Assessments for Dyslexia, Step by Step Guide

Assessments for dyslexia are confusing. It can be hard to get the information you need from the child's school.

Looking at the internet can leave you feeling even more confused. See below a step by step guide to dyslexia assessments.

How to Diagnosis Dyslexia in a Child?

For a child to be diagnosed with dyslexia, they need to do a formal dyslexia assessment.

The child has to first have the signs of dyslexia. The signs may-be spotted in the child's writing, reading and speaking.

It is then recommended that help is requested from the child's school, to see what support they can offer. Before getting the child formally assessed and diagnosed with dyslexia.

Everything you need to help a dyslexic child!

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What should a child be able to do at school?

To understand what a child should be learning at school. See handy checklists based on the National Curriculum UK below:

I think my child is dyslexia, how do I get a test?

To help you understand how to get dyslexia support and the types of dyslexia tests.

Below is a simple step by step guide. It includes links to cards and blog posts with all the information you need.

Step 1: How to get dyslexia help from school?

Step 2: What dyslexia help and tests can school offer?

Step 3: How to arrange a formal dyslexia assessment kids?

  • The teachers may also say the child needs to have a formal dyslexia assessment.
  • Formal dyslexia assessments are done by qualified educational professionals.
  • Usually parents, carers will have to pay to have this done privately.
  • To find out more use this card, "Formal Assessments Card".

Top 10 Questions - Dyslexia Tests and Formal Assessments

Everything you need to know about dyslexia tests and assessments.

Answers to questions provided by dyslexia assessor Katie Burt, from Evolve Dyslexia Solutions.

Are Dyslexia Screening Tests Good?

Dyslexia screening tests can be unreliable and are just a guide:

  • They can say a child is not dyslexic, when they are dyslexic.
  • Online screening tests are often done at school by teacher or SENCO.  
  • The tests can show if a child has signs of dyslexic.
  • Yet children can guess answers and may press any buttons if confused.
  • A formal dyslexia assessment is more accurate.  

About Formal Dyslexia Assessments Kids

Who can do formal dyslexia assessments? The assessors have to be specially trained to do the formal assessments. Usually this would be a qualified education psychologist.

Where are dyslexia assessments held? In different places, some at the child's home, the assessors home or office, they can even be done on-line.

How long do assessments take? Usually they take 3 hours. The child will be offered breaks, up to 3-4 during the session.  

What is the child tested for, during dyslexia assessment? They will be tested on reading words, sections of writing and spelling. Memory and Maths will be covered, with pattern games and puzzles.

What happens after the dyslexia assessment? The child will be given a report, this may say they are dyslexic or have another learning difficulty. It will give recommendations for teachers to follow at school to help child learn.

Does my Child Need a Dyslexia Diagnosis?

A dyslexic child does not need a formal diagnosis to get the help they need. SENCO can request extra time in exams, special equipment in class without a formal diagnosis.

A dyslexia diagnosis can only be given by a qualified professional. The formal diagnosis, usually will include a report with ways to help the child learn.

Yet a dyslexic child that is struggling should still be given help, without formal diagnosis.

Why get a Formal Dyslexia Diagnosis?

Dyslexia is a recognised disability, legally schools have to give extra help to SEN children:

  • A dyslexia diagnosis will come with a report, showing areas where the child struggles.
  • The report will also give ways school teachers can help the child learn better.
  • It may recommend extra exam time, group work and access to laptops in class.
  • The report may show that the child has other learning difficulties such as ADHD, Autism.
  • The diagnosis will follow the child to high-school, college and university.

Is it worth getting a formal dyslexia assessment diagnosis?

It all depends on where the child lives and the teaching quality in their school.

A dyslexia diagnosis only makes a difference if the school teachers are able to teach the child in a dyslexia friendly way that works for them. Also dependent on if the school has a budget for dyslexia equipment, such as assistive tech.

To learn more read real stories for other parents/carers, about their experience of formal assessments. "Is it Worth getting a proper dyslexia assessment?".

Everything you need to help a dyslexic child!

Mooki Cards, Order Your Copy Online Now!

Do Schools Have to Help a Dyslexic Child?

Yes legally schools have to help dyslexic children. Yet they do not have to do what is on a dyslexia assessment report.

Only if a disabled child has a ECHP, does the school then legally have to follow everything on this plan.

Do Schools Fund Dyslexia Assessments?

Usually schools do not fund dyslexia assessments, yet this depends where you live:

  • Speak to school SENCO to ask if the school will fund a dyslexia assessment.
  • In some areas the local council will fund an assessment, yet the wait can be long.
  • In most cases parents/carers need to pay for and arrange a formal dyslexia diagnosis.
  • Some local councils will offer to do an informal dyslexia assessment, with recommendations.

Why do only some schools pay for dyslexia assessments?

Many schools do not have enough money for SEN support, to spend on dyslexia tests:

  • Schools in the UK are given money for teaching and extra for SEN support.
  • The budget for SEN is a set amount, not based on the number of children.
  • In schools with lots of children with special needs, there is not enough money to support everyone.

List of Dyslexia Assessors and Centres in UK

To arrange a private dyslexia assessments, you can do this through the dyslexia association. Who have a list of approved and qualified, dyslexia assessors and tutors.

See post for more information about "Dyslexia Support Centres UK" and join the  "Dyslexia Mums Support Group U.K".

How to Explain Dyslexia in a Positive Way to a Child

It can be a worry when a child is diagnosed with dyslexia. You may have concerns that being "labelled" as dyslexic will affect the child's confidence. You may-be even be unsure if you should tell them.

Having dyslexia comes with many positives, that the child can learn about. Made by Dyslexia have many positive videos about dyslexia on their website.  

Mooki cards also contain quick 10 min activities to explain dyslexia to a child in a positive way.  Order your "Mooki Cards" here!

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