- Screening tests are designed to give an indication of possible dyslexic difficulties. They are not a diagnosis and are not 100% accurate.
- Where the test indicates a moderate or high probability of dyslexic difficulties, the best course of action is to follow up with a full diagnostic assessment. This would determine the precise nature of dyslexic and related difficulties. However, if this is not possible it should not prevent the child from receiving appropriate specialist tuition.
- There are many different types of screening tests: Some are delivered by computer, others need to be administered by a teacher. Some just give an estimate as to whether the child/person is likely to have dyslexic difficulties. A few offer a more detailed profile of strengths and weaknesses which help inform an appropriate teaching strategy.
Diagnostic assessments should always be conducted by a certified person, qualified to assess, e.g. specialist teacher/assessor with an AMBDA qualification or a chartered psychologist specialising in specific learning difficulties [SpLDs].
An assessor should conduct a battery of cognitive, ability and literacy/numeracy attainment tests. The results should show the pattern of strengths and weaknesses and give recommendations for remediation.
How to find an Assessor
- A local dyslexia association may be able to recommend suitable practitioners.
- A list of AMBDA specialist teachers/assessors is available from the British Dyslexia Association helpline – Tel: 0845 251 9002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PATOSS [Professional Association of Teachers of Specific Learning Difficulties] maintains a list of members qualified to carry out assessments, including those with an ‘assessment practising certificate’ [APC]. The list can be viewed here.
- If you live in the Lincoln area and are considering an assessment, Dyslexia Lincs offers a comprehensive service provided by fully qualified practitioners. Please visit the website or email for further information.
- The Joint Council for Qualifications [JCQ] publish a booklet, entitled “Access Arrangements and Special Consideration: Regulations and Guidance Relating to Candidates who are Eligible for Adjustments in GCE, VCE, GCSE, GNVQ, Entry Level & Key Skills Examinations”, which is updated every autumn. This booklet can be downloaded from here.
JCQ members are the six examination boards in England, Wales and Scotland. The booklet includes the Table of JCQ approved qualifications for teachers who may assess for access arrangements. It does not include a list of appropriate tests.
- PATOSS [Professional Association of Teachers of Specific Learning Difficulties]
PATOSS also publish the useful book ‘Dyslexia? Assessing and Reporting. The PATOSS Guide’ by Anwen Jones and Katherine Kindersley. The book includes details of the available types of assessment at each stage and can be obtained directly from PATOSS.