For information about assessments during the Covid-19 pandemic, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
Testing for dyslexia is usually sought for a variety of reasons.
For adults it could be to find out all/any of the following:
- If they are dyslexic or not.
- What support they might need in further and higher education.
- What they might need for support in the workplace - dyslexia is considered a disability under the law and therefore reasonable adjustments would be appropriate.
- Information that can be passed to relevant people to better support them.
Parents seeking an independent dyslexia assessment do so for a number of reasons:
- It can be because their child's school won't formally identify the challenges their child is facing.
- The school assessment process is taking too long and their child is falling further and further behind.
- They may be looking for a completely independent view about what their child needs in the way of support.
- There might be a dispute as to whether the problem the child is experiencing is dyslexia or not.
- Most importantly, the child sometimes needs to know why they are experiencing challenges and how they can be supported.
How do I organise a test for dyslexia?
If your child is in a mainstream school we would advise that you speak to your school first. Most operate a staged intervention system which can include a classroom-based contextualised process to identify a child's additional support needs, and it is free.
However, as a parent you have the right to choose if you want your child to be assessed independently of the school. If you want to have a chat about independent assessments, you should call the Dyslexia Scotland Helpline on 0344 800 8484.
If your child is in an independent school, speak to the Support for Learning Teacher. It may well be that they have recommended that you obtain an independent assessment, in which case, do just give us a call to discuss this further. But if you haven't had any discussions with them, you might like to do that first. Find out more about assessment in school here.
For adults, there are no free dyslexia assessment services available in Scotland at the moment. Here is Dyslexia Scotland's visual route for adult assessments. As an adult you will have to pay for an assessment. Dyslexia Scotland holds a list of qualified Assessors located in different areas of Scotland. If you would like us to send you this list, do get in touch with our helpline.
For adults the cost of a dyslexia assessment can be prohibitive and many callers to our Helpline generally ask about free/low cost options. There are a number of websites which offer online testing services but it should be noted that these are only screening tests. They cannot provide solid evidence of dyslexia but they are a good starting point particularly if cost is an issue. Please note, these two online screening tests are not Dyslexia Scotland products. If you experience any problems with them, contact either Pico or Do-It directly for assistance.
- QuickScreen for Individuals (Suitable for ages 17+) (cost is approx £19.50) - This screening test is produced by Pico Education Systems. If you have any difficulties with accessing the site, payment or a query about the report you should contact Pico Education Systems directly on 0208 674 9571 or email: [email protected]
DO-IT DyslexiaStudent (Suitable for students at college/university - £25) - This screening test is produced by Do-It Solutions. If you have any difficulties with accessing the site, payment or a query about the report you should contact the company directly on 020 33 22 55 36 or email: [email protected]
The Neurodiversity (ND) App (Cost is £2.99 to download) - Helps you to identify your strengths and any challenges associated with dyslexia and other neurodiversities. It is very quick to use and gives you your own ‘spiky profile’ and offers practical strategies to help. It does not provide a diagnosis but the app suggests if you show signs of specific traits. It has been designed by specialists -it is the first cost-effective step to having a better understanding of your ‘whole profile’ and being able to have a better conversation with others. If you have any difficulties with accessing the site, payment or a query about the report you should contact the company directly on 020 33 22 55 36 or email: [email protected]
What does an assessment report for adults look like?
The way in which an assessment report is written and laid out can vary from assessor to assessor. Those assessors on Dyslexia Scotland's recommended list are asked to follow the report template formats as provided by SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC - www.sasc.org.uk). For adults, we have provided a colour-coded sample report, based on the SASC formats, giving a brief outline of what each section should ideally contain: Adult Report Template
Dyslexia Scotland Helpline - 0344 800 8484 to discuss any queries regarding dyslexia and assessments.
AN UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2020
The specialists on the list of Assessors in Scotland offer assessments following guidance as provided by the Specific Learning Difficulties Assessment Standards Committee, which encompasses three professional standards organisations: the British Dyslexia Association, Professional Association for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties and The Dyslexia Guild. For psychologists, the professional bodies are the British Psychological Society/the Health and Care Professions Council.
Assessors continue to be guided by the above professional bodies during the current pandemic. In addition, they must interpret and take account of the Scottish Government’s broader guidance about conducting their services safely and appropriately. The Scottish Government's current relevant guidance is here: Staying Safe and Protecting Others in Phase 3 (https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/seeing-friends-and-family/#Meeting%20others%20indoors).
Have face-to-face assessments resumed?
Yes. However, these should be conducted in line with the Covid-19 guidance provided.
Can assessments be carried out remotely?
Yes. A remote assessment is referred to as an ‘Evaluation of Needs’ because it does not include all the assessments that are require to make it ‘diagnostic’ i.e. it will not provide a conclusive finding of dyslexia, dyscalculia etc. However, it will provide a wealth of information identifying needs and addressing what support could be beneficial. If you are a parent and you feel that a face-to-face assessment is not safe for your child at this time, you might want to discuss the remote option with an assessor on this list. If you are a student, a remote assessment to access Disabled Students’ Allowance, is accepted by the Student Award Agency Scotland and the Student Loan Company until 31st December 2020.