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Suspect your child is dyslexic? Don't take no for an answer!

dyslexia support

What is the impact of a school telling a parent that their child is not dyslexic when as a parent you know for sure that something just doesn't add up about how your child experiences education?

Read on for information that you can use to get the support that your child needs.

This week I came across an article on the Daily Mail website about a 25-year-old who sued his local authority for £52,000 because his primary school had failed to diagnose that he was severely dyslexic.

Despite having a range of tests with an educational psychologist, the school said that there was nothing wrong with him and yet when he passed into secondary education he was diagnosed as severely dyslexic.
During primary education, the claimant, Robin  Johnson, was described as slow and fell victim to bullying.
Once he got into secondary education, his new school described him as one of the most severely dyslexic students they had ever taught and even then it took two years to get the support that he needed.

Whilst this case does set a precedent for dyslexic individuals who have had a rough time during education through a lack of diagnosis, I share this story because what I love it that the parents of Robin Johnson didn't just take "No" for an answer and they continued to find a way to get support after getting him an accurate diagnosis.

The impact of a lack of a dyslexia diagnosis is HUGE!  It is certainly huge for the individuals involved but it is has a huge impact on society as a whole.

Yesterday I visited the Achievement For All - Every Child Included conference in Newbury and I heard a number of stories about how children for all sorts of reasons are not effectively being engaged enough in school to produce positive outcomes.  Whilst the individual, to an extent, must take responsibility for their engagement, the education system, on the whole, is not reacting effectively to the needs of pupils who for whatever reason just don't 'get' education.

Added to this, when a child is struggling, schools are simply not equipped, in general, to explore if dyslexia is a key element to that child's learning experience.
So it comes as no surprise that someone who has had this experience felt that the experience had been sufficiently bad enough for them that they had to sue the local authority.

Yesterday, I spoke with an educational law specialist who specialises in successfully supporting parents who go to tribunal to secure Education Health and Care Plans for their children.  He told me that as dyslexia has such a high incidence rate (10% of the population) cash-poor local authorities are actively seeking to downgrade the impact of dyslexia and in some cases even argue that dyslexia is even a condition at all.  This appalling!

I have quoted statistics about 40% of prison inmates being shown to exhibit signs of dyslexia and I am wondering why the UK Government is not connecting the dots and seeking to fund intervention as early as possible for children in Key Stage One so that when the pressure hits in Key Stage Two, a child with dyslexia has a greater chance of delivering positive academic outcomes which ultimately leads to better life and career choices that hopefully means less of a reliance on the state financially or on activities that could lead to life in prison.
Surely, providing adequate support is going to be cheaper than housing prison inmates and if children with dyslexia ultimately experience good education and a pathway into a career, the tax being paid would cover that early systemic dyslexia intervention?

At the moment, we are a long way off that positive change in education but my advice to you as a parent is that if you suspect that your child has any special educational need and your school is disagreeing with you, get that independent assessment and keep pushing for that support and if needs be, get that EHCP in place.

There are plenty of organisations out there that can support you if you are experiencing problems with schools and your child's dyslexia.  I have listed a number that I think are awesome with the work that they do and would recommend you take a look.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you agree with me?  Disagree?  Please comment below or let me know via Twitter with #swddontlistentotheno.  


  1. I've been told that an EHCP wouldn't ever be accepted for dyslexia alone - is that not true?

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