Top 10 How did your child get a dyslexia test? Parents Answers

It took 3 years before school started to take my little girl’s struggles with reading and writing seriously. After an initial online screening and a meeting with SENCO. 

A woman from the local council came to assess my little girl. The result was they believed she had dyslexia and put extra support in class. I was told there was no point in getting an official dyslexia assessment, it would not change anything.

What is the Test for Dyslexia?

There are two types of dyslexia tests that a child may do to check if they have dyslexia.

  1. Online dyslexia screening test - Usually done in school by a teacher.
  2. Formal dyslexia assessment - Done by a qualified educational professional.

To learn more about dyslexia assessments see "Step by Step Guide Dyslexia Test".

How Did You Get Your Child a Dyslexia Test?

All children are different and learn at different rates. Yet parents/carers can be the first to spot that their child is struggling and want a dyslexia test to be organised. 

Read below the top ways that parents/carers of dyslexic children organised a dyslexia test and got extra help. Based on real stories, with real quotes.

1) Private Dyslexia Assessments

Schools often are unable to fund a formal dyslexia test and some felt the child did not need one. So parents/ carers have often arranged and paid for private dyslexia assessments themselves. To learn more about dyslexia assessments see: "Step by Step Guide Dyslexia Test".

Parents Stories:

“We had to go private as our son's primary school failed him year after year even when we asked for intervention they were not interested!”

“We had a private assessment done when our son was 7. Best thing we ever did. It looked at lots of different areas, giving us and the school lots of ways to support him.”

2) School Referral

Sometimes schools will organise for the child to have a dyslexia assessment. Yet this does not happen very often due to school funding. Instead the school may get an informal assessment from a SEN professional. 

Parents Stories:

“School sorted her full assessment and they have been really supportive. She was diagnosed in year 5 but had interventions in place from year 2. It might seem like a long time to wait for school to assess but we honestly didn’t feel like any support was missing.”

“We booked and paid for it ourselves. There is no funding allocated for any form of diagnostic testing. If you want it done you to have to arrange and pay for it yourself these days!”.

3) Dyslexia Tests Online Screener

Online screeners used in school are not always reliable and can give false results. If the child is still struggling a formal dyslexia test would give better results.  

Parents Stories:

“We had to go private. School did put support in place after doing a screening test. But they said the test results did not show clearly if he had dyslexia”.

“We did not know that my child did not get referred for a dyslexia assessment because the online screener said she did not have dyslexia. Thankfully we didn't listen to either school and went private”.

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Where to get a dyslexia test?

Many parents/carers of dyslexic children arrange their own private dyslexia test. Below are some of the organisations they used. 

  • “If you are in the UK Helen Arkell Dyslexia charity are amazing and they offer funding to some families”.
  • “I paid myself. I went through “The British Dyslexia society”.
  • “We got the Dyslexia test done privately through the Dyslexia Institute, in Winchester, UK”.

Why get a Dyslexia Test?

Getting a formal dyslexia diagnosis can help the child and their school. It can help the child understand why they struggle at school and make suggestions for how school can help.

“For my son having the dyslexia diagnosis at the beginning he hated! But through time he found his way. His "dyslexic brain" as he calls it now works for him. He's a proud ambassador for dyslexia at his school now”

Top 10 Why won’t schools arrange dyslexia test?

Sadly many parents/carers have felt they have had to fight school to get a dyslexia test for their child. 

Below are the top 10 reasons schools gave for not doing a dyslexia test. Real parent comments and stories:

  1. "We were advised a formal assessment couldn’t be done by school until my daughter was 8 years old".
  2. "I was told month by month to stop stressing as my daughter was just a day dreamer and a chatterbox. I feel so guilty now that we have the diagnosis that I didn’t push harder".
  3. "Told my son was lazy, even though I knew from when he was 5 that he was dyslexic. School screening said he had dyslexia but they only gave him a green sheet. It wasn’t until I paid for a private assessment that anything changed".
  4. "She is in year 6 and I just booked a private assessment at the beginning of September, despite being told to wait it out by her teacher. Just wished I’d sorted it myself sooner!"
  5. “In year 5 school said they tested my daughter but said she wasn't dyslexic, she just needed to practise more. So we went private and result was she was dyslexic”
  6. “School said she doesn't need an official dyslexia test. As then they will have to put things into place, as suggested in the lengthy report. I got fed up with waiting and went private. The diagnosis has hugely helped my girl”.
  7. “Primary school made me feel like I was making a massive fuss, told lots of children have dyslexic traits and that she may not be an academic child”.
  8. “We did not know that my child did not get referred for a formal assessment, due to the results of the screener test. Thankfully we didn't listen to either school and went private”.
  9. “ We put off getting a formal assessment due to the school telling us not to get one. Sadly it feels too late now, he’s not that willing to keep trying and not getting anywhere.
  10. “Go with your gut and get a private assessment would be my advice to anyone”.

If you are struggling to get help for your dyslexic child, see the section below. Includes how to speak to teachers so they understand and what help school can provide for a dyslexic child.

Ultimate Guide Dyslexia Asessments

To learn more about dyslexia tests and assessments, see this easy step by step guide.

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