SpLD Assessments for English Speakers

Assessing people with English as a first language for dyslexia and other SpLDs

When assessing people who speak English as a first language, published tasks can be used that are standardised for English-speaking people and appropriate to the age of the person being assessed. The standard scores they generate are helpful in identifying atypical cognitive function, but always need to be interpreted in the light of the holistic data that are collected through the pre-assessment questionnaire, and close observation and discussion during the assessment meeting.

At ELT well we believe that people are more complex than a handful of numbers, so the conclusions reached are always based on this holistic data as well as the standardised scores of the tasks undertaken in the assessment meeting. The report will outline, explain and justify the conclusions, as well as making recommendations for additional support and reasonable adjustments that may be needed.

The assessment process

The first step in an ELT well assessment is the completion of a questionnaire by the person to be assessed (with the help of a parent or teacher if necessary), which informs the direction that the assessment will take, and which areas of cognitive function will be focussed on. Teachers are also asked to contribute their insights.

The next stage is a face-to-face meeting at which a range of assessment tasks will be conducted, looking at aspects of cognitive function such as memory and information processing. The examiner collects information about the person’s experiences of learning as well as his or her daily routine and coping strategies, to help build a picture of how the person thinks and works. The meeting will usually take between 3 and 4 hours, and of course, if the person being assessed needs to take a break at any time, that is encouraged.

After the assessment

A report will be prepared in line with the purpose of the assessment, and this is usually available 2 – 3 weeks after the assessment (and very often sooner than this).

Giving feedback to the person being assessed, and explaining the implications of the findings, is an extremely important stage of assessment which is usually done by a familiar teacher or tutor. If you would like to know more about how to do this effectively, why not explore the half-day workshop that ELT well offers? However, if required, ELT well can help with this, and also advise on assistive technology or other materials and resources that may be helpful.

A full diagnostic assessment, including a comprehensive report, costs £350.00 plus travel costs. Please contact Anne Margaret to discuss your requirements.