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If you knew your dyslexic kiddo was going to attend school next year...

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No flaming please. After discussing it with my husband, we have decided that DD11 will be happiest back in a Catholic school. The school is wonderful - super small class sizes (entire school K4 - 8th only has 150 students), a homeschool friendly principal and staff (so they are aware that she has been learning with a different scope/sequence in mind), and... well, she won't be miserable any more. I plan to continue homeschooling my younger sons, who have never been to B&M school, but Autumn simply misses it too much to be happy at home.


On that note, the principal is aware that she is dyslexic. There isn't exactly a special needs class, since their resources are limited, but they ARE willing to work with us. She may be placed back a year (because she has a late birthday, most of her friends are a grade below her, and she consistently works in language arts at a pace a year behind where she *technically* is).


What accommodations would you think to ask for for a child whose dyslexia showcases in her writing and spelling, if any accommodations? Her reading is actually quite good - word for word, she has fluency issues and must take care not to skip small but important words, or get sentences on a page mixed up - usually a dark colored card or paper helps her follow best.


I've ordered IEW SWI A to work with her on through the summer, as well as the next level of Apples and Pears. She will be going into either grade 6 or 7.


Any advice on how to make this a smooth transition for her?

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My son, 9, has been in a private school with small class sizes. Due to his age, his teacher requested that he have an aid so that he can skip Spanish and so that he has help during language arts. Not being graded on spelling for in class writing exercises, not being required to "trade papers" for writing workshops or spelling tests not being forced to read out loud in class (or given certain texts ahead of time so she can practice.) Quiet room for tests or in-class writings, extra time or when appropriate reduced length of certain assignments. Check the Barton website for a list of recommended accomodations, and then adapt it to fit her strengths and weaknesses. We've had a lot of luck this year working with the private school--his anxiety is less, he's improving socially, and he is feeling more confident about his work. We still need to get working on a good Orton Gillingham based program, but we've had a good situation so far. Also, at the school his strengths in art and science are shining through.

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I don't know your daughter but I do have a son with dyslexia. Some common accommodations for dyslexics are:


Extended time for testing


Not counting off for spelling

A note taker or permission to record lectures (the LiveScribe pen works very well for this)

Posting homework online

Being allowed use of audiobooks


Be warned that private schools don't have to comply with disability laws and generally aren't equipped to deal with kids with LDs. My son went to a small private school that meant well and developed an accommodation plan signed by all of his teachers that sounded great on paper, but was never put into practice.

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I would look to see if there is anything you can give the teacher to help educate him/her about dyslexia (printouts from Barton site or a book). My son started the year out in a small Catholic school which was quite loving but they just didn't have the knowledge or resources to deal with him. His teacher didn't seem to think he even had a problem with reading (many dyslexics are good at covering it up) and thought it was all behavior problems. In fact many of his behavior problems were connected to his anxiety and fear over reading and inability to participate in the class activities. (It was so heavy in reading and writing that he quickly gave up on doing schoolwork and decided instead to 'have fun,' i.e. misbehave.) I think educating the teacher is important.


I would also try to figure out if she is still in need of remediation and to make a plan for her to get that. The school may or may not have resources for remediation in place, and if you can figure out what she needs, that will be your best bet. Unlike in a public school I would not trust the school to come up with an appropriate plan of attack since they just do not deal with it often enough. You know your daughter best, and it may take the school months and months before they can figure out how to best help her. If you have a clear idea of what remediation (such as a particular program) she is still in need of (if any) then you can having something clear to advocate for.


We were able to provide the teacher with the AAS book that my son was on at the time and she allowed him to work out of them instead of the spelling words the class was on, which were just WAY beyond his ability.


The other major issue we had was with homework. It was all very reading and writing heavy, this after a full day of reading/writing activities. I would find out if you could limit the amount of time you spend doing homework since 20 minutes of homework for a NT student might take a dyslexic 90 minutes, which is just not fair. I got the point where I just set the timer and anything he was not done after that amount of time just didn't get done. I'm sure the school has a guideline for amount of time children should be spending on homework, so maybe you could address that issue with them...of not wanting her to spend more than the recommended time.


As far as being held back, my son would definitely have been in a higher grade if he could have read better. Keeping him in the lower grade meant he was not learning ANYTHING in math or other subjects, so you will have to weigh that out.


I don't know if this is a NY thing or what, but we were able to access the public school's special needs resources. Your daughter may be able to get services through the public school system even though she is in a private school.


I am not trying to be negative, just sharing some of the pitfalls we experienced so you can learn from my mistakes :) Good luck!

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The accomodations you may wish to request would really depend on the degree of your daughter's dyslexia and how it compares to her strengths, along the workload expected of her in the classroom. Honestly, a lot of bright dyslexics get through school without any accomodations and sometimes without even ever having their dyslexia diagnosed.


I've heard of one Catholic school where a trained volunteer teaches her own daughter and some other children using O-G methods. If your daughter is reading fine, she may not need that. If your dd's dyslexia only shows up in spelling and writing, then you may wish to ask that she be allowed to type and use spellcheck on her homework assignments and speak to the teacher so that points aren't taken off for poor spelling on handwritten assignments and tests in school. Any further accomodations I ask about would depending on how much writing is done in school and the use of computers and what else is going on with her. Some dyslexics have other areas of weakness that fall within the broader catagory of language processing beyond just reading, writing and spelling.


I won't flame you. I seriously looked at sending my dc to Catholic school last year and the school also seemed like they were willing to work with us regarding special needs and dyslexia. My son would have liked to have gone there. The thing that made me decide against it was that when I met with the teacher, she spoke so fast that I realized that it wasn't going to be a good fit from the auditory processing standpoint. And I opened this thread because we are looking at sending my 14 yo with auditory processing problems to high school next year. At this point, I have not asked for any accomodations for him and I'm hoping he won't need any. But I don't want to stick my head in the sand either--I'm prepared that we might have to make sure that he sits near the teacher and away from any background noises. It's a small school and they seem willing to work with us.

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I would also find out asap who his teacher will be. I would contact him/her over the summer and give him/her all of the background on your child. Try to get together in person if you can. Getting good accommodations in an IEP is essential, but in my experience getting the teacher on board is even more so. The teacher is the primary person who is responsible for implementing the accommodations, so you really need him/her to understand why your child needs them. I was able to do this with my son when he was in school and it helped a lot.

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