Parents across the UK spot undiagnosed learning difficulties while homeschooling

New research has revealed that almost one million UK parents now suspect their child has a learning difficulty after observing them while homeschooling during lockdown. 

UNDIAGNOSED

The study, conducted by home education provider Oxford Home Schooling, found that one in ten parents believe they have spotted an undiagnosed condition since schools closed in March.

With just under nine million pupils in the UK, that amounts to more than 850,000 cases.

Greg Smith, head of operations at Oxford Home Schooling, says: “One of the main benefits of homeschooling is that children receive a level of individual attention that is generally impossible to give in a traditional school environment.

“Parents develop a close bond with their child and a deeper understanding of how they work. This explains why so many have noticed undiagnosed conditions while home educating during lockdown.

“The strong relationship forged while homeschooling is one of the reasons why so many have enjoyed the experience and why almost a third say that they are considering home education even after the pandemic is over.”

It is thought that this figure could be even higher as among the 90% of families that didn’t notice a learning difficulty, two thirds saw at least one symptom of one. 

SYMPTOMS

The most common learning difficulty that parents spotted symptoms of while homeschooling was dyslexia, followed by: dysgraphia, impaired handwriting and/or spelling; ADHD, inattentiveness and hyperactivity; dyscalculia, persistent difficulties with numbers. 

Younger children showed the most symptoms of a learning difficulty with key stage one and two pupils particularly prone. 

As schools are due to reopen between now and mid-September, the research also asked parents to reflect on their homeschooling experiences. Despite four in five parents feeling unsatisfied with the level of support they have received from schools, more than two in five said they have enjoyed teaching their children.

If you think your child might have a learning difficulty, you can read advice on how to support them by clicking here

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