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Is it possible to be partially dyslexic

(47 Posts)
HurdyGurdy Sun 10-Jun-18 13:21:18

Having just spent the most frustrating hour with my 7 year old granddaughter trying to get her to do homework, I am wonder if she could possibly be partially dyslexic. It took her an hour to write eleven words. (That did include me keep rubbing out letters as they were illegible.) We still have two paragraphs to write, and a drawing to do, but for the sake of my sanity, we've had to take a break!

She reads beautifully, but she just cannot master writing. We have tried books, worksheets, freestyle - all sorts.

Her writing is practically unreadable. It's very messy, not all on the lines, and despite the use of worksheets etc to help her, her letter formation is, as best, unique.

Is partial dyslexia a possibility? Or is it just a case of giving it time.

GrandmaMoira Sun 10-Jun-18 13:30:25

I'm not an expert but don't think poor handwriting is the same as dyslexia. I learnt to read early and read fast. I find it difficult to slow down enough to write neatly. One of my sons was the same as your DGD at the same age but he is not dyslexic.

wildswan16 Sun 10-Jun-18 13:41:30

I think the best people to help are her teachers. Also, if you really were sitting with her for an hour - that is an awfully long time for a seven year old, I'm sure she was getting frustrated and that is not the best frame of mind when doing homework.

Somebody should discuss this with her class teacher and see how they are helping her so that everyone is working together and not confusing her.

Squiffy Sun 10-Jun-18 14:16:48

Hurdy An hour is far too long for a seven year old! Is she having other issues - spelling, comprehension, tracking etc?

Doodle Sun 10-Jun-18 14:26:04

Not likely to be dyslexia if she can read ok I would have thought. My DGS is dyslexic and his handwriting is so bad that he either spent hours forming a letter or gave up. He went to typing lessons and learnt to type really well and quickly. At least your DGD is living in an age where children can use computers and keypads. My handwriting is and always has been deplorable. Parents should discuss this with school. Is it the first time you have done homework with her? Perhaps (as is easily done when a granny ) you are trying too hard to make it perfect.

HurdyGurdy Sun 10-Jun-18 14:28:34

Thank you.

She was supposed to be having after school "top up" lessons last year one day a week after school, with one of the teachers. Out of the whole year, I think she went three times. The teacher was always away at meetings.

Yes, she struggles with spellings. She can spell the words out loud, but when it comes to writing them, she struggles. She also uses a mixture of letter names and sounds, despite being asked to use one or the other.

Maths, she transposes numbers a lot. So for example, if she is asked to write 57, she will put 75.

We are all quite happy to take a step back and let her catch up at her own pace if that's all it takes. But if she does have some kind of issue with writing, then we'd like to get her some additional help.

She does get a bit upset (not hugely) that everyone else in her friendship group gets awards for handwriting and spellings etc, and she doesn't. She gets them for "personality traits", such as being caring, and helpful, and for friendship, so she's not missing out on awards altogether.

And yes, we took an hour to do eleven words. But that wasn't a solid hour, but cumulative. We stopped and made crispie cakes, then did some more, and then went and make chocolate chip cookies and went back and finished.

But clearly she can't do that in class, so if there's anything we can do to support her (and the teacher), then we will. When her parents express their concerns to the teacher, she doesn't really seem bothered by it.

HildaW Sun 10-Jun-18 14:34:26

Dyslexia is a was not till I was taking course in special needs whilst running a pre-school I realised I fulfilled some of the criteria. Left/right confusion - misreading certain letters so that a simple word such as the, then or that is misread throwing the whole sentence out making reading a slow process. Inconsistent spelling is also a bug bear and led to much teasing when at school all those years ago.

M0nica Sun 10-Jun-18 14:36:32

Dyslexia is all about coding and decoding written language. Most people have problems with decoding (reading), but other children have no problem decoding but great problems coding (writing things down)

So HurdyGurdy, you may be right, your DGD has a problem with coding. But it can only be fully diagnosed by an expert.

If she has problems with the physical effort of writing and is also a bit clumsy and not good at games etc, the problem may be dyspraxia. Problems with fine motor control.

Both DS and I were diagnosed with dyspraxia some years ago. Both of us had messy and illegible writing, had problems riding a bike, and problems with any activity that required us to be dexterous; sewing, art, sport.

Squiffy Sun 10-Jun-18 14:37:17

Hurdy The additional info that you’ve posted would suggest that getting her tested would be a good idea. The school won’t be keen because it costs them money and they will probably try to fob you off, so you may have to persevere or pay privately.

paddyann Sun 10-Jun-18 14:46:08

I'd say get her tested ,my daughter is dyslexic and she wasn't tested until high school despite me telling the teachers there was a problem .Her father is mildly dyslexic,although he can read its painstakingly slow for him to take in what each word means and her GF was the same.Both had successful careers so it doesn't need to be a life sentence .Look at folk like Jackie Stewart and Richard Branson..both told by teachers they were thick .

Doodle Sun 10-Jun-18 14:49:38

Hurdy , now you have provided a bit more information, I agree with those who have said get an expert opinion. If the teacher isn't bothered it could be because your DGD is fine and there is no problem OR it could be because the teacher isn't bothered! As was the case with my DS. As a dyslexic person who is mother and grandmother to two others, I cannot stress how important it is to get your DGC tested. If all is well, great but if ere is a problem, the sooner it is known the better. If you are not sure where to start, look up the British Dyslexia Association.

Moocow Sun 10-Jun-18 15:07:56

I know this is probably going to sound bizarre but one thing to do is quick and simple is to get an optician to check her eyesight.

Squiffy Sun 10-Jun-18 15:12:22

Hurdy You mention that she reads beautifully, but a) Does she understand what she has read and b) Does she have a tendency to miss out words? (Often the salient word in a sentence?), which then challenges her comprehension?

Dyslexia is a bit of a 'catch-all' term for all sorts of issues with literacy and processing.

HurdyGurdy Sun 10-Jun-18 15:18:13

Thank you all for your swift, and kind responses.

If we have to go private, then we will. We just want to know that we're not missing something.

The parents have asked for a meeting with the teacher - her daddy thinks that school are holding her back on her reading level (she breezes through all the books with no problems at all - we get read a bedtime story, rather than the other way round grin) because of her writing. He may be right - who knows.

Hopefully the meeting with the teacher will be productive, but if not, then we will definitely pursue it privately.

Obviously nothing will please us more than being told that we're worrying unnecessarily, but at least we will know.

M0nica - thank you. I found your post particularly interesting in relation to coding and decoding. Now that you mention it, she is a bit clumsy in terms of throwing/catching balls, balancing etc, so there may well be elements of dyspraxia there.

And Moocow - good suggestion about the optician. I will mention this to my daughter.

mcem Sun 10-Jun-18 15:43:41

It was dyslexia that sprang to mind with me too.
Think about what monica said and have a closer look at her fine motor skills. My DGS reads well, spelling is reasonably good and maths work is confident but handwriting is poor.
I was a believer in formal writing lessons in my own classroom but that seems to be frowned on now.
Being shown how to form letters and hold/use a pencil correctly helped a lot.I
The brightest person I know (academically) also has the worst handwriting!

M0nica Sun 10-Jun-18 16:26:59

HurdyGurdy How does your DGD manage with a computer? Can she type her written text easily, with no worries about spelling? If not that would indicate that she probably has a coding problem ie dyslexia, If she can type words on the keyboard without problem that would indicate dyspraxia.

Fennel Sun 10-Jun-18 16:59:38

As others have said, dyslexia is a blanket term.
It covers problems with most areas of sensory input - visual, auditory, motor coordination etc. As well as language development.
This is the test that we used to identify a child's main areas of weakness:

lemongrove Sun 10-Jun-18 18:05:59

I am mildly dyslexic though nobody realised, and couldn't read until I was eight!
Learning to tell the time later on was also a nightmare for me, I was thought to be ‘slow’ and surprised everyone by easily passing the eleven plus.
Handwriting was untidy, in an age that put great store on neat handwriting.
I really don’t know if writing is difficult for all children, but our DGC struggle with it, yet their reading is good.

HurdyGurdy Sun 10-Jun-18 19:06:51

Actually M0nica - I don't think I've ever seen her use one! They probably have them at school, but she's never used mine when she's been here.

Funnily enough, when I read your original post I thought - well, next time she's got spellings, I will see how she gets on using my laptop. Great minds, eh? grin

Jalima1108 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:04:13

Seven year olds and homework!!
One of my bêtes noire!!

It is possible that she just didn't want to do it.

Jalima1108 Sun 10-Jun-18 20:05:26

Now that you mention it, she is a bit clumsy in terms of throwing/catching balls, balancing etc, so there may well be elements of dyspraxia there.
Although what M0nica says about dyspraxia could be a consideration.

Marydoll Sun 10-Jun-18 20:18:28

As a teacher, who worked with dyslexic and dyspraxic children, I would suggest seeking a professional evaluation of your granddaughter's needs, before she is much older. The earlier the intervention, the better. I know in these days of cutbacks, it's difficult to get help, but trust your instincts and persist until someone listens.

My own school was very proactive and as soon as we realised there was a difficulty, we investigated. We were known as a "Dyslexia friendly school".
A number of staff had additional post grad qualifications in supporting pupils with dyslexia, because we wanted to provide the best support possible for all of our pupils.

Speculating on what is wrong with her isn't really helping.
I'm surprised the school haven't picked up on it. Her parents could ask initially for an appointment with the school, just to voice concerns and ask for advice. Then take it from there.

To my absolute shame, my own daughter wasn't diagnosed until she was in high school, and to this day, she still talks about how "stupid" she felt. She had a huge vocabulary and was really good at hiding the fact that she couldn't spell. As with every condition, there are varying degrees.
It was only when I started post graduate study on special educational needs, that I realised what was wrong.
I did have to fight her corner to get help. It paid off, because when she went to university, she was allowed extra time in exams, anonymous marking and tutors were aware that she was dyslexic.
It is really hard not to become frustrated, for both the child and family. Self esteem can take a battering when something like this happens.

I hope things improve for all of you. There is no magic cure, but there is lots of good advice and support out there.

mostlyharmless Sun 10-Jun-18 20:43:49

If your granddaughter can read well, I agree with others that her problem is more likely to be dyspraxia. The school should refer her for assessment.
Failing that, there are exercises that may help improve her coordination. Special pencils and pens are available and sometimes a sloping board (or desk) can make writing easier.
One to one sessions at school to help her coordination would be ideal, but there might not be funds for that.
The first step is an assessment. It might be that her difficulties improve with maturity. I hope your GD’s school is helpful.

Marydoll Sun 10-Jun-18 20:55:53

The Ed Psych diagnosed my daughter's dyslexia. She could read fluently, but wrote gobbledegook at times. At 16, she had a spelling age of 11. sad
There are so many factors involved. My daughter never had a dominant hand either. One day she used her right hand, the next day her left. I now see the same left/right confusion with my granddaughter.
All we can offer is support advice to the OP.
Only the person who assesses her, will have the full picture and be able to make a diagnosis.
Good luck.

Iam64 Sun 10-Jun-18 21:10:38

If you can afford it get a private assessment. For what its worth, it sounds like dyslexia to me, both from my experience at work and at home. It's possible for hard working, well behaved children to stagger through to university with their dyslexia undiagnosed. It's happened to a number of young people I know.
Incidentally, dyslexia and dyslexia with numbers (apologies I've forgotten its correct title) often go hand in hand. It's increasingly difficult to get an EdPsych assessment in schools (cuts again folks)