No NHS funding.
Dyslexia is not considered a medical issue and forms no part of medical training. Although dyslexia is recognised under the Equality Act, unlike other disabilities diagnosis is not funded by the NHS. A GP would therefore not normally be able to help with funding a diagnostic assessment for dyslexia and would not have knowledge of appropriate assessors. In a very few cases where undiagnosed dyslexic difficulties may be a significant issue in the case of serious mental health problems, it may sometimes be possible for an assessment to be funded under the NHS.
Checklists and Screening Tests.
These are short tests designed to flag up the probability of dyslexic difficulties. They are not a diagnosis and do not analyse the nature of an individual's dyslexic profile, which can vary considerably between people with dyslexia both in the nature of the particular difficulties and in their severity. A good starting point is to complete our Adult Checklist
A screening test would indicate the probability of dyslexia as low, medium or high. No screening test is 100% reliable in its prediction and there may be a few false positives or false negatives. For instance, well compensated people with less severe dyslexia may not be flagged up in a screening test. We also have a range of excellent adult screening tests linked to our website which produce a report that you can save or print off. Where a checklist or screening test shows the probability of dyslexic difficulties, a full diagnostic assessment may be considered in order to inform the process of determining the most appropriate reasonable adjustments.
Full Diagnostic Assessments.
Dyslexia can be diagnosed by Chartered Psychologists specialising in adult dyslexia who may also be able to identify frequently co-occurring conditions such as Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Attention Deficit Disorder. These professionals are usually Educational or Occupational Psychologists. Occasionally Clinical Psychologists specialise in this area. Occupational Therapists often play an important part in assessment of Dyspraxia. Contact the British Psychological Society (www.bps.org.uk) for recommendations of independent Educational Psychologists specialising in specific learning difficulties.
You should also check that they have current HCPC registration. Assessments can also be carried out by an appropriately qualified specialist dyslexia teacher with a post graduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties and an assessment Practising Certificate. They are able to make assessments of verbal and non-verbal intelligence but use different tests from those only available to Psychologists. Full assessments for adults would take around 3 hours and would be followed by a detailed written report with broad recommendations for support and accommodations.
Education and University.
For Further Education, there may be the possibility of an assessment organised by the Learning Support Department of a College.
For Higher Education, a few universities may fund or part-fund assessments, but this is not normally offered. We advise you to contact the Disability Advisor at the University for further advice. Students aiming to attend university should ensure that they have an assessment report post 16 years from either an HCPC registered Psychologist or a Specialist Dyslexia Teacher with a current Practice Certificate for assessing students at H.E.
Contact the British Psychological Society for more information. The application form should be accompanied by a diagnostic assessment report from one of the above assessors.
Employees who may be experiencing performance issues or stress at work which may be a result of previously undiagnosed dyslexic difficulties should discuss the matter in confidence with HR/Occupational Heath/their Manager. Employers have a duty under the Equality Act to ensure that employees with disabilities (including dyslexia) are not treated unfavourably and are offered reasonable adjustments or support. For many office based jobs, a full understanding of the individual profile is necessary in order to offer the most effective support. Most large employers and the public sector would be expected to fund an assessment for an employee. A smaller employer may help with the cost.
Following the diagnostic assessment, or where an employee is able to show an existing adult assessment report, a workplace needs assessment should then be arranged with a dyslexia specialist in order to determine the most appropriate accommodations, training and support that would be successful in mitigating any weak areas and reduce stress. This is not something that either the individual or the employer would be able to work out for themselves.
How to find an assessor.
For information on Chartered Psychologists specialising in adult dyslexia, please contact the nearest Local Dyslexia Association or the B.D.A. Helpline for London and other areas not covered by Local Dyslexia Associations. The British Psychological Society website has a Find a Psychologist facility.
For information on specialist teacher assessors with the Practising Certificate.
Tel: 0333 405 4555