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Helpline

Helpline Q & A

Question:

I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was in school but I can't find my report, can you help?

Answer:

There is no central register of people who have had diagnostic assessments and schools and Universities must adhere to GDPR regulations so do not have records dating back more than 7 years.

If you could remember the name of the assessor it may be possible to track down him or her but again, they may no longer have copies of the assessment after a long period of time.

For further information about booking a diagnostic assessment please see: https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/services/assessments

Question:

How can I find dyslexia support in my area?

Answer:

You can use this link on our website to find a Local Dyslexia Association:

https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/contact/find-a-local-dyslexia-association

There are likely to be additional support groups in your area and you could contact your local library or search online on sites such as Facebook.

Question:

I am due to start University in September and want to make sure that I am accessing all the support available to me. Where should I begin?

Answer:

If you have a diagnostic report by an appropriately qualified assessor, you can apply for the Disabled Students Allowances and access a range of support through them: https://bit.ly/3uDkJP8

We also recommend that you contact the Student Support Services in your university to ask about any services which they offer. You should also make sure that you contact your course tutors and ask them about subject specific help and guidance.

If you wish to request exam access arrangements for your course, you should discuss how to apply for this before the exams and if you have concerns about the timing of the exams or the due dates of course work then it is vital to discuss this in advance. If, for example you have exams and course work due at the same time you could discuss an extension or completing your course work before the due date so you are not overwhelmed by the volume of work at one time.

Question:

Can adults be assessed by Specialist Teachers?

Answer:


Both Specialist Teachers and Educational Psychologists can diagnose dyslexia in adults and children and can make recommendations about how individuals can best be supported. There may be some instances where an Educational Psychologist needs to be used instead of a Specialist Teacher, for example where an individual has complex or multiple needs. Where an assessment is being used to support disciplinary/dismissal/tribunal activities we would recommend an Educational or Occupational Psychologist carries out the assessment.

Question:

I am learning English but think that I am dyslexic. How do I arrange a diagnostic assessment?

Answer:

To be assessed for dyslexia a person needs to have been regularly speaking English for a reasonable amount of time. This is because the tests used are heavily influenced by an English-speaking culture. In addition, you need to be able to read, write and spell in English. If an assessment is carried out before then the assessor can’t make a definitive diagnosis which would mean a re-test may be needed at a later date.

Question:

What is the difference between a Screener and a diagnostic assessment?

Answer:

A screener can give an indication of dyslexic traits but the only way that dyslexia can be formally ​identified is by a qualified assessor who can determine the precise nature of difficulties and outline how they can best be supported.

Question:

What is dyscalculia and how can I be tested for it?

Answer:

Dyscalculia is a specific difficulty understanding and recognising numbers which can cause difficulties with Maths. We have more information on our website: Dyscalculia and maths difficulties - British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk) Additionally we have a free webinar in our shop called, "What is dyscalculia?"

The BDA has a booking service for assessments and you would need to request one of our assessors who is able to assess for dyscalculia on the booking form. We will then be able to put you in contact with a BDA approved assessor who can organise and carry out an assessment for you. All arrangements including payment are organised directly with the assessor: www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/services/assessments/diagnostic-assessments

Question:

How can we make sure that our child gets appropriate Access Arrangements for GCSE and A Level exams?

Answer:

In order to have access arrangements for GCSEs, A Levels and a range of other qualifications, testing for the exam application has to be completed internally by the school or college. A diagnostic test is not accepted.

Here you can see a YouTube video which we produced to explain the process for applying for exam access arrangements and the Form 8 required as evidence.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hgRcGVwn4g
For up to date regulations the school would be well versed with the JCQ Guidelines https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance/

Question:

Where can I find information about booking an assessment for dyslexia?

Answer:

We have information about Assessment and a booking pack on our website: Assessments - British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)

Question:

How can I access support from my University?

Answer:

A learner with dyslexia has to apply for funding through the Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) and the needs are then assessed through an Access Centre. Your Student Disability Office or University Learning Support Services should be able to provide more information about this. We also advise that you share any challenges you are having with your course Tutors so they can direct you to any course-specific support.

We have further information on our website: Higher Education - British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)

Question:

We are keen to support a colleague with dyslexia and would like some guidance about the kinds of reasonable adjustment which would help them. Please can you advise us?

Answer:

We have some information specifically for Employers about creating a dyslexia friendly workplace and supporting dyslexic colleagues on our website: Employer - British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)

You may also wish to consider a Workplace Needs Assessment which would assess your colleagues needs at work and give specific advice: Workplace Needs Assessment - British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)

Question:

How could I find and access local support for adults with dyslexia?

Answer:

A local dyslexia association may have services for adults and a postcode search can be done here: https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/membership/local-dyslexia-association-membership