Q: What is dyslexia?
The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek and means 'difficulty with words'.
In Staffordshire we use the definition developed by the British Psychology society (1999)
'Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent work reading and /or spelling develops very incompletely or with great difficulty. This focuses on literacy learning at the 'word level' and implies that the problem is severe and persistent despite appropriate learning opportunities.' British Psychological Society (1999)
Dyslexia can also cause unexpected and persistent difficulties in acquiring numeracy skills and spoken language. There may be accompanying weaknesses in the skills that support personal organisation, for example, speed of processing, short term memory sequences and possible weaknesses in auditory and/or visual perception.
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) estimates that 10% of the population are dyslexic - 6% demonstrating mild dyslexic tendencies but 4% of these are severely dyslexic.
Q.Where can I find help for my child?
Contact your child's school and discuss with them the provision they are currently making for your child. All schools adhere to the SEN Code Of Practice so should be able to reassure you that that your child's needs are being met. Your child's school may also have Dyslexia Friendly Status in which they have met all the requirements of an audit and verification to obtain this status.
Q: Does my child need an assessment?
Some schools use their support services to undertake assessments so that children can access specific dyslexia support such as Primary Dyslexia Centres. However not all children with dyslexia require additional assessments beyond what a school may have gathered to support individual progress.
Q: Where can I find a specialist teacher?
Members of the county SENSS Team work within schools supporting pupils with dyslexic type difficulties. Some schools also have members of staff with specialist qualifications. Talk to your child's school about what support they can offer.
Q: What is AMBDA?
AMBDA is the associated membership scheme of the British Dyslexia Association. In order to obtain membership specialist teachers must have a recognised qualification to teach and assess pupils with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia).
Q: My child has not yet started school but is already showing signs of dyslexia. Who should I speak to about this?
Talk to your child's nursery teacher or health visitor who will be able to reassure you. Members of the SENSS team support Early Years Settings and these settings can approach them for advice.
Q: Is it possible to drop learning a foreign language at school when a child has difficulties with their own language?
Yes sometimes. However, many dyslexic people do experience great success with foreign languages and there should be no generalisations. Some languages are easier to learn than others.