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Dyslexia, the Education System and Life in general

3. Dyslexia and the Education System (Meetings)

on March 16, 2015

Now we have the Full Dyslexia Assessment showing all of Josie’s strengths and weaknesses. I went home and started obsessively googling anything and everything, trying to find miracle answers.

‘Parent Partnership’ seemed to keep jumping out at me. They are funded by the Local Authority, so they are there to support and guide you, and they did an amazing job keeping me on track and focused when I just wanted to get angry at everyone. They have all the right up to date information, and know which steps you should be taking next. One lady in particular helped me, and she really was beyond amazing, she was my lifeline when things seemed impossible.

I found this amazing book; Guerrilla Mum: Surviving the Special Educational Needs Jungle by Ellen Power. I can’t thank her enough for writing this book, she gave me inspiration to become the expert, and read about the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, and learn what rights children have in education.

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“Remember the Guerrilla Mum Mantra: Don’t take no for an answer, never give up. If in doubt, telephone, email and write letters.”

I had a follow up meeting with the lady that had carried out Josie’s Assessment, she explained that Josie has trouble processing the sounds in words, and that she needs specialist teaching.

At this point it was around June 2013, I had enough feedback about Josie’s Dyslexia Assessment to understand that she would need a ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’, to get the extra funding and exact teaching that she needs.

I signed Josie up to attend a ‘Children Will Shine’ Dyslexia Workshop on a Saturday morning. This was run by Croydon Dyslexia Association (through the British Dyslexia Association). Josie loved this group on a Saturday morning. She learned ways to learn tricky spellings, and it boosted her confidence. She even didn’t mind the 25 mile round journey, as she wanted to learn and knew that the teachers had the time and experience to teach her.

I also had a meeting with the Speech and Language Therapist, who gave me some ideas on how Josie can breakdown words, and she mentioned that she has a very good long term memory. We have to teach her how to store information in her long term memory.

The next meeting was at the school, with the Special Educational Needs coordinator (SENCo), Head of Inclusion and a Specialist Dyslexia Advisor. We talked about Josie’s progress and the things school have put in place for her. We discussed things in the Dyslexia Report and then the school turned the subject to the fact that I should maybe consider looking at specialist schools that can offer her more help. They were worried that the gap between herself and her peers was widening, and she would become less interested in school. The bottom felt like it had fallen out of my world.

The school had mentioned that Josie would need a ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’ to get the help she needs, and that they would continue to build their evidence before approaching the Local Authority to carry out a ‘Statutory Assessment’. Josie would need to see an Educational Psychologist at the school, but she wouldn’t be available until the new school year.

The summer holidays came… my piles of research were building. I had to wait… (again)

(Updated 28th March 2015)

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