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dyslexia diagnosis at university

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by b00kw0rm, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. b00kw0rm

    b00kw0rm New commenter

    <font size="2">Hi everyone,</font><font size="2">I'd really appreciate your thoughts and views on this.</font><font size="2">I've met quite a few people recently who have been diagnosed with Dyslexia at university, seemingly having got through school/ college without such difficulties having been identified. </font><font size="2">Diagnosis at this level brings with it package of support including laptop with various software.</font><font size="2">I'm curious, do universities have a different way to diagnosing dyslexia? Why are so many students being diagnosed at this level, when I'm quite certain this couldn't have been "overlooked" throughout their primary and secondary schooling?</font>
  2. Bright, dyslexic students at school can often find ways round their difficulties and cope well enough to get the grades they need for the next phase. The further up the education system they go the more their difficulties affect them. SENCos at school are too busy dealing with the poorest students and many don't hit the criteria for support or even more formal identification. There are also many students who just keep their heads down as they don't want to be idenatified as 'Special' in any way. As they get older and more confident they are more willing to admit to struggling with certain aspects of work.
    Hope this helps.
  3. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    I haven't come across any students getting a DSA for specific learning difficulties who haven't got a history of difficulties at school.
    I still see many who didn't get sufficient support at school or a formal assessment.
  4. b00kw0rm

    b00kw0rm New commenter

    <font size="2">Hi,</font><font size="2">Many thanks for your comments Moonpenny and SENcoj. I was curious as I have recently been made aware that a few people I've come across through work as well and a friend of a friend's daughter have all been diagnosed when at Uni. I just found it puzzling as I know how much support as a class teacher, I give students who struggle and likewise my colleagues, I was concerned that there appear to be a significant number of young people who are being identified as in need of additional support once they reach further education.</font><font size="2">Thanks for your comments.</font>
  5. Hi there

    I was picked up as dyslexic after graduating and before beginning my PGCE. Depsite 15 GCSEs and 4 A Levels, it had never been picked up at school or initially at Uni, as I had developed ways to cope. I also went to a gramamr school where pupils "didn't have SEN".

    I feel that many students who are picked up at school are struggling, because the dyslexia and their intelligence means that they cannot access the curriculum as easily and may have behaviour issues or make little progress which rings alarm bells. Bright, dyslexic students may not stand out as they are still achieving good grades, although maybe not achieving their potential.

    When I look back on my school years, I had extra English outside school twice a week for nearly four years. If my parents had not invested the time/money in ferry me to the English lessons, I would have not done as well.

  6. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Germanlad: what are your main difficulties? (if you don't mind me being nosey)[​IMG]
  7. In my case because the head of English wrote on an essay "there is no such thing as dyslexia" and although my parents wanted a test they did not know where to go other than the English department.
  8. Moonpenny: Shame you didn't ask what my strengths are, too!

    Anyway, here are what I class as my main difficulties:
    - processing lots of information AND then understanding what it said - I generally get bored in reading and give up, even newspapers
    - mixing up words in sentences when I speak, espeically idioms and set phrases so sometimes it doesn't make much sense to others
    - making notes when listening - I just sat there in lectures and absorbed it all and recalled for exams. It's great now at school as I can remember what was said in previous meetings, years ago while others are scrabbling around for minutes from meetings
    - spelling in English (my mother tongue - I teach German). I have good and bad days but I very rarely have to write on the board in English but my spelling/grammar is better than the average person I would say due to teaching MFL
    - staying focused when doing paperwork and form filing - I cannot work at school as I just end up distracting everyone around me. I need to work at home at my leisure and take mini-breaks
    - filing paperwork - I just put it in piles and hide it away and assume it's never going to be needed. The same for opening post
    - telling the time on an analogue clock

    To be honest, I managed to get my GCSEs, A Levels and degree with no support required and no-one picking up the issue. It was when I started working at the Students' Union after graduating it became apparent that things weren't right hence being sent for a screening test and having proper assessment. For my PGCE, I was given a laptop which did help in allowing me to work from my home rather than at uni and therefore could structure my working time how I prefered. My course tutor was very understanding when it came to paperwork and we compromised on an alternative lesson plan proforma which was easier for me to fill in.

  9. The real issue here is not 'why are students being diagnosed and supported at university', but rather 'why are they not being diagnosed and supported at school'. One of my biggest bugbears.
    (and PS - I do know the an&pound;wer)
  10. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Germanlad: sorry about my phrasing of the question but thanks for your reply. I do DSA assessments so your post was very interesting.
    (ps I do try to put a lot of emphasis on strengths, honestly.[​IMG] I even started a thread on it over on opinion but most people seemed to think I was mad to suggest there the positives. I even put some links to the research done by Dr.Ross Cooper (who is dyslexic) at South Bank University to no avail)
  11. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    there are positives
  12. Moonpenny: thanks for the reply ... no need to apologise ... my comment was tongue in cheek!

    What makes me sad is that so many people (even those in education which makes me more sad) think dyslexia means a) you're thick and b) you cannot spell. The Kara Tointon programme on TV recently (Don't call me stupid) was fantastic for challenging this notion.

  13. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Cool - I will look out for that if it is shown again.
  14. You may be able to access some useful clips for showing students online


  15. This phenomenon is sometimes called the 'dyslexia fuse effect' . Because of the development of compensatory strategies, literacy skills of many dyslexics can appear superficially adequate, especially if the person is very bright. These strategies are likely to break down when the individual is confronted with tasks that are more challenging than previously experienced, e.g. when going to university. This is sometimes called the 'dyslexia fuse effect'; the dyslexia 'fuse' blows as a result of the educational load being placed upon it.
    As a Head of Learning Support, I am continually reviewing the data held on our pupils, especially after exams or following comments made at parent's evening, e.g. "she's spending hours on her homework". This includes looking back at the profiles of kids in Year 12 and Year 13 to see if there are any tell-tale signs from their dyslexia screening and MIDYIS testing done in school.
    In fact, we routinely screen for dyslexia in Y7, but then repeat this whole year screening in Y9 as some very bright dyslexia slip through in Y7, as they don't score low enough to be picked up.

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