Daughter has Dyslexia but doesn’t qualify Dept Education support……

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    Our daughter has been categorised as Dyslexic and while its upsetting, its also kind of a relief because it explains the tears, tantrums and massive stress she (and we) have had to deal with over her school work and especially homework, over the past few years.

    She has had brilliant support from her school but the Department of Education have really annoyed us because they are NO HELP AT ALL!!!!

    After us asking repeatedly over the past few years if she could possibly be Dyslexic, her wonderful teacher this year fought for a psychologist from Dept of Education to finally assess her properly.

    The psychologist from Dept of Education met with me first to discuss where our daughter has difficulties. Then she met with our daughters teacher, also at length and her school principal. Finally, she spent time with our daughter assessing her. She met her twice, over two days and did a series of tests and quizzes with her. This happened about 3 months ago.

    The psychologist called her Dad and me into the school last week for the results, her teacher and the principal were there too. She confirmed that yes, our child has Dyslexia. She explained that our child will need alot of support going forward in school. She will need a special laptop (€450) and reading pen (€200). She will need exemptions from certain subjects in secondary school but with the RIGHT support she can go on to college and get the Education she deserves.

    However, there is a snag….

    Our daughter ‘ticked all the boxes’ needed to qualify for learning assistance from Dept of Education….expect for ONE. This one box she didn’t ‘tick’ was an IQ test. Sadly, she did not score what they ‘needed’ her to score in order to qualify for educational assistance.

    According to the Dyslexic Association of Ireland, this test should not be given to Dyslexic children because they cannot compute how to answer the questions to score highly enough to qualify for the support THEY NEED. The Dyslexic Association have been lobbying the Dept of Education to change this because it is so unfair.

    A child who struggles to read, write and spell will have trouble with a standard IQ test, but the Dept of Education states that only children who score 90 or higher, will get the laptop and pen. She didn’t score 90 to that’s that, she gets no support.

    The psychologist admitted that our child needs this support but because she didn’t meet the criteria, she gets no help. So basically, boo hoo, we’re on our own! She says its unfair, a contradiction and unjust but there is nothing she can do.

    We will obviously buy her the laptop and any software she needs but we will have to fight to get her the ‘allowance’ required to use this for her junior cert, leaving cert etc.

    This is a whole new area of learning to us and I was wondering, does anyone have any advice?

    It would be much appreciated. we are all new to this…..

    thanks gals. xx


    Hi Sabbi.
    Im sorry to hear this but as you said.. now you know for sure there is a reason behind your daughter’s problems you can begin to help properly …
    I have sadly no experience with any of this but i can imagine being this country then its gonna be a long hard slog getting anywhere and youll be facing dead ends as you have already.

    Doung a quick search on mams.ie on dyslexia there are a few old threads i dont know if there any use that might be a good start.

    Also people like Heather who has dealt with the hse a lot etc might be of help.

    Also get yourself on the tv to talk about it im sure that will get everything sorted asap !

    Good luck let me know how you get on xxx


    Hi Sabbi,
    Sorry to hear that your having difficulty with the Department of Education. They make it so difficult for schools and parents alike.
    Have you enquired about retaking this test? As you know a child’s mood or sleep can have an effect on their ability in tests. Especially if they scored near the marker.
    It seems to be very harsh and contradictory.
    I would definitely appeal the decision.


    It just seems so stupid to me. they gave us a ‘report’ stating our daughter really very badly needs support and learning aids but they say she did not score highly enough to get any help from them.

    its just so frustrating and annoying. I am literally raging about it.

    She is a great sleeper, always was ever since she was a baby. She is the sweetest, most helpful child. I actually have to ask her not to help so much around the house at times. She is very clever and observant so we know she is smart – she has always been very sharp about noticing things and remembering things. Just not with spelling and writing unfortunately.

    It seems things are stacked against her. She is a wonderful child with so many capabilities but in the areas she needs help – she is being denied it.

    I don’t get it. It makes no sense.

    I called the Dyslexia association of Ireland and they were lovely and they said they have been trying so hard to get these tests changed because they are so unfair but so far, no joy.

    Why is it the children who need help to meet their full potential don’t get it.

    On top of teaching her to type and for us to learn about how we can help her, we will also need to fight with the Dept of Education and it is so risiculous. Our time and energy needs to be spent on helping our daughter, not fighting with them about it.

    God, I am so angry I could scream


    Your kids obvs needs help, its horrible that their not helping her.

    complain to your local TD maybe.

    its very sad for you, I am so sorry for her


    I can’t imagine how upset you must be! Im sorry IV no advice but keep fighting and trying, hope you get the help you and your daughter deserve!


    did you contact dept of education again since? any luck getting any help?

    maybe try your local TD?

    Hope you get the help you need with this


    Dept of Education have been beyond useless. No help, no support at all. Its sad tbh and very frustrating too.

    We got some good advice from Dyslexia Association of Ireland, they’re on dyslexia.ie and we got lots of good advice from Brian at Compupacit, he has been really nice. We got a scanning pen from Compupacit and this is really helping her. Its an electronic pen that she scans across words she does not understand and it reads the word aloud to her. It has a dictionary on it too and this is great to help her understand what the word means.

    This pen is giving her the confidence to read by herself and she has started re-reading the David Walliams books in bed at night now and instead of skipping words, she is using the pen to have the words read aloud to her.

    So, yep its tough going but having the diagnosis is helpful because now we can work to help her and make school as stress free as possible. She will always struggle with reading, spelling and maths but at least we can help her now and her school are being very flexible too, they let her use a laptop in class and the scanning pen. They also give her less homework – which is reducing stress at home after school. We used to spend 1-2 hours on homework each day but now, we have agreed with the teacher that she does not spend more than 30 mins on homework. This is really helpful for her and to be completely honest, for me too. I do her homework with her and finally, after years of crying and of her storming out of the room, its now much much calmer.

    I would highly recommend Dyslexia Ireland and Compupacit – they have really helped us and our daughter.

    If anyone thinks their child may be Dyslexic (we did but were fobbed off for years) I would be very keen to urge you to put pressure on your childs school to have her assessed. If they won’t you can have it done privately too at a cost of around €400.

    HTH anyone else who is going through this.

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