is a huge confidence boast.

soul2000 Sat 11-Jan-14 13:26:31

Molding. You DD is reminiscent of myself. I had terrible writing skills and was unable to put thoughts and knowledge down on the paper.

I just want to say that your DD with the right help is capable of achieving the highest grades possible in exams .

Please don't let the school tell you, your DD is only capable of E Grades in Gcse's . That is so incorrect and by putting your DD in those classes , you DD will become frustrated bored and downright depressed that in terms of intelligence she is as bright as anybody in the year.

Your DD inside will be tearing herself apart because no one will listen to anything she is saying and some teachers will patronise her on what she is capable of achieving.
When your DD gets to 30 or so she will realise that she is more intelligent, have a better view and understanding of the world than many with masters degrees. The problem though is if your DD does not get the help or correct learning strategies, your DD could be scared by education and ultimately underachieve massively .

This is very depressing to think that ( Some Schools have not moved on from 30 years ago) I know many schools have moved on. I am not a Professional , i am just somebody who hopes your DD achieves her potential which is a "MASTERS IN THEORETICAL PHYSICS".

moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 13:27:54

Thanks Star, dd did riding but was really terrible at it.

She does junior youth board at a Museum and also young archaeology club so gets confidence from those.

moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 13:36:26

Sorry xpost soul.

I agree with everything you have said, she is already at the stage where she is frustrated and down and believes she is rubbish and I really do not want this to continue at secondary.

All have said that she will likely be in bottom groups as she is going to fail the new spag test without a doubt. Most of them said that there was room to move up if she improved but I know dd and if she is stuck in bottom group she will just give up.

She has been having a few hours of intervention a week and has shot up academically as a result, with the right systems and support in place she can achieve but getting the right support has been a nightmare, school have refused use of a laptop even if I pay for it and were meant to be offering a voice recorder but haven't.

She is very science focused interestingly!

3littlefrogs Sat 11-Jan-14 13:39:09

She sounds very bright, but probably dyslexic.

3littlefrogs Sat 11-Jan-14 13:40:04

oops, sorry, somehow didn't see the rest of the thread.

wigglybeezer Sat 11-Jan-14 13:40:51

It might not be as bad as you think, my DS2 has similar problems and was put in the bottom set for maths in his first year at secondary, the class was brilliant, small with a very good teacher and lots of encouragement, cakes! He has come on so much he has moved up. We backed this up by sending him to a tutor for a year but have stopped this now but will consider it again nearer exams.

We also use voice recognition software ( dragon)at home so that DS can get his ideas down on paper more easily, at primary he used a dictaphone and a TA used to write his stories down.

DS also could not get the hang of phonics at all, no decoding for him and he could barely read, in the end I followed a home phonics programme very slowly ( Toe by Toe) and his reading age went up to match his verbal abilities. I think it is worth having another go at teaching decoding due to all the new vocab that comes with specialist subjects.

none of this was initiated by the school, it was all done by me after a lot of research, don't rely on the school alone.

DS is still slow at writing, has dodgy spelling and enormous hand writing but I think he will do OK in his exams as long as he gets extra time or a scribe.

ancientbuchanan Sat 11-Jan-14 14:02:22

You could be writing about Ds in yr 6. We got an ed psych to assess in yr 7, paid for by us. Bingo, dyslexia, ed psych says to Ds

" bet you always wondered why you are one if the brightest in class and can't do exams? Well, it's because your neural programming is not normal. It's not your fault. It is a bit of a nuisance because you will always have to work harder than other less intelligent people but there you are. You can get extra help and you will find it worth it. "

Best money we have ever paid. Ds walked tall out of that room. It wasn't his fault.

His school, a private one, did him proud ( and often imv the private sector is worse than the state). Extra time in exams, laptop, support from senco. We sent him on s touch typing course and got him an on line course. We have backed up with a tuutor on some things for.some areas and i do grammar witth him and punctuation. He is doing fine.

Hth

cory Sat 11-Jan-14 16:00:38

Don't listen too much to what her primary says will happen to her in secondary school. Most of the time they know very little about it. None of dd's school's predictions came true at all. I used to sit in meeting with dd's headteacher droning on about how none of this could be catered for at a higher level and think "but I work at a university, I know we couldn't get away with this shoddy approach".

Ime secondaries are far better equipped to deal with SN's. For one thing they are larger, so more likely to have experience of anything that is out there, they tend to be better resourced and their support staff better trained. And universities are better still.

pointythings Sat 11-Jan-14 16:19:24

Many of the children from DD1's primary who struggled have been much, much better supported in secondary - the school is bigger, they have economies of scale in support for SN. These are children who had dreadful SATs results but are climbing up the sets now they are properly supported. These are children DD1 always described as 'really clever' so it's clearly down to the school (a middle back then) for not picking this up. I'd really go to the secondaries your DD is likely to end up in and book appointments with the SENCO to get a feel for what is on offer.

moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 16:41:45

thanks for the replies, Ok, when dd gets offered a place on the 1st March can I ring up the senco then before she has even started and ask to see them? Would they see me?

creamteas Sat 11-Jan-14 18:08:04

I had a couple of meetings with the secondary SENCO before my SEN DC started.

One was a transition meeting with the primary SENCO there as well, and one was just with me and DC.

wigglybeezer Sat 11-Jan-14 19:09:10

In my experience they put the best teachers in charge of the. Bottom set at secondary, it is often the other way round at primary.

adoptmama Sat 11-Jan-14 19:23:26

I would have her assessed for dysgraphia. The fact there is such a huge discrepancy between her verbal and written ability suggests there is a learning difficulty. The fact she cannot process and plan written work suggests it could be dysgraphia (which often is seen alongside dyslexia). I would not wait until secondary starts but look to get her assessed asap.

ancientbuchanan Sat 11-Jan-14 21:28:13

I agree with adopt if you can. That way, you have something to see the senco with.

Bear in mind they may forget over the summer hols and you will also have to talk to her form teacher and head of year when she starts, esp if personnel have changed.

But the sooner you can have her assessed the sooner I suspect her confidence will grow, if Ds is anything to go by. Being told you are bright and it's not your fault are just magic words. Lights will go on, doors open.

PleaseNoMoreMinecraft Sat 11-Jan-14 22:56:34

My DS2 was identified as having DCD/dyspraxia when he still couldn't write his name after a year at primary while at the same time being obviously very bright.

The school SENCo recommended a private Occupational Therapist (the school paid for some provision with this lady out of money from the PTA but just couldn't afford the intensive input needed), which ended up being THE BEST money we've ever spent. She had him one hour a week for about 6 months, along with homework which she gave us to help his fine motor skills, and his writing and movement leaped forward. He's always going to have some difficulty and writing is not his favourite way of spending time by any means, but he is now around the top of the class instead of around the bottom.

I really very much recommend paying for an OT if you can afford it (£65/ hr here - but it's London), it's money well spent. Please be aware that there is very little money to pay for them if you're in the state sector - the little that was available has been decimated by cuts in the last couple of years according to the school and the OT, so if you don't have a Statement which specifically mentions occupational therapy, it won't happen.

MrsBright Sun 12-Jan-14 19:47:07

My DD (now 13) has identical issues but we were always advised by (sensible) Primary School not to get her 'tested' as bright kids often hide behind these labels rather than learning strategies to cope.

With a good Maths teacher at secondary school she is doing well. Written work less so. Spelling still a huge issue. Left handed so is very conscious of smudging work, and can't write neatly/quickly under pressure.

I am torn between getting her assessed (and therefore extra time in exams etc) and not (she has to learn with this problem not use it as an excuse).

adoptmama Sun 12-Jan-14 21:02:19

Mrs Bright I can honestly say, in 20 years of teaching, I have never come across a child who hides behind the label of a learning difficulty or who use it as an excuse. Children learn coping strategies in many ways, and one of these is by being given the targeted, individualised support that an ed. psych. assessment can identify.

By age 13 a child has had 8 years of education in which to develop self-help techniques. Some children will do this admirably. Most will require extra support. The extra time given to dyslexic children in exams is to give them the level playing field they lack every single other day of their education. I would urge you to have your daughter assessed to enable her to have this opportunity.

I have met many, many children in my teaching career who have been demotivated and depressed, who have labelled themselves as stupid, as failures and as dumb because they didn't get the 'label', help and support that an assessment can give. 'Labelling' a child doesn't make them feel different - having a learning difficulty and falling further and further behind their peer group does. Targeted intervention helps children improve their skills and make up deficits. Having a formally assessed, identified learning difficulty entitles a child to the support they need and deserve. I say that as both a teacher and a child with LDs.

auntpetunia Sun 12-Jan-14 22:37:15

Oh That sounds like my now 15 year old ds, in year 3 he was referred to Occupational Therapist who explained @that he was dyspraxic and dyslexic, he got loads of intervention in primary school, but they really didn't get him.

secondary senco has been amazing and was from minute he got allocated his place. he once described his frustration "its in my head but it falls out of my elbow before it gets on the paper ". which made sense to me and helped me understand. he's now in year 10 and all his grades are A or B.

definitely speak to High school senco sooner rather than later.

bbboo Mon 13-Jan-14 19:01:19

This sounds just like my son .I went to the Doctor in the end , rather than wait for school to refer to Ed Psych (he has been to 3 schools in 4 years , so every school gathered evidence but didn't pass it on to the next .Very frustrating. We moved a lot !). The Dr referred him to the paediatrician, who referred him to Occupational Therapy.
The OT found he had verbal and comprehension ability several years above his age, but his ability to write was almost non -existent (on the 0.01 percentile!) and recommended he use a laptop for use in all classes.
He is to be tested for dyslexia too .The OT was brilliant and told my son never to let people tell him he was stupid or lazy as this was not the case. She explained lots of children with this have low self esteem as often teachers call them lazy etc. - very true in my son's case.
He is so much happier at school now. New school been great and have supported him really well, including arranging extra time for exams .
On another note, it is ok to contact a secondary school before your child goes there.A couple of my friends with children at different schools did that, and each time the learning support dept was very responsive.
I would highly recommend getting your DC assessed - my only regret is I did not do it sooner.

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