Parents' Transition Insights

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Phase 1: Primary 7 - Looking forward to secondary school


Issue 1.1: Parents' understanding of dyslexia

All parents interviewed knew that their children were dyslexic. In some cases parents themselves had approached the school with early concerns which had led to an assessment of dyslexia. In some cases parents found a reluctance from schools to identify in early primary, with final confirmation coming in upper primary. Whilst it is true that schools may offer appropriate support without confirmation of dyslexia, it is nevertheless helpful to parents and pupils to be offered an explanation of the difficulties experienced and it is unlikely that this can be fully understood without the introduction of the word 'dyslexia.'

Formerly, official identification could only be undertaken by an educational psychologist. Today, however, most education authorities have specialist teachers who are qualified to assess and advise schools on appropriate support or liaise with school Support for Learning teachers.

In many cases, parents' expectations for secondary reflected their understandings of dyslexia. The support parents offer to their children also depends on their understanding of each child's particular difficulties.

Some parents who were involved in the study shared their understanding of their children's difficulties.

Tanya, Callum's mum

• Parent's identification of dyslexia

Tom, Steven's dad

• Identification of son's dyslexia

Alison, Steven's mum

• Pupil's understanding of dyslexia

Norah, Jamie's mum

• School referral was a little late

Fiona, Greg's mum

• Identification of dyslexia by parent

Raymond, Gavin's dad

• Parent requested assessment

Pam, Connor's mum

• Reading is not always the main problem

Siblings with dyslexia

Alison, Steven's mum

• Siblings difficulties

Pam, Connor's mum

• Siblings with specific difficulties