‘Calling all parents, whose children are struggling with schoolwork or exams!’
Is your child really good at the things they can do yet still manages to underachieve in many areas in school?
Does the school tell you “He doesn‘t listen!”
Is there a large gap between your child’s ability to explain and discuss what they know and their ability to write it down?
Does the school say he is “Lazy!”
Does your child fail to complete school work?
Does the school say she “Doesn’t concentrate”
Do they avoid written tasks, make excuses for unfinished homework?
Does the school say “Not trying!”
Are you worried about what the future holds for them?
If this sounds like your child it may be that poor literacy skills or a learning difference such as dyslexia is holding them back.
Maybe it’s time to look deeper with a Personal Learning Assessment?
Unless your child’s school recognises your child’s difficulties as being serious, as a parent you may find it hard to get an individual assessment of your child’s learning.
There are 2 ways of doing this:
The first is to make an appointment with your child’s teacher and/or the Special Needs Coordinator (known as the SENCo) at their school to discuss your concerns.
It is likely that they are aware of the problems and they will already have a programme of support in place. Great!
Give the school a chance to do something about your concerns. Some changes should start to become apparent after about 6 weeks.
This is a great start, but be sure to keep in touch with the school. It is important not to let the gap and the frustration grow.
After a period of further monitoring and support, probably one or two terms depending on progress, if the school feel it is appropriate they may request further help by referring your child to the local authority (LA) for additional advice and possibly an assessment of their difficulties from their Special Needs Advisory Service. If your child meets the LA criteria for assessment then they will probably be put on a waiting list with a request for advice.
If you are dissatisfied with any of this process you can contact your local Parent Partnership Officer who will listen to your concerns and try to help you. Your local town hall can give you a contact number.
This can be quite a long and hard process for parents to go through and if your child is "Doing nicely in the middle
band" then the possibility of getting help to understand their educational needs is very unlikely.
"It's a terrific struggle for parents" says a spokeswoman for the Dyslexia Association.
There is another option and that is to invest in a personal assessment of the educational need for your child.
It is difficult enough to try and know what to do for the best, so taking action quickly and easily to
find out what is needed and that is where I come in.
Having spent much of my career assessing and helping teachers to manage children with reading and
spelling difficulties, and carrying out educational assessments, I am now in a position to offer this
service to parents.
My priority is to ensure that this service is affordable and easy for you to access.
What happens next?
I will first of all send you a questionnaire ‘free of charge’ to find out what will be the next best step for
you and your child.
I will then contact you and we will decide if the next step is then to book your child in for an in depth
assessment. I will carry this out for nearly half the recommended price at £175 to ensure that
this process is accessible to more parents and at a more affordable price.
Just a little note to say thank you for all your help with Gary. It is much appreciated, and it has put him on the path to succeed (with his reading). Your dedication and thoughtfulness shows that you extend your passion beyond what your job demands.
We hope that your work will continue and will improve learning facilities to all children with difficulties.
To say 'thank you' does not seem enough."
Susan and Darren S. and Gary
What will happen in an assessment?
The assessment usually takes a couple of hours whilst I test the range of your child’s skills and abilities. We will look at reading and writing skills, and a number of other possible issues such as their understanding of language and visual processing skills.
Children are never assessed beyond their competence and they do not get overwhelmed by their inability to perform a task successfully.
The assessment is there to build up a profile of their strengths and weaknesses so that we can get an understanding as to what needs to happen next. Your child should enjoy the activities even if some appear hard. I am very mindful of making sure the whole experience is a positive one.
It is important to remember that no matter what, there will be a way forward for any child with literacy difficulties including dyslexia. There have been many advances in this field and a lot more is known about learning needs than ever before.
During the assessment I ask a number of questions and your child will be asked to perform a number of tasks.
My observation of their responses is just as important as how they perform and this enables me to identify any underlying issues.
What will happen after an assessment?
Once the assessment has been completed I will have a profile of your child's needs.
You will receive verbal feed back at the time and a few days later I will email or post out your report.
You can then take this report back to your child's school, depending on the results, to show where
they need specific educational help with suggestions as to how this can be done.
For example they might need additional support to improve their reading or writing skills and I will
suggest how this can be achieved with recommendations for additional activities.
Children with additional needs including Dyslexia are also given special considerations in exams and the
report will give an indication as to where the extra help should be given to enable them to complete
The report should be used as the baseline from which the child’s school career can grow. With close monitoring it should enable the child to progress through their present key stage and beyond. However on transition to secondary it may be that further advice could be sought.
"My Daughter Mollie, age 7, has been working with Mrs Roe on a weekly basis for 5 months now. When Mollie first attended she was well below the national average in all subjects at school and had great difficulty reading and retaining information.
School advised me that it was very unlikely that Mollie would reach the national target by the end of the academic year even with extra tuition.
With Mrs Roe’s help Mollie has achieved higher that the national average and has become a more confident child who loves reading and now enjoys attending school."
Mrs W. from Cudworth, Nr. Barnsley
Why should I book an assessment with you?
I am a native of Barnsley, and I have spent my teaching career in South Yorkshire. After graduating from the Sheffield Polytechnic College of Education in 1982 with a B.Ed, I taught Home Economics in secondary schools for 8 years, before completing an Advanced Diploma in Guidance & Counselling from Leeds University.
This led me onto work as an Education Welfare Officer, where I developed my counselling skills, and then became a ‘Home Tutor’ working with pupils excluded from school. Alongside my one to one teaching work I studied for a Diploma in Special Educational Needs from Nottingham University.
As a Learning Support Teacher, I found myself supporting primary and secondary schools to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs. I then qualified as a Specialist Teacher for Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), and took the opportunity to take charge of a Unit for Pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia).
I became convinced that the needs of dyslexic children could be met within their local school and became an advocate for the development of dyslexia friendly schools as part of an inclusive approach to education and high quality teaching in the classroom, one-to-one and small group situations.
As the Advisory Teacher for Dyslexia for Barnsley LA, I collaborated with Neil Mackay and the Dyslexia Aware Consortium of Local Authorities to develop and moderate the standards for its ‘Quality Mark for Dyslexia’. I also developed training and support for dyslexia aware schools.
I have continued my work outside of the school environment with personal assessments and one-to-one teaching helping children of all ages with literacy difficulties and dyslexia to be able to work with confidence and success and out perform their peers in school-work and exams.
What will the assessment include?
Your Personal Learning Assessment will include;
Assessment of reading ability including phonic knowledge and comprehension of reading
Assessment of understanding of English language
Screening for visual stress due to light sensitivity (Scotopic Sensitivity)
Immediate verbal feed-back
Personal report and advice which can be shared with school
Individualised strategies for developing reading and writing skills
Personalised study strategies
YES Gill I would like to find out more – what’s the next step?
Simply complete your details in the box below and I will send you back a questionnaire that will help me to determine how I can help you. Once you have completed and returned the questionnaire I will be in contact to discuss what would be the next best step for you.
There is no obligation; I am here to help and to make this process as easy and effective as possible for you and your child.
I look forward to finding out if I can help you and your child and I am always happy to answer questions and offer support.
Specialist Consultant in Literacy Difficulties
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