It’s not exactly a huge surprise that one of our children is dyslexic.  After all, the husband is, and so are my father and brother and from what I understand, there’s a strong hereditary link.

In a lot of ways it’s a relief to know.  The middle child has cried about school more times than it’s snowed this winter, convinced that he’s stupid, despite his teachers being very supportive and not half as gloomy as he is about his skills.

But lots of little red flags kept popping up.  How much harder he finds certain things than his younger brother, how catching up after our round the world trip has been such a struggle, how his obvious intelligence doesn’t match his written words.  I know I’m his mother, so I’m bound to think he’s bright, but he really is, you should talk to him.

So we booked an assessment with an Educational Psychologist who has confirmed what we thought. His reasoning skills are in the top 1% for his age group, which puts him closer to a 13 year old than an 8 year old.  (See, I said it wasn’t just me.)  But his maths, spelling and handwriting are below average.  And he has significant trouble with his working memory and processing speed (I’m learning a new vocabulary).  All of which point straight in the direction of dyslexia.

Like I said, it’s actually a relief.  The child in question is really quite chirpy about the whole thing, he’s pleased that there’s a reason he finds things hard.  I’m pleased that we’ll have specific recommendations for how to help him.  I’m also pleased that I wasn’t just being a neurotic pushy mother what-do-you-mean-my-child-isn’t-top-of-the-class type.

So there you have it. I expect I’ll blog as sporadically about this as I do about everything else. But I wanted to chart our journey from the beginning.

If I ever use the term journey again, you have my permission to slap me.


  1. I’m glad it’s a useful process for you. When you say booked an appt do you mean you went private? Just intrigued as it’s been very difficult to track down ed psych involvement in our area.

    • Victoria said:

      Yes, we paid for it. We contacted a charity called Dyslexia Action and they recommended someone. Even if his school had referred us, we’d probably have had to pay for it. Or be on a waiting list for months and months.

  2. As someone who really struggles with spellings. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in my late teens, however, I am not sure that is what it is, I think I just never learned to spell correctly! I am glad that you are accessing some help for him and you.

    • Victoria said:

      Thank you!

  3. I’m tempted to slap you this time, frankly, but I’ll sit on my hands just this once. Glad you have a diagnosis and the means to get help, he’s such a bright button, he’ll fly. x

  4. Hi Victoria, I am so pleased you found these problems out early. At this age, there is so much available to help him and most youngsters will happily work with mum – different once they are in their teeens. I think that if any parent has a child with learning difficulties the most important thing is to have an Educational Psychologist assessment carried out. You then know exactly what you are dealing with. My own boys went through all this, if there is any way at all that parents can pay for tests, I would the schools takes, months and sometimes years to even get the tests carried out, with every excuse under the sun. Check out my website, where you will find plenty of information on dyslexia and things to help your son. Now you know, what his strengths are, you can use them to help his weaknesses. Kind regards

    • Victoria said:

      Thanks Maria!

  5. catboo said:

    Hi, I live in London too and my 10 year old was assessed as having dyslexia last month. The school suggested that we have him assessed (for dysgraphia) because his written work hasn’t been reflecting his apparent intelligence. I was surprised by the assessment as he is an avid reader – he is currently reading the Alex Rider series. So now I am doing a crash course in dyslexia – and a twitter mention of your post brought me here! I’m now researching schools/ educational support – are you?

    • Victoria said:

      Sorry I didn’t reply earlier Catboo, I’ve spoken to his teacher and am seeing the SENCo at school tomorrow. Will be interesting to see what she says!

      • catboo said:

        Thanks for the reply. Good luck with the meeting. I’ve discovered quite a bit since my comment:
        – Many famous and successful people have dyslexia
        – School is generally a bad experience for dyslexics, typically with a loss of self-esteem
        – Disproportionate number of prison inmates have dyslexia
        – Disproportionate number of self-made millionaires are dyslexics
        – For some in education, diagnosing children as dyslexic is controversial, because the ‘intervention’ is the same for all poor readers (see Horizon programme)
        – More positive advice is that it is important that a school has a ‘whole school’ approach to dyslexia – all teachers to be aware of how they can teach to be inclusive (and not make discouraging comments about slow/ messy work for example)
        – Our Ed Psych recommended we look at the Crested schools

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