top of page

Frequently Asked Question?

Why should I have an assessment? Having an assessment is a great way to gain a better understanding of yourself or your child and how you learn. It can help you develop strategies building on your strengths and if you gain a diagnosis, it can enable your school or college to have a better understanding of you and what you need to succeed. Having an assessment with me, will also allow you to access support or in the workplace, depending on the outcome of the assessment. If you are struggling an assessment can help build confidence helping you to recognise what you are good at, instead of focusing on things you find difficult.

Why do I need an eye test before my assessment? It is important to check that any difficulties with literacy are not being caused by problems with your vision. SASC, which is the SpLD Standards Committee sets out standards for assessors to work to, one of them is, that people being assessed should have had an eye test within the last two years and a questionnaire must be completed prior to the assessment to identify any visual difficulties.

What are visual difficulties and why do I need to complete a questionnaire on them before my assessment? Visual difficulties are the general term given to cover text moving and blurring when reading, or discomfort when reading. Although visual difficulties can occur with dyslexia, they are a separate issue and it is important that eyes are checked to make sure visual difficulties are not a sign of poor eye health. More information can be found on the British Dyslexia Association Website

What is Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)? DSA is the way university students on a Foundation Degree, Degree or masters can access support. DSA is funded by Student Finance England and students need to provide evidence that they are eligible to apply for it. For students with dyslexia, they require an assessment from a Specialist Teacher Assessor who has a up to date Assessment Practising Certificate or from an Educational Psychologist who is registered with the HCPC. Specialist Teacher Assessors with an APC who have undertaken additional training can also identify characteristics of ADHD and dyspraxia which enables students to access support at university through DSA. An assessment is the first stage in the process of applying for DSA, so it is important to do it as soon as possible if you think you will need support at university. More information can be found here.

My child had an assessment at school, how do I know if it can be used to apply for DSA? Some schools will provide full diagnostic assessments that can be used for university. These will be lengthy documents and the assessors qualifications will be on the front, including the fact they had an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC), along with the name of the professional body who awarded the APC (this will be either Dyslexia Guild, Patoss or British Dyslexia Association) and there will be an APC number on the report which DSA will check to make sure the assessor had a valid APC at the time the assessment took place. Often at school children will have screeners which identify characteristics or traits of dyslexia, these are much shorter assessments which allow schools to put in support, but do not provide a diagnosis and cannot be used to apply for DSA.

Can an exam access arrangements report be used to apply for DSA? No, exam access reports cannot be used to apply for support at university.

Why do you only assess from year 9 (age 13) and above? As a Specialist Teacher Assessor our professional bodies are clear that we must assess within our areas of competence and boundaries. All my experience is with children aged 13 and above, therefore I do not feel I am the best person to assess younger children. Although I would be able to make a diagnosis my recommendations, which are vitally important would not be as detailed as someone with more experience of younger children.

I want an assessment, but can't do it online, what can I do? If you live in the Preston or South Ribble area and contact me I will see if it is possible to arrange a face to face assessment.

Will an assessment automatically give me a diagnosis of an SpLD? I can’t guarantee that an assessment will give you a diagnosis of dyslexia or identify characteristics of ADHD or dyspraxia. Whatever the outcome of the assessment, I will be able to highlight your strengths hopefully building your confidence and identify areas you find more challenging. An assessment will allow me to make suggestions of strategies or technology that may be helpful for you and help you to manage the difficulties that led you to seek an assessment.

Can you diagnose ADHD and Dyspraxia? As a Specialist Teacher Assessor, I cannot formally diagnose ADHD or dyspraxia; these can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. What I can do is identify characteristics of ADHD and dyspraxia, which is acceptable evidence to apply for DSA at university, because waiting lists for assessments are so long many people were missing out on support because they could not get a diagnosis in time. Therefore, it was agreed that as long as Specialist Teacher Assessors had undertaken additional training and had an Assessment Practising Certificate they could identify characteristics and this would be enough evidence for support in Post 16 education and at university.

How do I book an assessment? Contact me and we can arrange a time and date for an assessment. I will ask for a £100.00 deposit to confirm the assessment. Once the assessment is confirmed I will send out an online invite and a background information questionnaire and a Visual Difficulties Questionnaire for you to complete. The questionnaires can be completed in word and emailed back to me, 7 days before your assessment date. If you have any problems completing them I can arrange a short consultation and we can do them together. I will also send an invoice for the assessment payable by the day of the assessment.

What if I need to cancel? My cancellation policy is set out in Terms and Conditions.

bottom of page