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Thread: dyslexia ...urgent help needed

  1. #1
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    Default dyslexia ...urgent help needed

    Hi

    our son was diagnosed with a specific learning disability (dyslexia) 2years ago. He is 10 now. we have had a request from the medical assessor in nz asking for a more uptodate assessment by a "developmental paediatrician".

    The problem is, in the uk dyslexia etc is not diagnosed by a paediatrician, it is an educational psychologist who sees children with such conditions. A paediatrician would not assess our son in the uk and send him to an ed psych.

    We are stuck as the "MA is unavailable for 2 weeks"!! so, we are unable to get our CO to ask him/her if a uk educational psychologist is good enough or does he have some other professional in mind.

    This is so frustrating....we are so close to the end of the PR application process and now we are stuck. I have booked our son in with an ed psych on thursday, but I am now worried a) he is not the professional we need b) our son could end up sitting through a 2 hour assessment and then we have to get another one done c) we waste 400 and then spend another on this mystery "developmental paediatrician.

    If there is any UK parents out there who have done this process please please post asap to point me in the right direction. I am also posting this on medicals too in the hope someone will get back to me.

    willow

  2. #2
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    Nov 2007
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    D'port, Auckland (ex UK)
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    Default

    I have no direct experience of this, but my advice, in the absence of the MA, is to contact an educational psychologist and see if you can have a chat to them about the terminology, they may be able to advise whether they will be a suitable person to see or be able to point you in the right direction. Worth a phoen call at any rate.

  3. #3
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    Default hi

    thanks dusk.

    i have spoken to the ed psych in the uk and they say that they are exactly the people to be doing the report.....that is the problem....what we think over here and what the medical assessor has in mind could be two seperate things. We can't get confirmation from NZ of what a "developmental paediatrician" equates to in the UK. which could result in 400 wasted and our son having to go through a stressful assessment twice. I am so cross that the medical assessors are uncontactable ("in new zealand at the moment")...surely NZIS can get them on a mobile or something. To get to this stage and have either a delay (until the MA resurfaces) or a child having to sit two tests/wasted money is ridiculous. we are using an agent too and they are stuck because the MA is out of contact.

    slowly tearing my hair out

    willow

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Default any parents with dyslexic child out there?

    hoping there is someone out there who has had there childs medical referred to MA because of dyslexia!

  5. #5
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    Default

    So sorry for the tension you must be feeling.

  6. #6
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    Christchurch
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    Default

    Hi Willow, im sorry i cant help directly with ur question, but i too have a child with dyslexia and i know how u r feeling.
    I spent 400 on an assessment the year before we came out as the UK school wouldnt give my daughter any extra help until someone said exactly wot was wrong with her and then had to repeat it all wen we got to the NZ as the New Zealand school wouldnt give her any extra help without a "NZ assessment", like the Uk one meant nothing, what i nightmare!!
    I really didnt know what to do or who to turn to for help, but u do what u have to for ur child. so $400 was spent this time.
    Seabrook McKenzie Centre was amazing, although we have spent alot of money, its been well worth it for her, she is doing so much better now.

    I hope someone is able to answer ur question and u dont have to jump through the hoops like we had too on ur arrival in New Zealand.

    Good luck to u and ur family.
    Joanne

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hi Willow

    It makes total sense that the ed psych should to the report although why you need a specific assessment seems strange... Has you child previously been assessed by an Ed Psych? Would that report not suffice? No idea what a developmental paediatrician is or what they relate to but may be worth emailing special education at the Ministry of Education and asking them what they would expect you to have in terms of assessment: special.education@minedu.govt.nz

    Hope you get some answers soon

    Karenx

  8. #8
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    From what I learnt in the context of UK education, a developmental paediatrician would be a doctor who cares for children whose physical development is not following the usual path, e.g. I remember a boy whose legs were not growing at the same rate as the rest of his body. People with suspected dyslexia and similar conditions were referred to educational psychologists, whose specialism is mental/perceptual difficulties. Perhaps in NZ, there is a supposition that 'development' is an umbrella term to cover the lot - physical, mental and perceptual.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Anything Developmental includes conditions like autism and Asperger syndrome. The problem with the term 'Dyslexia' which covers a range of Specific Learning Difficulities (SpLD) and 'diagnosis' is that they sound medical. This is a historical problem which we are left with when the problems were first identified. It gave more credibility to the problems at the time but these days leaves us with the impression that SpLD is some kind of illness or disability. This is most certainly not the case and is one of the reasons which the concept of 'dyslexia' is so difficult for many people to grasp.

    SpLD encompasses a range of difficulties not all of which pose problems at the same time. SpLD causes problems with reading, writing spelling etc - which are all learned skills and, if you think about it, none of which the human body/brain were designed for. It's only become apparent in the past 100 years or so with the desire for everyone to be able to read and write. Prior to that it didn't really matter because only a select few were deemed privileged enough to be allowed to read and write. Literacy skills in the working classes? Unthinkable at the time - even actively prevented.

    But to today these skills are expected to be held by everyone. And like every other learned skill some people are very very good at acquiring them, others not so good even if they are capable of learning other skill well. To put it simply, for example, I can do a mean spaghetti bolognese (opening the jar all on my own and all) but even Nigella can't turn me into a cook. I can walk perfectly well but place my feet in a pair of skis and you can hear the air-ambulance firing up in the distance. But the fact that I can't cook or ski doesn't really affect my life a great deal. The whole education system is based on the need to have literacy skills.

    If an individual has difficulty acquiring these skills there is great concern that s/he will be unable to access the education system - therefore causing problemsfor the people who designed the system. Ironically, the education systems in both UK and NZ (and elsewhere) have taken a long time to work out that maybe the 'one size fits all' idea doesn't suit everyone. SpLDs can be addressed and skills acquired but it takes a lot more time to teach them than to assume they have already been learned. The policy in both countries is now to provide the extra support need - although in practice there may be room for improvement.


    I wonder in this case whether the person who referred it to the MA has misunderstood the 'diagnosis' (I prefer the term 'identification' of 'Dyslexia' ( I prefer SpLD) and has confused it with Asperger Syndrome or Autism which are developmental disorders. I suspect your main worry here is that you are unable, at the moment, to track down and get clarification on it all. Very frustrating when the only person who can answer you questions is unavailable. Hang in there Willow, I'm sure it will be sorted in the end. Use your original EP report - there should be no need to pay for another one. You may have to get another report in NZ but even that can be avoided if your school uses common sense. Remember that 'Dyslexia' only became officially recognised by NZ in April 2007. There are still large numbers of people who don't understand it. If your MA - or rather the person who sent it forward to the MA- has no idea, then this (your problem) is exactly what can happen.

    Hope all goes well when the MA returns

  10. #10
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    Default


    Excellent post Lockstock! I've been following this thread (as a mother with a teen-aged kid with a learning difference) and agree 100% with you. Hope it gets sorted out soon for the OP.
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