Diagnosing a Learning Disability

Diagnostics

Learning disabilities are traditionally diagnosed by conducting two tests and noticing a significant discrepancy between their scores. These tests are an intelligence (or IQ) test and a standardized achievement (reading, writing, arithmetic) test.

Tests With reference to test selection we ask that professionals administer the following assessments to provide comprehensive evidence of the impact of difficulties on study. For assessments conducted in the UK, the test materials should be those approved by UK national professional standards bodies1in line with the SPLD Working Group 2005/ DFES guidelines, and utilise the most recently available standardisation information. International reports must include the same range of assessment areas, use internationally recognised materials with similarly robust standardisation, and be translated where necessary into English.

A Diagnostic Assessment is intended to confirm whether an individual has dyslexia or not. It provides a confirmed diagnosis of dyslexia, as well as a clearer picture of the person’s strengths and weaknesses and their individual cognitive profile.

The Diagnostic Assessment will be followed by a written report. This report will provide evidence of the individual’s dyslexic profile (if the individual has been confirmed as having dyslexia), signposting to other organisations or further assessments for specific learning difficulties (if required), and will include some recommendations about how to support the individual in the context of their study and/or day-to-day life.
Why have an assessment?

If someone is experiencing significant difficulties in their study or in day-to-day life and would like to either find out more, or needs further support then a Diagnostic Assessment can really help. The test currently costs £420 including VAT.

For more information or to book a diagnostic assessment Click Here.

Other common reasons for a Diagnostic Assessment are:
  • To apply for funded support at university known as Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
  • To use as evidence for Exam Access Arrangements whilst studying at college, university or  for professional qualifications.
  • What happens during an assessment?

    A Diagnostic Assessment will usually take up to three hours to complete.During an assessment the assessor will carry out a series of tests to explore aspects of     underlying ability such as:

  • Reading, writing and spelling
  • Handwriting and fine motor skills
  • Underlying learning skills: phonological awareness, speed of processing and memory, speech and language and auditory processing.

    There is usually an informal chat before the assessment to gather a little more background information.
    The aim is

  • To formally diagnose dyslexia (if this is supported by the test results)
  • To assess performance on a range of items, allowing the assessor to consider strengths and weaknesses. This isn’t an exam so there is no “pass” or “fail” - the     intention is to help highlight the person’s individual style of learning or working and what does/doesn’t work for them.
  • To collect information about reading, spelling and writing skills.
  • To identify whether there is a clear discrepancy between general level of ability and reading and writing attainment.
  • To consider other factors which may be affecting learning.
  • To identify whether any Reasonable Adjustments will need to be made in order for a person to fully access the curriculum and exams.
  • To identify whether Reasonable Adjustments need to be made to a person's place of work.

After the assessment the assessor may be able to provide some insight but they will need time to calculate the test scores and analyse the results in order to give a diagnosis. This information will be provided in the subsequent report.
 

What happens after an assessment?

After a Diagnostic Assessment you will receive a written report within 15 working days.

This report will provide evidence of the individual’s dyslexic profile (if the individual has been confirmed as having dyslexia), signposting to other organisations or further assessments for specific learning difficulties (if required).

For more information or to book a diagnostic assessment Click Here.

In the current climate (COVID-19) Pandemic we have constructed COVID-19 preventive Diagnostic Assessment room to allow face to face diagnostics to continue so that all full diagnostic test can take place, rather than the online version with some tests removed.

SpLD Diagnostic Covid-19 room
 

Current preventive measures are:
  • Client and staff temperature check upon arrival.
  • Disposable stationary supplied.
  • Gloves supplied.
  • 2 meter by 2meter plastic protect screen, please see above image.
  • Hand sanitiser supplied. Sealed chilled bottle water supplied.
  • 2 meter distancing throughout the building.
  • Staff and client volume limitation.
  • Signage and COVID-19 guidance on all doors.
  • All surfaces sanitised before and after every assessment.
  • Infectious risk assessment in place.
  • Infectious COVID-19 Policy in place.