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Hi I just wondered whether others have come across this problem, we have a child who will be going to school in september and he just isn't ready, he seems like he could do with another year, he spends most of his time in the homecorner, doesn't recognise numbers, can't form any recognisable letters, pictures when drawing, he seems immature, that sounds harsh but he is more like my 2 year olds, mum likes to keep him as a baby and does everything for him at home and speaks to him like one, i just don't know how he is going to cope in school!


I have tried everything, i moved the pens into the homecorner, tried writing menus, taking orders, put paper on the wall, floor, added pens to the cars everything, drew roadways but he shows no interest he just says i can't do it!!!!! I have tried praising him, using stickers, everything, i have spoken to mum but she just says he is only 4, he is still sooo small............ i do wonder how he will cope at school.


I know we have done what we can for him and i will continue trying till he goes to school, and i will speak to the school about him but it doesn't stop you from worrying about him........................

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Hopefully the FS2 teacher has their head screwed on and can support this child from his strting point. I know that only being 2 years into my teaching career has made me change my practice considerably and the school has had to realise that all (or the vast majority) of children aren't ready to go straight into phonics and sitting at a table and writing formally. I was given the impression that these children would be ok and would do better for this 'push' but in actual fact allit does is put them off writing and reading for that matter.

I know now that I have to really put the EYFS principles into practice and value each child on their individual merit, not on where they 'should' be, and luckily the school is willing to support me in this.

I had alittle girl last year who was just the same, she needed to explore and make connections between things and still needed to play supported by an adult. I pushed her too hard last year and it had a negative effect.Now in year one and ready tolearn, she has just took off.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that hopefully you have a good relationship with your FS2 teacher and they can continue this little boy's learning journey in a positive way.



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My plea would be, please start investigating whether he has any special educational needs.


He is probably an just an immatre little boy but if you think he is performing way below norms then the best way to support him is to get some further advice or to collect and pass on any evidence that might support the school in moving him towards a statement should that be necessary.

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Hi Susan

We have investigated this, our early years advisor came and observed him as well and just things he is immature but i did find out that mum is dyslexic and was diagnosed at the age of 8...............


Is it possible to tell if a child of 4 is dyslexic?????? what signs would you look out for?

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Some possible indicators of dyslexia in young children are:

Difficulty pronouncing some words and sounds

Talking later than other children and struggling to remember words

Poor fine and gross motor skills

Difficulty following instructions with more than one step

Difficulty sequencing and ordering things


I suspected a boy in my class was dyslexic because, like your child, he just wasn't picking up letters and numbers despite having lots of experience of them. His understanding of sciencey things was brilliant so I knew it wasn't just that he wasn't very bright so in the end after trying a million things I tried printing the letters and numbers onto coloured paper and the improvement was instant. We tried a few colours and a pinky lilac colour suited him best. His mum then took him to a vision centre where they supply filters and glasses with coloured lenses and they tested him with lots of different colours and charged her £70 to tell her that, guess what? Pinky lilac is best for him!


Does your boy understand matching? If he does, try printing numbers bold onto coloured paper and see if he can match them easier than on white paper. if he can then it might be worth contacting an educational psychologist to come and advise you.


If not it doesn't mean he's not dyslexic (and if it does help it doesn't mean he is!) but it's definitely something worth considering.


My boy is also autistic and so his dyslexia was hidden for a long time because there are many similar symptoms (especially the communication side of it) but since we've started printing everything on coloured paper for him not only has his number and letter recognition drastically improved but also his talking and motor skills. In November he couldn't recognise any letters or numbers, couldn't write and just repeated things that were said to him. We started printing on lilac at the end of November and now he can write his full name (and it's a tricky one, I have to really think how to spell it whenever I write it!) and read several high frequency words. He recognises numbers to 20 and this week seems to have got to grips with place value and was able to count to 50 just with prompts at 30, 40 and 50. He is also starting to read and spell CVC words. He can also answer questions and have a conversation and his pronunciation is improving all the time. He is 7 now and is improving every day. If only someone had spotted his problem at 4 (when he attended an SEN assessment centre who didn't notice it!)


The fact that you're picking up on this child's problems now, whether it turns out that he has dyslexia or not, is fantastic. I'm pretty sure if my boy had been diagnosed at 4 he would be in a mainstream school by now. As it is he may be able to go to mainstream in a couple of years but by then he'll be so used to being at a specialist school with small classes and with all his friends that a transition to mainstream will probably be quite stressful for him and maybe not as successful as it would be if he had gone when he was younger.


Grr!! OK rant over!! It just makes me mad that he attended an assessment centre full time for a year and they missed the thing that was causing most of his problems. In fact I suspect that he may actually not be autistic but in fact severely dyslexic.


Anyway, well done you!!

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ok IMO have you spoken to parents about this? would they consider delaying entry? please remember children do not LEGALLY have to go to school until the term after their fifth birthday how old is he exactly? could he stay with you a bit longer? I have had several parents do this and will have more next year again ...if he is not ready then either he should be staying with you or the school should be changing things for him(if i do not learn in the way that you teach please teach me in the way that i learn) as for the dyslexic problems yes you can diagnose a child of 4 but this needs to be done by a specialist ...i would be much more inclined to think he is being over supported at home and has not gained the skills he needs yet.

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Certainly the parents can choose not to send him to school in September even if he is 5 then.


But, also, I would be looking at self help skills, self esteem, and communication and looking at my assessments to see what age band he is working within.


I would certainly not be that worried at this stage about a child who isn't writing correctly formed letters at 4, or recognising numbers. These are early learning goals, and therefore will often not be achieved before children start school. I have worked with many children over the years who dont grasp these things until half way through reception or sometimes even later. (even year one). I would want to look at his fine motor skills to see if there is anything there to be concerned about, and also look at his counting skills.


It would be the other things mentioned above that would concern me more, especially his self esteem and confidence.


Given the lack of confidence, it may be that some transition meetings would support his move into school, is there anything your LA does to support this?

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Thanks for all your replies, i have organised a meeting with the reception teachers for next week, i will let you know how it goes...


I spoke to mum about delaying his start but she doesn't want to, she wants him to go up with his friends.....


I will observe him some more for the signs of dyslexia or a SEN ....


I will keep you posted, i just want him to have the best possible start, hopefully i can organise this with his new school

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