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What do I do if I think my child has Dyslexia?

Any concerns you as a parent/carer have regarding your child having a specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia, should be discussed initially with your child’s teacher and where concerns have been on-going, with the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo).

The school should, where progress is limited in areas such as reading and spelling:

  • put into place a relevant, targeted, evidence-based intervention
  • monitor your son/daughter’s progress closely.

Progress should be reviewed regularly and adaptations to the programme of support made as appropriate, parents/carers should be closely involved in this process.

Should the difficulties persist, the school may wish to ask a suitably qualified specialist teacher to assess him/her to ascertain their pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Specialist Inclusion Support Service (SISS) Communication and Learning Difficulties Team may be asked to complete this assessment if a school purchases this Local Authority service.

At this point, a decision can be made as to whether or not it is appropriate to make a referral to the Solihull Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) -Dyslexia Panel. Guidance for SENCo’s making a referral to the Panel is provided by the Local Authority.

The Panel considers information provided by school, including a pupil’s response to interventions over time, assessment data, parent’s and the pupil’s views. They will then decide whether the pupil’s learning profile meets the Solihull definition of dyslexia as detailed in Solihull Specific Learning Difficulties Policy ‘Supporting pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties including dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorder in Solihull’.

The SpLD Policy (2016) outlines the definitions of dyslexia accepted within Solihull. The Local Authority (LA) accepts the Rose Report’s working definition of dyslexia and also accepts the British Psychological Society definition:

‘Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent word 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. It provides the basis for a staged process of assessment through teaching. Working Party of the DECP, 1999. (2005 reprint) p.11

Ordinarily, dyslexia would not be identified in children under the age of 7 as it is essential to monitor their progress and their response to well-founded literacy interventions.

Following referral to the SpLD-dyslexia Panel, school and parents/carers will receive a letter with a summary of information provided to the Panel, Panel’s decision and recommendations for support.

The majority of children identified with dyslexia can have their needs met within the resources of the school at SEN Support.