If you suspect you or your child have dyslexia, you may be keen to get an official diagnosis.
However, if you don’t know anyone who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, you may be unsure where to begin.
Don’t worry – in this guide, we’ll walk you through getting a dyslexia diagnosis step by step.
What Are The Benefits Of A Dyslexia Diagnosis?
Before we look at how to get diagnosed, it’s valuable to understand the benefits of a dyslexia diagnosis and what difference a diagnosis can make.
Having an official diagnosis can help you better manage the condition.
For children, this can mean they get the correct support in school to cater to their strengths and equip them with the tools to overcome any difficulties they may have.
Children can be given extra time to complete tasks and assessments, receive extra help, or have access to technology that will support their learning.
Early intervention can be highly beneficial in moving forward in life confidently and with fewer challenges.
For adults, a diagnosis can allow for adaptations at work or in further education.
Having a diagnosis can also be beneficial for many people as it helps them to understand that they’re not doing anything wrong; their brain just works a little differently.
And, for many, that can be a weight off their shoulders.
How Can I Get A Diagnosis Of Dyslexia?
If you want to obtain a dyslexia diagnosis for yourself, you have to be assessed by a qualified body.
There are free tests available online (we have one right here) which will ask you particular questions and give you an indication of whether or not you may have dyslexia, but this is not an official diagnosis.
The only way to get a proper diagnosis is via an assessment.
Assessments can be conducted in person or remotely, and there are certified assessors all over the country who can help you.
At Simply Thrive, we are experienced and certified dyslexia assessors. We offer both remote and in-person assessments to suit your needs.
How To Get A Dyslexia Diagnosis For A Child
When obtaining a diagnosis for a child, the first step is often to talk to your child’s school.
You can ask for a referral for diagnosis this way, but this can be a time-consuming process and isn’t your only option.
You can also approach an independent assessment provider, like Simply Thrive, which is often much quicker.
How To Choose A Dyslexia Assessment Provider
The most important consideration is to choose a provider that is certified to conduct dyslexia assessments – this applies regardless of whether you are getting the assessment for you or your child.
Other key considerations may include the assessor’s experience, their reviews, and whether or not they are local to you.
You may also need to decide if you want the assessment done in person or whether you are happy to have it completed remotely, as this might affect your decision in choosing an assessor.
Can I Get A Dyslexia Test On The NHS?
So far, we’ve talked a lot about getting a dyslexia assessment through a private provider.
But can you get tested on the NHS?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The NHS doesn’t currently provide dyslexia assessments.
Further reading: Is dyslexia a disability?
About Dyslexia Assessments
If you’ve made the decision to get a dyslexia assessment for you or your child, you may be feeling a little apprehensive.
The first step after choosing an assessment provider will be to complete an initial enquiry with the company – this will often be a questionnaire or form.
After this, you may be able to move forward with booking an assessment.
In the below sections, we’ve set out exactly what you can expect during and after an assessment with us – this will hopefully ease some nerves.
Dyslexia Assessments With Simply Thrive
We offer face-to-face dyslexia assessments in South Wales and the South-West of the UK.
We also offer dyslexia assessments that can be conducted remotely if you live further afield.
Our dyslexia assessments are costed as follows:
- Remote dyslexia assessments: £495
- In-person dyslexia assessments: £545
We’ve outlined our approach to the assessment process below.
What To Expect During The Assessment
During the first 15-30 minutes, your assessor will go through your background information with you to make sure that the information they have is correct and that they have fully understood your background.
This is a good time for extra discussion about anything you wanted to mention but didn’t know where to put in your initial form.
The most important part here is to confirm your date of birth – an assessor will use the one from the assessment rather than the one online if there is a discrepancy.
In the next 30-45 minutes, your assessor will look at cognitive functioning.
Firstly we will assess your underlying ability to ensure that there are no difficulties that may be causing barriers to your learning.
Following this, we will test your working memory, short-term memory and phonological awareness. This part of the assessment tells us what areas of strength and weakness you have.
Usually, we will then have a 10-minute break. These tasks can be very taxing on the brain and eyes. We do not want fatigue to set in because this can give us a false reading.
So, we have a comfort break to allow you to unwind a little bit and grab a brew!
In the last 30-45 minutes (sometimes longer), we assess the attainment side of your learner profile.
This part of the assessment tells us how the weaknesses we learned of earlier affect your reading, writing and spelling.
We will look at single-word reading, both timed and untimed; reading fluency and accuracy (from reading aloud); comprehension of text; spelling accuracy; and finally, a written piece (10 minutes of writing or typing).
Then we are all done! Your assessor will take your scores away for analysis and write your report for you.
After Your Assessment
Your assessor will use your raw scores to find what we call a standard score. This is a standard measure, worked from an average.
Using the scores, the background information you have provided and any observations, your assessor will then be able to begin piecing together your learner profile.
The background information and observations play a key role in the assessment process because sometimes, the numbers alone do not tell the whole story.
We will aim to write and quality check your report within ten working days. If you have a remote assessment, please be sure to send photos of your writing and spelling samples as soon as possible to ensure there is no delay in receiving your report.
Once you have read through your report, you may have questions or want edits. We can only edit background information, as the findings cannot be altered, as it would not paint a true picture.
However, we can reword things if you are unhappy with the way they come across (especially if you are sharing your report with employers).
What To Do Following A Dyslexia Diagnosis
If, after your assessment, you receive a diagnosis confirming you or your child has dyslexia, what do you do next?
The first thing to do is to understand that you’re not alone – 10% of the UK population have dyslexia. If it is your child that has been diagnosed, it can be helpful to explain this to them.
Helping them to understand that their brains just work a little differently can be beneficial.
The next thing to consider is whether you would like extra support for you or your child as your assessment will open up opportunities for adaptations.
If your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia, we would recommend meeting with the school to explain this.
Having a conversation with the school can help you understand what can be put into place to support your child with their educational needs.
Adaptations, as we mentioned before, may include devices to support their learning or extra time to complete tests.
Understanding your child’s diagnosis will also allow you to make the right adaptations at home.
If you have been diagnosed with dyslexia, it can be beneficial to have an open and honest chat with your employer.
If needed, your employer can then make reasonable adjustments to help you do your job.
We know that telling your employer may not feel easy, but it is important so that you can make sure you get the right support.
And remember that your employer has a duty to support you – failing to do so can result in a discrimination claim.
Our Final Thoughts
Obtaining a dyslexia diagnosis can help you get the right support for your or your child.
Unfortunately, assessments aren’t available on the NHS, so it’s important to choose a certified assessor to get your diagnosis.
In this guide, we outlined the process involved in having an assessment with us, but if you have any more questions or if anything is unclear, please do get in touch.
If you’re ready to book your dyslexia assessment, you can do so here.