What is involved in Diagnostic Assessment?
The process begins with collecting background information from a range of sources, such as parents and school, by questionnaire and discussion. The views and feelings of the child or student remain central to the process. The assessment session then takes about three hours (split into shorter sessions for younger people) where a number of standardised tests are used in order to identify strengths and weaknesses, building up a profile of the learner. This may lead to a diagnosis of dyslexia, but more importantly it is used to suggest teaching and learning strategies which enable the individual to fulfill their potential.
What happens next?
You will receive verbal feedback and a detailed written report which conforms to professional guidelines. If a person is found to be on the dyslexic spectrum, s/he can be given reassurance and guidance. For many, it can be a relief; they can appreciate their strengths and learn how best to manage their difficulties. It can be emotional, especially for older learners to understand themselves better.
School students may qualify for Exam Access Arrangements (EAA), and post-school students may be entitled to Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). For adults, work place adjustments may be needed.
Parents, students and schools can follow the recommendations given. Further support, such as specialist tuition, is available. Students in Higher or Further Education should contact their support services. Guidance on applications can be found on the Government web site for DSA
Sheila can give guidance to schools on meeting the needs of learners with SpLD and has experience of running workshops for teachers and support staff. Please ask about training.
Sheila Brooks is a specialist teacher and holds an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC) through PATOSS (The Professional Association for Teachers and Assessors of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties/SpLD)
A Diagnostic Assessment with full written report costs £400.
If required for DSA purposes, the cost is £420.
EAA assessment for schools on request.