Diagnosed as not having dyslexia - false diagnosis?

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alzoll
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Hi everyone,

Hope this is the right forum. I’m at college just now and hopefully will be attending university in September.

My problems have resurfaced since school. Missing out words, not finishing off words, mixing letters up, getting frustrated when reading, adding in the same words etc.

Around christmas time I went to the additional learning team in my college and described my symptoms and was tested for Dyslexia. I can’t remember what the test was called but it was on the computer and she said I would have to have another test as my reasoning and memory along with something else wasn’t showing up as good.

Went back a few weeks later and the test was writer and I had to read etc. She said my result was .2 below a a positive diagnosis for dyslexia - so I don’t have it. She advised me to go to this english tutor who would help me with essays etc. I don’t need help with essays, I know how to do them and pass, as it’s on the computer and I read over them a million times. It’s just when I am sitting in an exam setting or note taking It’s really difficult.

Still having problems with writing/reading. Missing out words, now also writing in reverse sometimes, remembering sequences and more. I am really good at maths otherwise but on most occasions the algebra often is the let down and Its really upsetting as I’m supposedly not dyslexic. Am I just stupid?

Don’t know what to do, suppose to be starting uni soon but I need an explanation. Is there such a thing as a false diagnosis? If I did have dyslexia it would provide an explanation.

Sorry, very long message. Hope you can advise?
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GenerationWhy?
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Diagnosing dyslexia these days seems to be a controversial thing. I don't know how you were diagnosed but it's possible that it was just a basic assessment (so not very valid and therefore misdiagnosing).. It used to be that diagnosis was measured using cognitive ability scales (such as the WAIS) and you can see clear discrepancies which suggest dyslexia (and usually dispels the myth that dyslexia people are stupid), I am told this doesn't happen as much now (according to some esteemed researchers, this is for political reasons, but I don't know too much about that).

It does sound that you care a lot about education, and your writing from what I read seems good, i highly doubt you are stupid. Go and get a second opinion from another expert.
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alzoll
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Hi, thank you so much for your reply.

I just did a search on Google and the first assessment I did which was the computer one was LADS.

The second one I did was DAST which was the written one. Are they accurate?

I have had a look online and have saw that the private screening is really expensive, as a student this is quite difficult. But I will be going back to the Learning support at my college and query it with them again.

Thank you.
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Tiger Rag
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Not heard of those tests. But they are only a guide. From there, the college would decide whether you need to be assessed.
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alzoll
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Oh I see. I wasn't aware of that, I thought those were the actual tests.

Don't know if they will be able to help me then.
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lozzielizzie
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It's a guide for your college to determine whether it's worth the money of a full assessment, which are costly. You may have mild dyslexia which would come up in a full assessment. The college determined that as your scores are low. They won't put you forward for the full assessment


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NJones
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Firstly, can we drop the word 'diagnosed' as this implies a medical condition which dyslexia is not. There are various 'screening tests' which these above appear to be, which can be used to identify the presence of dyslexic tendencies. These may be adequate for FE colleges to identify basic needs a student requires support with.

A 'full assessment'; is required for a DSA application, and this is the one that can cost around £300, and conducted with an educational psychologist or PATOSS registered specialist teacher. These are recognised as adequate for identifying the presence of dyslexic tendencies in more detail as they compare the individual with recognised data. Although expensive this type of text may help the OP with support during college and university afterwards.
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BuzzyB
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I have only been recently assessed as having the specific learning difficulties of; Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Mears Irlen syndrome. I am a mature student and was assessed at age 25 after encountering problems after my second year exams (failed them all spectacularly!). I was referred, and it was suggested several times during school and college that i may be dyslexic as my spelling was bad, i missed out words and very often miss out letters but was unable to actually see this myself until it was pointed out to me! (a very good example, i regularly spelt 'the' as just 'th').

The reason it went undetected was because i was only at the time assessed for one SLD (specific learning difficulty i think is the 'pc' way to say it) and it was never thought that it could be a combination - which would provide fluctuating results, and a lot of the time you develop coping strategies and adapt without even knowing it.

I think my biggest problem was the meats irlen syndrome as this cause words and letter to disappear and reappear and move and dance but i got used to this so it was normal for me and my copping strategy was to look at the shape of the words rather than the letters or words themselves because they would often disappear. This is what lead to leaving out letters, sometimes getting things right, sometimes getting the same thing wrong ext ext.... as far as i knew this was completely normal and i didn't know any different, although i did complain throughout all of my education of headaches and eye strain and got bored very very easily.

The biggest problem is that you have no idea your doing this, and that without being able to see properly ( your brain does this amazing thing where it learn to compensate by seeing whats not there for you - its like making an assumption) then you can not be tested properly.

There are optometrists who specialise in irlen and dyslexia and test for it - this test can not be carried out at a college or uni assessment centre because of the equipment needed. I suggest you make an appointment

I went to mine the other day and actually gained 45% increased reading speed - which makes me wonder how i even made it to university without help lol!

I know you may feel stupid, i did when i failed all my exams, but sometimes you find out your just a bit different and when you realise how you have developed coping strategies without even realising then you really do feel better and give yourself a bit more credit!

Heres the link for the opticians and best of luck!

http://bateropticians.co.uk/dyslexia.asp

oh and this test is about 75 pounds and they will write you a report and write write to your LEA and it would also be grounds for your college to fund an assessment with the educational psychologist if they did find that you had a SLD.

PPS: I underwent BOTH of the computer screening tests in college before uni and it wasn't picked up so i was never refereed, sometimes it takes a bit more effort on the part of your institution.
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alzoll
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Thank you so much for your help everyone, I’m glad I got the email of the last reply as I forgot my username and couldn’t log back in.

I went back for a review the other day and got told that the results were read incorrectly and that they actually indicate I have mild dyslexia. I think it’s a little more than that but I was also told I will need to be assessed in uni now as its too late to do it in college.

I went in the first term of college initially to have the pre screening tests so I am little annoyed to say the least, but whatever can’t change that now.

Hopefully I can cope with the work at university.

Also does anyone know what the full assessment involes?
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BuzzyB
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Im glad you found it helpful

When you know which university you will be going too you can contact student services / disability and dyslexia department in advance to arrange screening. From there you will see the educational psychologist who will run through a series of tests with you (this will take about 2 hours).

Its very informal and they are very nice, there is no pressure at all. They will do things such as tests with words, numbers, working memory with reading, writing, patterns with blocks ect... the purpose of this is to see which parts of the brain are engaging, where you have strength, where you have weaknesses and so on.

After that they will write a report and you will then be asked to attend a 'Needs assessment/ study aid report' with the disability department. The purpose of this is to identify any help needed and also to arrange and specific provisions for exams you may need (such as extra time or use of own equipment).

The idea is that you are put onto an 'even playing field' with other students through reasonable adjustments. They will write to the LEA /DSA who will then authorise and fund the help or equipment.

The Disability and Dyslexia services are very friendly, helpful and approachable and there is nothing to worry about, they are there to help and support you and hey will do whatever they can to make sure you have everything you need.

The help you will get in University will be to a much higher standard than college so don't let it bother you too much that things didn't quite work out as soon as you wanted - everything for a reason!

Also if it helps to reassure you, the university will take into consideration if you have not been supported or if there has been time to put the help in place you need when assessing your coursework and/or exam marks and you will be graded in light of this.

Best of luck for the future!
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alzoll
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Thank you so much BuzzyB! That information was really useful, hopefully It will all work out.
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NJones
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(Original post by BuzzyB)
I have only been recently assessed as having the specific learning difficulties of; Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Mears Irlen syndrome. I am a mature student and was assessed at age 25 after encountering problems after my second year exams (failed them all spectacularly!). I was referred, and it was suggested several times during school and college that i may be dyslexic as my spelling was bad, i missed out words and very often miss out letters but was unable to actually see this myself until it was pointed out to me! (a very good example, i regularly spelt 'the' as just 'th').

The reason it went undetected was because i was only at the time assessed for one SLD (specific learning difficulty i think is the 'pc' way to say it) and it was never thought that it could be a combination - which would provide fluctuating results, and a lot of the time you develop coping strategies and adapt without even knowing it.

I think my biggest problem was the meats irlen syndrome as this cause words and letter to disappear and reappear and move and dance but i got used to this so it was normal for me and my copping strategy was to look at the shape of the words rather than the letters or words themselves because they would often disappear. This is what lead to leaving out letters, sometimes getting things right, sometimes getting the same thing wrong ext ext.... as far as i knew this was completely normal and i didn't know any different, although i did complain throughout all of my education of headaches and eye strain and got bored very very easily.

The biggest problem is that you have no idea your doing this, and that without being able to see properly ( your brain does this amazing thing where it learn to compensate by seeing whats not there for you - its like making an assumption) then you can not be tested properly.

There are optometrists who specialise in irlen and dyslexia and test for it - this test can not be carried out at a college or uni assessment centre because of the equipment needed. I suggest you make an appointment

I went to mine the other day and actually gained 45% increased reading speed - which makes me wonder how i even made it to university without help lol!

I know you may feel stupid, i did when i failed all my exams, but sometimes you find out your just a bit different and when you realise how you have developed coping strategies without even realising then you really do feel better and give yourself a bit more credit!

Heres the link for the opticians and best of luck!

http://bateropticians.co.uk/dyslexia.asp

oh and this test is about 75 pounds and they will write you a report and write write to your LEA and it would also be grounds for your college to fund an assessment with the educational psychologist if they did find that you had a SLD.

PPS: I underwent BOTH of the computer screening tests in college before uni and it wasn't picked up so i was never refereed, sometimes it takes a bit more effort on the part of your institution.
The link you provided to the opticians uses the colorimeter system to identify a colour to help the individual which is an inferior system compared to the Irlen method. I would advise anyone to avoid this system and instead to seek a screening for Irlen Syndrome that does not use a machine to do this, but uses an approved screening method using coloured overlays and looks at the environmental light as well. I am an approved Irlen screener and have seen the benefit these spectral filters can give over colorimeter prescribed lenses.
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