Why should you have a Diagnostic Dyslexia Assessment?
You wonder if you are dyslexic and what you can do about it. A diagnosis could make your life much easier.
Dyslexic people can be helped to deal with their condition only when it has been recognised.
Parents need the answer to understand their child’s difficulties in detail. Intervention and support in the early years can be crucial for a child’s progress. As soon as difficulties become apparent, and particularly where a child is becoming distressed or showing behavioural problems, an assessment should be carried out. There is a body of opinion supported by research suggesting that if dyslexic children are diagnosed early and given specialist remedial support, less time is needed for catching up.
Students need to know if access arrangements at exam time could give them extra time and allow them to compete from an equal playing field. When applying for University or other full-time Further Education, a dyslexia assessment could pave the way to a Disabled Student’s Allowance.
Adults need to know about how to move forward at work. Perhaps a job role has changed and you feel stuck, unable to perform in the new role. Employers need to know how to handle dyslexic staff members in the best way. A dyslexia assessment could benefit both parties.
What does having a Dyslexia Assessment involve?
You will initially be asked to complete a short questionnaire, giving background information about:
your physical and educational development as a child,
your educational experiences in school and/or college,
extra educational support received,
your perceived strengths and weaknesses in literacy and numeracy,
how any difficulties have impacted on your life so far (e.g. I.E.P., qualifications, current employment, etc.)
The assessment process is very thorough and can last 3-4 hours. This time can be split into two or more sessions if the participant is unsettled or excessively fatigued.
The assessment takes place in the informal and comfortable environment of my home. I make the process as stress-free as possible, offering comfort and snack breaks as required.
The assessment process involves testing in the main following areas:
Word and text reading
Phonological processing to include speed of processing
Information processing to include working memory
After The Assessment
Both children and adults usually attend the assessment session unnecessarily anxious. There are no 'pass' or 'fail' awards given and, after initial introductions and a clarification of the purpose of the assessment, most people are set at ease. After the first test ALL are significantly more relaxed and at the end of the testing period, EVERYONE agrees the process was so much less stressful than feared. Quite a few even say the assessment process was enjoyable!
You will be contacted approximately 7-10 days later to attend my premises again. At this meeting, I will outline the concluding statements of the report and the recommended actions you should implement. I will explain the content and meaning of all the tables.
The full Diagnostic Assessment Report is very detailed, normally 15-17 pages long and is written in a style that is accessible to both you and any educational professional. Because the report will consist of some technical terms ( e.g. composite score, standardised score, percentile, confidence interval, etc.), I feel it is important that I fully explain terminology used.
This meeting gives you the opportunity to ask me anything regarding the assessment, the conclusions and the recommendations I have made.
You should give a copy of the report to the relevant professional, depending on your current situation (e.g. School, Further Education, Employment).
This report will be valid for the following five years, so care should be taken in its safe storage.