FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I live in North Warwickshire, and in general I assess learners throughout Warwickshire, the West Midlands and parts of Leicestershire. Most commonly this includes Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby, Leamington Spa, Coleshill, Kenilworth, Solihull, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick. I am quite flexible about where I will assess and welcome enquiries from further afield.

Children: I usually find that children are more at ease in their own home. I can also visit your child’s school to carry out the assessment if the school agrees to this. I will travel up to 15 miles at no extra cost but will make an additional charge for travelling further.

Adults: I can either travel to you or carry out the assessment at my home. I will travel up to 15 miles at no extra cost but will make an additional charge for travelling further.

I provide all tests and stationery. If you are being assessed in your own home, it is important that there is a quiet space available with a table to work at and no interruptions during the assessment.

If you have any previous assessment reports it would be useful to have these available for me to read.

While the ‘gold standard’ for dyslexia support is early identification and early intervention, it is advised to be cautious when deciding whether to assess a child younger than 7. Children develop literacy skills at different rates and a slower rate of development does not necessarily mean that they are at risk of dyslexia. I usually only assess learners aged 7 and over, but will consider younger learners for assessment if a conversation with their parents and teacher suggests that it is the best course of action. With a younger child, it may not yet be possible to give a definite ‘yes or no’ as to whether they have dyslexia. The main aim of the assessment is to provide a clearer picture of his/her profile of strengths and difficulties and to offer practical suggestions for intervention and support.

No! There are many reasons to seek a dyslexia assessment: for an early diagnosis and support recommendations; to qualify for exam access arrangements or apply for support in higher education; to seek support in the workplace or to simply give you answers to a question you have asked your whole life. I tailor my dyslexia assessments and reports to fit the needs of the individual.

Dyspraxia, or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) falls under the same umbrella of SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) as dyslexia. The two conditions can share a number of similar traits, such as difficulties with cognitive processing speed.

Children (under 16): As a Specialist Dyslexia Assessor, I am only able to observe and give advice about the possibility of dyspraxia being present. Dyspraxia can only be officially diagnosed by a medical professional. If I suspect dyspraxia, I will recommend a consultation with your child’s GP to seek a referral to a specialist in the field.

Adult (16 and over): I can diagnose dyspraxia in certain circumstances. With an individual over 16 where dyspraxia is suspected, I will carry out additional tests. Dyspraxia can impact how you study as well as physical movement. I am not an expert with the physical/motor side of dyspraxia, but if I feel that dyspraxia is present and it is having a clear impact on how you study/work, I am able to give a diagnosis. However, I would also suggest seeking advice from a specialist such as an Occupational Therapist for support with the physical/motor side of dyspraxia.

If you have a full post-16 diagnostic dyslexia/SPLD assessment report that identifies dyslexia, you can apply for a DSA grant for your higher education (university) study needs (e.g. reading software).

From the UK Government website:

‘You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You won’t need to repay DSAs.’

Follow the application instructions on the gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas