"Having raised a child with Dyslexia and being the founder of Dyslexia School Search, I perfectly understand the need for the right School"
Poppy is very dyslexic, she has struggled at school, and consequently has changed schools four times in her first eleven years. Unfortunately none of the schools that her family have selected for her have been able to offer her the level of support that she requires and she has reached the point of refusing to go to school. Poppy is an incredibly talented artist, and spends many hours sketching and drawing fantastic designs, she dreams of being a fashion designer, but her family felt that this dream was a ‘fairy tale’, and couldn’t envisage Poppy gaining even one GCSE.
Dyslexia School Search was able to find a mainstream boarding school that had a team of seven specialists in their Learning Enrichment Department, some of whom were themselves outstanding artists. They evaluated Poppy over a period of three days, and felt they could help her. She has been allowed to drop her study of languages, and will concentrate on subjects that play to her strengths. The school sees no reason why Poppy shouldn’t study Art, Photography, and Textile Design at A Level, and go on to Art College to follow her dreams.
Poppy is an invaluable member of the team designing stage backdrops for school productions and it is wonderful to see her confidence and friendship base growing.
William, who is a Dutch national, with English is his first language. He is a severely disabled boy with multiple learning difficulties. He is a delightful boy, very sociable, loves to go to school and is very popular both with his peer group and his teachers. William’s father works for a multi-national corporation and the family have a very typical expat profile. The corporation that William’s father works for contacted Dyslexia School Search to ask for help in finding William a suitable school in London that could meet his needs. These searches are very complex and rarely straightforward; however, DSS were successful in both finding a suitable for school for William and to explain the complexities of the Statutory Assessment Process that William’s family needed to access in order to gain a place in the school.
Freddie lives in India with his family, his family who are French, have travelled extensively and Freddie speaks both English and French fluently. Freddie was adopted at the age of 2 years and little is known of his early life. Freddie was diagnosed at the age of 13 as having dyscalculia with very weak organisational skills but highly intelligent. His parents felt that by sending Freddie to the UK for a boarding education at 13 would feel to Freddie that he was being punished for his dyscalculia and therefore they decided to delay making the decision and he was enrolled into an international school in India. Two years later, and only a year away from GCSEs Freddie’s school informed his parents that they felt it was unlikely that Freddie would do well at GCSE and they didn’t feel they could help him any further. Freddie is a delightful young man, incredibly sociable and comfortable both with his peer group and adults - he is ambitious for his future, but close to ‘switching off from learning’.
Freddie happily accepts that he will have to repeat Year 10 and has also been delighted that so many schools in the UK have been confident to offer him a place to study. He is also excited at the prospect of taking part in such a wide and varied extra-curricular offer, and is looking forward to every aspect of the next four years of schooling.
Joshua’s mother contacted Dyslexia School Search whilst working in Australia. Currently the help for children with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia in Australia is very patchy and Joshua’s mother, who works in the oil and gas industry, was extremely concerned that Joshua was not receiving the level of support he needed. Faced with so little support Joshua’s mother made the decision to return to the UK in order to give him the best possible support. Joshua had an out of date educational psychologist’s report, so DSS organised for a report to be done at Joshua’s home. Once that was received it was obvious that Joshua was highly intelligent, in the 1st percentile, and would do extremely well in a mainstream school with the right level of support. The report also suggested that rather than having dyslexia, Joshua has dysgraphia and needs support for poor coordination. DSS has been able to help with suggesting practitioners who will be able to support Joshua with his poor coordination and with that support a marked improvement should be possible with his dysgraphia.
Joshua's educational profile was of great interest to the mainstream schools approached by DSS and with the right IEP in place, it is envisaged that he will be a straight 'A' candidate.
Joe’s family are very typical of the expat banking family. His parents originally met in Hong Kong, and thoroughly enjoyed their life of two year assignments in different corners of the globe. In time they had three sons, and the parents were convinced that their international lifestyle would be beneficial to the boys and they would become ‘”citizens of the world”. The boys were enrolled into international schools wherever they were posted and initially all seemed to be well. However, Joe, who is the oldest son, started to struggle at school; he was generally bottom or close to bottom when the end of term reports were sent out, and his self-esteem began to fail. He questioned his ability and regarded himself as a failure, especially when his younger brother started to overtake him academically and socially Joe was starting to struggle. Unfortunately Joe’s academic lifestyle meant he was never in one school long enough to build strong relationships with either his teachers or peers, and gradually Joe took up a position at the back of the classroom and avoided as far as possible getting involved in the life of the school. Eventually one teacher suggested that Joe should have an educational psychologist’s report carried out, this proved that Joe had an above average IQ, but with poor short term memory and weak organisational skills. His profile was typical of a dyslexic. For another eighteen months the family struggled on, Joe was failing badly and the schools were unable to offer the level of support he needed. His mother was very reluctant to consider a boarding life in the UK for Joe: “I felt I was punishing him for being dyslexic by sending him away to school”, but there came a time when Joe was simply refusing to attend school and action had to be taken.
Joe is now settled in a mainstream independent school in England, his aunt and cousins live 40 minutes away, the school has a well-established Learning Enrichment Department where Joe has received the support he needed. He is also a mainstay of the rugby and cricket teams and has taken up the guitar and joined a group. He is no longer the bottom of the class but sitting very comfortably at the upper end of the middle, is predicted 8 good GCSEs and the school is confident that he will be able to follow his dream of studying Engineering at university.