One of the UK’s top experts in dyslexia is urging parents to think of their child’s learning this Valentine’s Day to avoid High School heartbreak.

Dr Daryl Brown, headteacher of Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Lichfield, has stressed the importance of parents voicing their concerns if they suspect their child maybe showing signs of dyslexia and are struggling in their final years at primary school.

Dr Brown has said February 14th - Valentine’s Day - should be the date most parents hold close to their hearts if they if they are going to get their child the right support in place for the start of the next school year in September. This is a vital time for dyslexic children in year 6 (their last year of primary school) because parents need to "get the ball rolling" to be able to get an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) in place before their child goes to secondary school.

There have been dramatic changes in how children with special needs are being helped but the key message is still the same. If your child is not making adequate or expected progress - if even with help they are still falling behind - then they must be helped.
The parent, or better still the school, must ask for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) before it is too late. The way to do this is to write the education authority and requesting "statutory assessment for an EHC plan".

It is not easy to get one of these plans so you will need a report from an independent psychologist so you can show the school and the authority how much difficulty your child is actually having. With an EHC plan teaching must be put in place to help your child.

Dyslexic children are often able to cope with the first few years at primary school. The cracks begin to show around the age of eight as there is a massive increase in the amount of reading and writing going on in the classroom.

The top 10 signs your child may be Dyslexic is if after eight-years-old they:

●  Have difficulty in learning letter sounds

●  Can’t easily sound out syllables in long words

●  Can’t blend discrete sounds into a word

●  Can’t recognise rhymes as easily as others do

●  Read by sounding out each letter

●  Very slow and hesitant reading

●  Stuck on infantile reader level

●  Spells incorrectly but a fair phonic guess

●  Can’t organise work / homework / dates and sequences

●  Left and right confusion.

Dr Brown added: “The main thing is if you notice these signs is to do something about it. Discuss the problems with the school SENCO. If you don’t feel your school is taking any action, or that what they are doing is still not enough to make a difference then get an independent psychologists report and go after an EHC plan.”

Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, which has a roll of 120 students aged between seven and 17-years-old, caters for dyslexic and underachieving students in an environment that provides a positive and fresh approach to teaching.