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A Parent's Experience Of Having A Dyslexic Child At School

Hi! I am John, a married parent of two daughters, one of whom is dyslexic.

Jess and I performing at a gig in Cambridge.  Photo courtesy of Beth Hicks Photography.

My daughter Jess who is 16 now, is a bubbly , fun and cheeky teenager who is currently in 6th Form studying performing arts.
A number of years ago , I don't think that she was confident that she would even get through her GCSEs, let alone get to 6th Form.

When Jess was in year 8 (aged 12) we had finally got her a diagnosis of being dyslexic.  For many years she always enjoyed stories being read out to her, but always said that she 'hated' reading.  Myself and my wife assumed that this 'hating reading' was just a childish remark and we pretty much ignored it.  That is until one day she was asked to read out a Bible passage at a public event and she had a complete meltdown.  Her confidence disappeared and she broke down in tears.  There was no way that she was going to do that reading.

This was the first time we knew that we had to do something.  We spoke to the school about this and they said that unless we had a diagnosis of dyslexia, they couldn't put resources into place to support Jess because whilst having average school results, she wasn't under performing.  The school seemed to have greater priorities.

So we went to a charity called Dyslexia Action and we paid for Jess to have an assessment.  It cost a lot of money too but it was worth it!
Jess was diagnosed and we took the report to the school and requested the support that was written in the report.  The school willingly provided the resources and last year we became very proud parents because Jess achieved an A*, 4 As and a number of B and C grades.
Jess was away when we got the results and we called her to tell her the results.  The was a wash of emotion from Jess when she heard her results.  She didn't expect to do well.

So if you are in any doubt as to whether or not to get your child tested for Dyslexia.  Stop wasting time and get it sorted out.  You won't regret it.

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