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Dyslexia Assessments

The Path to a Dyslexia Diagnosis

The process of a dyslexia diagnosis can sometimes be underestimated or misunderstood. Yet it’s a crucial step to a happier, more fulfilled life. A dyslexia assessment and dyslexia diagnosis will provide clarity and direction. It’s the starting point for solutions that can help those difficulties become less of a struggle, and will be recognised nationally in both school and work.

This blog will go into more detail about the signs, assessment and report, so you can reach your full potential.  

What are the signs of dyslexia?   

To begin with, dyslexia is often seen as a problem with reading and writing skills, but that is actually an effect of dyslexia, not the cause. Dyslexia is a neurological issue which affects the way the brain processes information.  

This means that anyone with dyslexia can have difficulty processing and remembering information. It can impact many areas of life, not only reading accurately and writing fluently but also organisational skills, coordination and memory.  

Everyday school pressures can be tough for children with dyslexia. Tasks like writing down an answer before others, reading in front of a class, or answering questions confidently can negatively affect a child’s self-esteem and confidence. What if they are unable to recall the facts, the letters, or the math equations? 

Our indicator checklist helps to know the signs of dyslexia as a child develops through school and later as an adult. Plus, if your family has a history of dyslexia it is more likely that your child will also have dyslexia.  

The dyslexia assessment and diagnosis process

If you’ve found that our indicator checklist applies to your child, further screening and investigation are advisable, beginning with the steps below.  

  • Step 1: The best place to start is at your child’s school. Speak to the teachers and SENCo about any concerns or problem areas.
  • Step 2: After speaking to the teachers and SENCo about your concerns, the SENCo or the child’s teacher will be asked to fill out a questionnaire for the assessor to learn of the child’s background and current difficulties. The child’s parents will also be asked to complete a questionnaire.
  • Step 3: Working in collaboration with schools, the Dyslexia Assessor will assess the individual through a series of tests. These observe the visual ability, verbal ability, cognitive ability, literacy skills and other possible co-occurrence in associated specific learning difficulties.  
  • Step 4: The Dyslexia Assessor will provide a Dyslexia Report that reviews the individual’s background and family history. It’ll provide an analysis of cognitive abilities, literacy skills and abilities, and strengths and weaknesses. There will be a recommendation for coping strategies and further assessment for help and support if required.  

How do I find a qualified Dyslexia Assessor?  

Assessments are regulated by the SASC (Assessment Standards Committee). All SASC members work to agreed standards of practice, established collaboratively by the organisation this includes both Specialist Teachers and Educational Psychologists. Therefore, the Specialist Teacher must have an APC (Assessment Practicing Certificate), and an Educational Psychologist must have an HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) otherwise the reports will not have longevity.  

Dyslexia First provides dyslexia assessments in the North West, including Newton-le-Willows, Liverpool and Warrington. If you are outside of this area, you can search on the SASC Assessor list.   

What information is in the dyslexia report?  

The dyslexia report will review the individual’s background and family history. It’ll provide an analysis of cognitive abilities, literacy skills and abilities, and strengths and weaknesses. There will be a recommendation for coping strategies and further assessment for help and support if required.  

To maintain consistency and clarity, most test manuals use the ‘Standard Score’ system. This describes the individual’s position compared to the mean for their age group.  

Guide to interpreting results 

Standard score Description 
131 or more Well above average 
116 – 130 Above average 
111 – 115 High average 
90 – 110 Mid Average 
85 – 89 Low average 
70 – 84 Below average 
69 & below Well below average 

Most people (68% of the population) will fall into the broad average range of 85-115. 

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee verify and endorse all assessments. These are both nationally acknowledged in education (from school to university) and in the work environment.

The positive impact of a dyslexia diagnosis

Besides the daily challenges, dyslexia can affect a child’s mental and emotional health, especially during the initial, demanding years of school.

An assessment will enable your child to take charge of their life with expert help and advice that will assist them in achieving their full potential.

About Dyslexia First  

Dyslexia First provides first-class dyslexia assessments for children and adults across the North West.  

Owner Michala Morton has worked in the field of Special Needs for over 20 years, across a wide range of educational settings, and works closely with The British Dyslexia Association and The Dyslexia Association assessing children and adults.  

Based in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, Dyslexia First is conveniently accessible by train, linking to Central Liverpool, Manchester and cities within an hour’s commute.  

By helping you to get the right support, a world of possibilities will open, that might not have seemed possible before.  

Contact us to discuss your assessment needs. Email michala@dyslexia-first.co.uk or call 07711 904 589.