Dear Jacqui, My child’s Lower school and then Middle school have been telling us not to worry about our son. However, he is just completing Year 9 at Upper school and there are issues around the time he takes to write an essay, and his spelling and grammar. He can read but doesn’t. He is better at Maths but English and all other Humanities are being affected. The Upper school can’t assess this nor do they have much knowledge about it. They feel that it should be addressed in the Lower and Middle schools. Is it too late for our son? Can you do any training to schools to inform them about specific learning difficulties?

It is never too late! What you are describing is a common problem especially for children with milder forms or traits of dyslexia, or other ‘hidden’ specific learning difficulties. Often these children have managed to cope throughout their school life until the pressures of academia increase at Upper school. I offer one free training session to all schools who request it, to help them identify these children, as well as what can be done to support them. Please ask your son’s school to contact me. For your son, I would recommend an assessment to determine if there are traits of dyslexia and if he has slow processing speed. He may qualify for some access arrangements for exams i.e. 25% extra time. He would also benefit from some therapy intervention at my practice.