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Posted 5th July, 2012 by Alison Earey

Recently, I carried out some research on the effects on parents when their child is assessed as having dyslexia. As someone who works primarily with adults with dyslexia, I was interested to find out more about diagnosing dyslexia at an early stage. The research was a dissertation at the end of a masters degree, at the University of Birmingham, and like my colleague, Sue Partridge, I now find myself with new letters to add after my name.

Sadly, the results of the research did not fill me with glee: they point to a system that is failing children and their parents. The recently published report by Dyslexia Action: Dyslexia Still Matters (see the Dyslexia Action website for the report), further backs up the research.

What are we doing as a society who consistently seems to fail our children and their parents? As an adult specialist, I often find myself picking up the pieces where people have been disregarded, ignored or labelled as just thick or lazy. The research that I carried out demonstrates that the system doesn’t seem to be improving as one would expect in an age of inclusivity and equality.

If you haven’t already, please sign the petition to make it essential for teachers to have training for dyslexia. See: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20674
In the meantime, let’s make sure that we fight for the rights of our children with dyslexia, who will become adults with dyslexia.

  • Julie C-M

    Hi

    I run a voluntary support group in South Staffs.  The system is most definitely letting down children and parents (many of whom are also dyslexic and were themselves let down by the system).  Have signed the petition, but what concerns me is how to support young adults and older adults who have slipped through the net and unable to get free / low cost diagnostic assessments.  Screening alone doesn’t offer the necessary ‘proof’ to be afforded protection under Disability Act 2012. What can be done to enable low income people to access diagnostic assessments and hence access the support they need?

  • suepartridge

    Julie

    Your issue has been exercising the members of Dyslexia Positive recently.  We have had a discussion about offering a proportion of “pro-bono” free or reduced cost assessments for adults on low incomes. In the end, we decided to leave it up to  individual assessors’ discretion.  I myself offer reduced cost assessments on occasion and allow people to spread the payments, or defer payment until they get funding.

    Many universities now provide some assistance with the cost of dyslexia assessments through an access to learning fund.  For people in employment, Access to Work does not require a formal assessment (we could debate whether that is helpful or not!), so no cost.

    We have recently put in a bid to NIACE for funding for even more vulnerable adults who aren’t at college or in employment to get assessment and support.  We should know in August if we have been successful, but this will be in a prescribed geographical area.

    Julie – will you let us have your contact details so we can liaise with you directly?   Send an email to info@dyslexiapositive.org.uk.

    Sue

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