Full diagnostic assessments
Most parents who contact me to ask about assessment have had a nagging suspicion their child has dyslexia for a while but they haven’t acted on it because well meaning relatives or teachers often try to comfort them with advice like “He’ll come round” or “They all get there in their own time, just be patient.” This leaves the parents I work with thinking that maybe they are over-reacting or being over-protective and this can make them feel reluctant to reach out. I diagnose 9 out of 10 children who come to see me for assessment. No, I’m not willy nilly with handing out labels! Quite the opposite. But if your instinct tells you something is wrong chances are, there is! You’ve probably read checklists, done online quizzes, talked to other parents whose kids are dyslexic and thought “That sounds just like my child.” Don’t hesitate seeking help. There is no such thing as a “late bloomer”. Children whose help is delayed simply fall further behind their peers. Assessment is a great way to get started in supporting your struggling child and is available for children aged 6-16 years.
Should I get my child assessed for dyslexia?
A full diagnostic assessment can provide a label of dyslexia, dysgraphia and/or dyscalculia if one fits. But more importantly, it gives a comprehensive view of your child’s learning profile – their strengths as well as their weaknesses, and this can be used to laser target intervention plans whether or not they get a label. A full diagnostic assessment measures underlying ability, processing speed, working memory, phonological awareness (sound awareness) and attainment in Reading, Writing and Maths. Recommendations are provided for the specialist teacher, school and parents outlining clear steps to take to support the child after the assessment. Once you have had some time to read the report you are invited back for a 30-minute follow up meeting where we can further discuss your child’s report and any challenges you have in implementing the recommendations. This is the part most of the parents I work with value the most and not all assessors offer it included in the price.
What is the benefit of getting a dyslexia assessment?
The most common comment parents make post assessment is “I feel like I understand my child so much better now and I can be more patient when supporting him/her because now I understand where the struggle is coming from.” Assessment allows for the parent and those working with the child to improve their knowledge of specific learning difficulties that child experiences. It also provides a list of recommendations to best support the child. Therefore assessment is not a means to an end, but rather a road map of what to do from that point on. Providing a label is only one, small part of the process. Assessment is a worthwhile investment whether or not your child is identified with a specific learning difficulty because it will help you to; understand your child better, support your child more effectively and advocate for your child at school.
What happens after the assessment?
Once the assessment process is completed, you will need to implement the recommendations. This will likely involve collaborating with your child’s teacher or school, providing your child with technology or software and/or seeking specialist help. Throughout this process, you are welcome to call or email to ask further questions as needed. The critical thing is to get the recommendations implemented so that positive changes can be made for your child and family and I am happy to be there to support you through that process. No need for overwhelm!
What is the assessment process?
- The first step is to call to discuss your concerns. This is obligation free and some advice may be offered on your initial consult. Please do not hesitate to call if you are worried, even if you are not sure if it’s unjustified. I am yet to meet a parent who was concerned unnecessarily.
- You will complete a background history questionnaire of your child’s developmental history.
- Your child will complete a 1.5 to 2 hour assessment session. No information will be offered at this appointment as it is best practice not to speak in front of the child and the results will not have been analysed properly at this stage.
- You will be issued a report of approximately 22 pages within two weeks of the assessment date.
- You will be invited to book your follow up meeting when you have had time to formulate questions and try implementing some of the recommendations.
- Ongoing email and phone support is available throughout your journey.
No referral is needed. Current wait times are less than 2 weeks and you will be provided with a report within 2 weeks of the assessment date. Full diagnostic assessment costs $850.