Assessing English (L1) speakers for dyslexia and other SpLDs

Anne Margaret holds a valid Assessment Practising Certificate, issued by PATOSS. She often assesses on behalf of the British Dyslexia Association, as well as going into schools, colleges and workplaces.

At ELT well we believe that people are more complex than a handful of numbers, so we must assess holistically.  The performances on standardised tests must be interpreted in the light of the qualitative data collected through observation and discussion.  

The assessment process

  1. The person to be assessed completes a pre-assessment questionnaire  (with the help of a parent or teacher if necessary).
    Teachers / carers are also asked to contribute their insights.

  2. A face-to-face meeting at which a range of assessment tasks is conducted, looking at aspects of cognitive function such as memory and information processing. 
    This is a chance for a discussion about the person’s experiences of learning as well as their daily routine and coping strategies, to help build a picture of how they think and work.
    The meeting usually takes between 4 and 5 hours, including  breaks whenever they are needed.

  3. A report is 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).
    The report outlines, explains and justifies the conclusions, as well as making recommendations for additional support and reasonable adjustments that may be needed.

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. However, if required, ELT well can help with this, and also advise on assistive technology or other materials and resources that may be helpful.