You or your parent may recognise some of the signs of dyslexia in the difficulties that you face. This can be with tasks like reading, writing or organisation. You should talk about any concerns you have with your class teacher or the school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). The best way forward and the only way to really tell if these difficulties are due to dyslexia is through a diagnostic assessment.
If this test confirms that you are dyslexic then it's important to know that dyslexia is covered by the Equality Act 2010.
This means that your school should make changes or take steps to provide support for you in the classroom. These changes are known as 'reasonable adjustments'. These can cover many things and do not have to be expensive changes.
Usually the reasonable adjustments or additional support that could help you is discussed between your teacher, the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and your parents. You should also be consulted so you can say what you think would help you in the classroom too.
The British Dyslexia Association's Youth Ambassador Jo Crawford has made a video to explain why she thinks reasonable adjustments at school/college are fair.
Examples of Reasonable Adjustments
There are some very simple changes that can really help.
- For example, some students find that worksheets printed onto different coloured paper can help to make the text easier to read (you should try out different colours to find out which ones work best for you).
- Coloured overlays can also help to reduce visual stress. Again, try different colours to see what works best.
- Other handy 'tools' are reading rulers to help you to keep track of where you are on the page, or highlighters to highlight the most important points on the page so that you can read them again to help you to remember them.
- Assistive technology – this is any technology which you find helps you. There is a huge variety of technology available and you should explore the different options that fit your particular difficulty. There are calculators which 'speak' the numbers; reading pens to 'speak' text. Some students find it easier (and quicker) to type rather than write notes in class so they are allowed to use computers or laptops.
Read more about this on the Assistive technology page.
Dyslexic students may also need additional support for exams. These are known as Access Arrangements and can include: extra time, the use of coloured overlays or the exam printed on coloured paper, the use of a screen reader or someone to help with writing the answers.
If you think these would be helpful you should talk to your teacher/school about them.
If your school has made changes in the classroom, and they are not enough support then your school or parents may consider applying for an EHC Plan. This is a plan that covers education, health and social care needs and it can help the school to provide more support, such as one-to-one time with a teaching assistant in the classroom.