Many people know someone who is dyslexic, however, ask them when they were diagnosed, and you may get a variety of answers.
Dyslexia was first identified over 100 years ago and is said to affect around 10% of the British population. Despite this, many people continue to struggle through school and work life without an official assessment.
As our understanding of dyslexia and dyslexic learners grows, the assessment process has become ever more sophisticated with thorough assessments available for both children and adults. These assessments are regulated by 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, it is important that the Specialist Teacher has an APC (Assessment Practicing Certificate), and an Educational Psychologist has an HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) otherwise the reports will not have longevity.
Below we’ll guide you through the different areas that are tested during the assessment, and the positive changes the dyslexia assessment report creates.
The assessment aims to formally diagnose dyslexia and assess the performance on a range of tasks, considering strengths and weaknesses and the steps to support them not just now but in the future.
What does a dyslexia assessment involve?
Before the assessment background information will be collated via questionnaires. This will help the assessor to establish a picture of need and this will also help to explain an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
The assessment consists of a range of tasks looking at;
- Verbal and non-verbal ability
- Areas of cognitive processing such as working memory, speed of processing and phonological processing
- Literacy skills, including reading, writing, and spelling.
The possible co-occurrence of associated specific learning difficulties such as Dyspraxia/ DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Visual Difficulties may also be noted but these will require further investigation by an appropriate professional.
How long does a dyslexia assessment take?
Like most tests, the assessment will be in a quiet place with a table, free from distractions and disturbances. It could take up to three hours to complete as the assessor will go at the pace of the child/adult (so parents, you may want to take a book!).
Once the assessment is completed then recommendations can be tailored to the individual’s needs. For children, this may include adjustments for a person to access the curriculum and examinations, and for adults, the assessment may initiate the need for a Workplace Needs Assessment or if a student is going to University, then it will provide evidence to claim for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).
A full diagnostic dyslexia assessment is the first step to ensuring that a dyslexic individual receives the correct specialist support they need to reach their full potential.
This specialist report could be a life-changing experience.
In most cases, children and parents have reported how a diagnosis changed how they felt about themselves, around others and in education or at work. It has also helped them to understand themselves better and provide peace of mind.
About Dyslexia First
At Dyslexia First we want to help those who are living with dyslexia to enjoy life and the opportunities it brings. We are relentlessly positive about dyslexia.
We offer first class dyslexia assessments for children and adults across the North West including Liverpool, Manchester and Merseyside, this includes assessments for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and Exam Access Arrangements.
If you would like to talk further about dyslexia and discuss assessment for children or adults, please get in touch.
Getting assessed by a qualified practitioner is crucial to getting the correct diagnosis and accessing the help and support you need for your child. Always check an assessor’s qualifications at the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee website.