WHAT HAPPENS AT AN ASSESSMENT?

Before an Assessment

I build a background history of each person’s health and educational development, as well as their strengths and current difficulties.

With a learner under 16, I ask parents/carers to complete a questionnaire and, with permission, I will also contact the learner’s school.

With an individual over 16, I will send a pre-assessment questionnaire. If possible, this should be completed and returned to me before the assessment. However, if this is not possible, I am happy to either speak over the phone, by email or to go through the questions during the assessment.

During an Assessment

A full assessment takes around 2-3 hours to complete. Depending on age and individual needs, the assessment will sometimes take place over two sessions, or with more rest breaks.

As both an assessor, teacher and parent, I understand that that being in an unfamiliar ‘test’ situation may cause anxiety, especially for someone experiencing possible dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties. I respond to each person’s individual needs, making sure they feel as relaxed and reassured as possible throughout the assessment process. I work hard to build a trusting, positive relationship during the relatively short time that we spend together, always taking time to chat at the start of the assessment and to listen to the thoughts and feelings of each person I work with.

During the assessment we will go through a series of tests and puzzles, which look at:

  • Literacy skills (reading, spelling and writing)
  • Cognitive processing (how the brain continuously takes in information and transforms it, stores it, recovers it, and puts it to work)
  • General ability (aspects of verbal and visual ability)

If I observe any issues such as particular problems with handwriting, I may also do some further motor skills tests to investigate this further.

After an Assessment

At the end of the assessment, I will give some brief feedback on my initial findings and I will answer any questions.

Following the assessment, I will produce a detailed report of my findings. This includes:

  • A diagnosis if one is found;
  • A summary of background information and findings;
  • A full analysis of the assessment results;
  • A detailed set of support recommendations, including exams access arrangements if necessary.