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Questions from Helpline brought to you by Scanning Pens

Monday 25 November 2019

Can my child under 7 years old get an assessment?

Very few assessors, psychologists or specialist teachers would be comfortable running a diagnostic assessment on a child under the age of 7 years.

The main reasons are as follows:

• Children have to have the maturity to cope with a long assessment session and understand that they must answer the questions as accurately as possible.

• Children have to have had a chance to acquire a good number of literacy skills so that there is something to test.

• Some of the tests used are not necessarily going to be suited to under 7 year olds, as generally a diagnostic assessment is designed for an older age group.

Therefore, assessing a child too early is not considered a particularly good idea by many, as the results could be misleading or inaccurate.

If you wanted to book a BDA assessor, the assessment department would try and match you with an assessor close to where you live, however because of your child’s age this may not be possible. So, you may wish to research an independent psychologist in your area and ask them if they would be prepared to do a diagnostic assessment for a child under 7 years of age. Alternatively, at this stage you may like to consider arranging a consultation with a specialist teacher to discuss some suitable learning strategies and schemes that may suit your child.

What is the difference between a screener/diagnostic assessment?

Screeners can only tell people that they may be showing some dyslexic style traits however the person would still need to have a full diagnostic assessment to identify whether they were affected by dyslexia and/or the related conditions. The only way to have a full diagnostic assessment is to be assessed by a specialist assessor teacher or an educational psychologist.

Scanning Pens are proud to sponsor the BDA Helpline

Sponsorship from Scanning Pens will mean the BDA Helpline will now have even more direct support from a dyslexia specialist.

The Scanning Pens sponsorship will allow us to increase the capacity and expertise of the BDA Helpline further – meaning faster and more straightforward support is available and opening hours extended. We strive to quickly deliver support to the 1 in 10 people in Britain with dyslexia.

The British Dyslexia Association would like to say thank you to Scanning Pens for their kind support. It will make a massive difference to the people that need our help.

Founded over 15 years ago, Scanning Pens aims to deliver well designed technology to support individual learning. As a company they’re on a mission to break down barriers for dyslexic people, particularly around access to print based exams. In 2014 the UK exam boards allowed the use of reading pens in exams for everyone & anyone who needs extra help reading exam questions. No access arrangements required. Other exam boards internationally are now allowing the use of pen scanners in exams.