Dear Dawn We arrived here in Perth nearly 2 years ago from Zimbabwe, Africa and are thoroughly enjoying every minute with new opportunities coming our way all the time especially your webpage. I have a son who is nearly 16 years of age, attending high school and although we advised the school on numerous occasions of his dyslexia nothing has been forthcoming in giving any advice as to learning provisions for him although his teachers note his condition down after each parents consultation day. The school has now issued a phamphlet about all his Year 11 requirements and made mention of SLD provisions for exams. This is the first time we are in receipt of any information of this kind up until now. Any information you may give would be greatly appreciated as we are unfamiliar with school, tafe and uni requirements and/or provisions both for class tuition and examinations. Such as :- – do they require an official assessment to allow him extra time in examinations. – must his classwork all be handwritten on their supplied question sheets especially as English is graded on presentation – what can we do to ensure his grades are not being penalised unfairly (I was advised by his English teacher that his grades have been prejudiced because of his handwriting and presention despite my ensuring that they know he is dyslexic) etc As the next two years are important for my son’s education, I am also concerned that there might be other parameters regarding schooling and SLD that we are not aware of with being new to Australia and any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Here is a bit of his histroy and mine which might be of assistance:- We first discovered he was dyslexic in his first year at kindergarden (Pre-school)as he would draw mirror immage drawings & reverse his numbers and letters. We also discovered he was deaf in one ear and his vision was not the best. He had successful surgery on both ears with grommets to assist drainage and now has full hearing although sensitive to too much noise on occassion. He also wears glasses for close writing work (when he remembers to wear them). We then identified what to try to do to assist him and constantly did phonics with pictures & 3d, left/right hand eye co-ordinations, monitored giving commands and confirming their completion and then increased the amount of commands per sitting, re-evaluate and remind all procedures twice a year. All things progressed and improved, however, we have just started a new term with new teachers and once again he seems to be having trouble with his maths (last year he had an exceptional teacher and did exceptionally well) and his English used to also be of a very high standard but since our arrival in Perth that too has not been graded well. Prior to our arrival he was in a home school environment with a class of 4 per teacher giving a hands on stimulus. After reading your web pages on dyspraxia I now think he also will mark off 3/4 of your test. By the way I was diagnosed as dyslexic when my son was about 7 years old so I fully relate to his issues. As a pre-schooler I could not remember whole words nor my times tables and I too can tick 3/4 of the dyspraxia list. I suffered with severe glandular fever as a child for 2 years (from the age of 9 to 11) and also now wear glasses as well as have a sensitivity to light. Thank heaven for phonics (which by the way is now no longer allowed to be used as part of the curriculum in Zimbabwe). The following saying is so very true for me – Give me the system such as how the “Fairy E Rule”works and could then work out how the word sounds and its spelling! The good news is we both love to read with a passion and fortitude so…. try, try and try again does achieve results. Thank you for any assistance you may give. TLV
Hi, Thank you for you email,
Yes unfortunately despite my best efforts most schools in Australia seem to not do anything for dyslexics. I am setting up Dyslexic centre Australia in order to change this.
if you visit www.dyslexiccentreaustralia.com you will see a handout we offer to take to schools you can download a handout for dyslexics that we are trying to get out in every school. This points out that it is a legal requirement in Australia to have exams read and if necessary scribed but it does not seem to be happening in many places.
To get extra time for exams you have to have your son assessed by a Psych or doctor. but all they need to do is establish how long he takes to read something.
If your son had hearing loss as a small child he will almost certainly have Central Auditory Processing Disorder, which can be tested for by Western Hearing.
Dyslexia is an inherited condition and it is now thought that if you are dyslexic every one of your kids stands 60% chance of being dyslexic.
Hopes this helps