13 Aug 2010 2:28 PM
Just wanted to share and vent.....
We moved here nearly 3 yrs ago now, it was evident in my sons reception year in the UK that he was having trouble gaining his literacy skills. He is now 8 and in yr 3 here in Australia. I have had him formally assessed by the DSF (Dyslexia SPELD Foundation) here in Perth and as expected he has dyslexia.
After paying nearly $800 for his assessment and taking it to his school to ask how can we help him, I have discovered that in Australia 'apart from NSW, dyslexia is not legally recognised as a learning disability and debate centres on whether the condition really exists.' My son also attends a Catholic school where I was informed that the CEB (Catholic Education Board) doesn't recognise dyslexia. This means no assistance will be provided e.g catchup, extra tuition, extra time etc.
So basically in order to keep up we are expected to hire a private tutor as well as pay school fees, and the tutors are $60.00 per hour and as rare as hens teeth. He also has to complete any work not done in class at home as well as usual homework.
From my experience, the school will not initiate any sort of testing if your child is struggling and IEP's don't exist.
His current teacher is newly trained and fantastic, at the moment I have been allowed into the classroom to assist, but next year will be different.
Just something to consider when planning your move.
13 Aug 2010 6:39 PM
|Funny that. My brother was diagnosed dyslexic at 7 and along with others in his school, was given special tuition in a state funded program. This was at Brentwood Primary around 1977 (Perth WA).
Something has changed.|
13 Aug 2010 9:26 PM
|To be fair whilst there are IEPs in the UK support really depends on what authority you lived in. In certian London boroughs dyslexia was so far down on the list you may have experienced the same thing.
Why dont you buy some of the manuals from the Dyslexia institute or send to the Uk for them and just work at home. At this age $60 a session is a bit OTT. Why not have a meeting (and pay with a dyslexic tutor and get some strategies that you can use at home and give the teacher. There are loads of different things that can be done very simply for dyslexic students ... it is just teachers arent trained to deal with them.
as for additional support, dyslexic students are entitled to extra support in exams so it might be something worth remembering in exams.
If you are in a Catholic school maybe you want to make sure it is one of htose schools who are doing that whizz bang literacy program they have or vote with your feet and go to the local state school, when there are minimal fees, class sizes are smaller and you may get help.
14 Aug 2010 3:16 PM
|My son is at Mindarie senior college (public system) and they have been more than helpful with providing his written materials on coloured paper as well as phoning us to let us know that if we get an australian assessment (like you have done), he will be given more time in his TEE exams (he was diagnosed in the UK) - only problem is he doesn't want to do that.
He was in a catholic school where they were not so helpful....
Don't despair and consider saving your school fees - they will provide a lot of extra tuition.|
14 Aug 2010 5:16 PM
|Thanks fairylights that is reassuring.
I never realised that state school class sizes were only 24 where the catholic schools are generally 30 (or more if a catholic child requests a place). We are considering a move to Perth as we are in the country, can anyone advise of any dyslexia friendly primary schools?
14 Aug 2010 10:46 PM
|Some schools have adopted a programme of learning called Phonological awareness which has been developed by teaching professionals in WA. There is a website http://www.pld-literacy.org/Home.htm which will tell you more about it. You could call the organisation and see which schools have adopted the programme and if there are any in the area you are thinking of moving to. I don't think it is specifically aimed at dyslexic children - but it could assist - all questions to ask. My child is in a class of 22 at a public primary - thats risen from 18 when he started the year, but still quite a small class. |