Introduction – what is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which affects reading and writing skills, although children and young people with dyslexia may have difficulties processing and remembering information they see and hear, which can affect learning.
Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty; it is estimated that up to 10% of people in the UK have some degree of dyslexia.
Watch this video ‘What is dyslexia?’ from the British Dyslexia Association: https://youtu.be/11r7CFlK2sc
What are the signs of Dyslexia?
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) lists some signs of dyslexia. These can include:
- Difficulty in learning to sing or reciting the alphabet
- Muddling words e.g.,’flutterby’
- Problems expressing themselves using spoken language e.g., unable to remember the right word to use
- Problems learning the names and sounds of letters
- Confusing the order of letters in words
- Slow writing speed
- Hesitant reading, especially when reading aloud
- Difficulty taking notes or copying
- Poor spelling
- Poor standard of written work compared to oral
- Misses a line or repeats the same line twice when reading
For more detail about signs of dyslexia check out the BDA website here: Signs of dyslexia – British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)
If you are worried about your child’s progress in reading and writing and/or worried they may be dyslexic:
- Talk to your child’s teacher. School may carry out some assessment and monitor aspects of your child’s progress in reading and writing for a period of time. Your child may also receive additional teaching or support in the areas they are struggling with
- If there is an ongoing concern, talk to your GP as there are health issues that could be affecting their ability to read and write such as vision or hearing difficulties
If concerns remain about your child’s reading and writing, more specific dyslexia screening could be helpful. These can give an indicator of whether a child may have dyslexic difficulties, but do not provide a diagnosis.
Dyslexia checklist – this is a tool to help understanding of whether there is a likelihood of dyslexia
Dyslexia screening – this is likely to be carried out by a teacher or SENCO in school and may give a more detailed profile of a child’s strengths and weaknesses. There are some sample checklists on the BDA website: Dyslexia checklists – British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)
Dyslexia diagnostic assessment – this is an assessment to determine whether a child has dyslexia or not. It will give a clear picture of their strengths or weaknesses and will make recommendations about how best to support them. The assessment is carried out by a certified person and there is often a cost. There are organisations that offer this locally (see details in Additional Support section at the end of this document).
Support for children with Dyslexia
Once your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia, they can be supported to make progress through effective teaching techniques and support in school and at home.
There are a variety of ways in which school can support a child with dyslexia. The dyslexia diagnostic assessment will detail the child’s strengths and difficulties and make suggestions to support the child, for school to follow. For example:
- Putting specific interventions in place to target areas of difficulty in reading and writing
- Making referrals for more specialist support such as Leeds Special Educational Needs Inclusion Team (SENIT) or an Educational Psychologist
- Making reasonable adjustments in the classroom such as offering alternatives to writing as a key method of recording or breaking information and instructions into smaller ’chunks’
- Applying for exam access arrangements for those taking exams who may need a scribe or extra time due to their dyslexia
What you can do
- Talk to your child’s school about their diagnosis of dyslexia and what they are going to put in place to support them
- You can help at home by reading to and with your child, helping them with homework or helping them with organising their study time
Additional support from Leeds MENCAP
Speak to other parents with children with SEN and disabilities on our closed Facebook group.
Follow us on Facebook to hear about our upcoming events.
Check out the rest of our Family Support offer. We have:
- Weekly Chats and Tots coffee morning
- Family Support workers who can offer advice, signposting and support
- Lots of tips and resources on our website
Additional support and Resources:
This information is not affiliated with Leeds MENCAP.
For private diagnostic assessment of dyslexia:
Specific dyslexia charities/ organisations that offer advice and support:
Watch a video about Dyslexia – Guide for Parents: