Feeling listened to: Charlie’s story

Getting in touch

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A parent contacted Enquire – the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning – about her daughter Charlie. Charlie, who is 13-years old and dyslexic, was having some issues with support in school. After learning about Charlie’s rights to support and advocacy, her mum gave Enquire permission to pass on her contact details to My Rights, My Say advocacy staff.

Listening and building trust

Sarah, who is one of the My Rights, My Say advocacy workers, contacted Charlie’s mum. Charlie suggested that her and her mum could meet Sarah at a local cafe.

At the meeting, Charlie said she felt she was not getting the right support with her dyslexia. Sarah explained her rights to her and they agreed to meet again. Charlie and her advocacy worker then met a few times to build up a relationship and trust.

Identifying issues and what helps

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Charlie told Sarah that she did not think the school were taking the right approach with her. She struggles with memory and thought that recording her notes from class would help a lot. She also explained that she responds better to having printouts on blue, red or yellow paper and that having all her notes on coloured paper would really help. This didn’t always happen. Charlie also thought that some of her teachers didn’t know she was dyslexic which caused problems for her in class. She thought that, because she was finding lots of different areas difficult, she might need an ‘assessment of need’.

Sharing Charlie’s view

Charlie wanted to speak to the school with her advocacy worker, Sarah – who then arranged a meeting. At previous meetings there had been more than one member of staff and Charlie had found this intimidating. So, at Charlie’s request, Sarah asked that only one member of staff attend. Charlie and Sarah then met, at school, with the deputy head teacher. With support from Sarah, Charlie shared her views. The deputy head teacher listened to her and said she would look into what was achievable and get back to her. With Charlie’s permission, Sarah sent Charlie’s views to her local education authority as per My Rights, My Say protocol.


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Charlie received a quick response from the local authority. They said they were working with the school to help her and that an ‘assessment of need’ would be carried out. Support has been now been put in place in school, which has helped Charlie access her education and feel more confident at school.


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