How is dyslexia diagnosed?
Dyslexia Diagnostic Assessment
A Diagnostic Assessment is intended to confirm whether an individual has dyslexia or not. It provides a confirmed diagnosis of dyslexia, as well as a clearer picture of the person’s strengths and weaknesses and their individual cognitive profile.
The Diagnostic Assessment will be followed by a written report. This report will provide evidence of the individual’s dyslexic profile (if the individual has been confirmed as having dyslexia), signposting to other organisations or further assessments for specific learning difficulties (if required), and will include some recommendations about how to support the individual in the context of their study and/or day-to-day life.
In some cases, other specific learning difficulties can be identified but this should be discussed when booking the assessment as not all assessors will have access to the same tests.
A Diagnostic Assessment can only be carried out by a certified person qualified to assess, such as a:
- A psychologist specialising in specific learning difficulties (SpLD) registered with the Health Care Practitioners Council (HCPC)
- Specialist teacher/assessor with AMBDA and/or an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC)
Why have a Diagnostic Assessment?
There are many reasons why you may decide to have a Diagnostic Assessment to find out whether you, or your child, is dyslexic. Some of the most common are that:
- It can help parents to understand their child’s difficulties and know how best to help them at home, or be able to ask for more targeted support within the education system.
- It can be used to support an application for Exam Access Arrangements (this should be discussed with the school/college first as assessors cannot complete a Form 8 without the school completing part A in advance)
- Students in higher education will need an assessment in order to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
- Employers find an assessment useful in order to make appropriate reasonable adjustments in the workplace.
Once a person has been formally identified as dyslexic then they are considered to have a recognised disability covered by the Equality Act 2010.
Assessments can take time, so an educational setting/workplace shouldn't wait for a formal identification of dyslexia before putting additional support in place.
To find out more, or to book a Diagnostic Assessment visit the BDA Assessments webpage.