Independent assessment is usually sought for a variety of reasons.
For adults it could be to find out all/any of the following:
- If they are dyslexic or not.
- What support they might need in further and higher education.
- What they might need for support in the workplace - dyslexia is considered a disability under the law and therefore reasonable adjustments would be appropriate.
- Information that can be passed to relevant people to better support them.
Parents seek independent assessment for a number of reasons too:
- It can be because their child's school won't formally identify the challenges their child is facing.
- The school assessment process is taking too long and their child is falling further and further behind.
- They may be looking for a completely independent view about what their child needs in the way of support.
- There might be a dispute as to whether the problem the child is experiencing is dyslexia or not.
- Most importantly, the child sometimes needs to know why they are experiencing challenges and how they can be supported.
How do I organise an assessment?
If your child is in a mainstream school we would advise that you speak to your school first - most operate a staged intervention system which can include a classroom-based contextualised process to identify and support children with additional support needs - and it is free.
However, as a parent you have the right to choose if you want your child to be assessed independently of the school. If you want to have a chat about independent assessments, you should call the Dyslexia Scotland Helpline on 0344 800 8484.
If your child is in an independent school, speak to the Support for Learning Teacher. It may well be that they have recommended that you obtain an independent assessment, in which case, do just give us a call to discuss this further. But if you haven't had any discussions with them, you might like to do that first. Find out more about assessment in school here.
For adults, there are no free assessment services available in Scotland at the moment. It is a service that you have to pay for no matter your circumstances. Dyslexia Scotland holds a list of qualified Assessors located in different areas of Scotland. If you are happy to pay for an assessment, do give us a call and we can send you this list.
For adults the cost of an assessment can be prohibitive and many callers to our Helpline generally ask about free/low cost options. There are a number of websites which offer online testing services but it should be noted that these are only screening tests. They cannot provide solid evidence of dyslexia but they are a good starting point particularly if cost is an issue. Please note, these two online screening tests are not Dyslexia Scotland products. If you experience any problems with them, contact either Pico or Do-It directly for assistance.
- QS Online Assessment (Suitable for ages 14+) (cost is approx £10) - This screening test is produced by Pico Education Systems. If you have any difficulties with accessing the site, payment or a query about the report you should contact Pico Education Systems directly on 0208 674 7786 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DO-IT Dyslexia+Profiler (free screener and £20 for the Dyslexia+Profiler) - This screening test is produced by Do-It Solutions. If you have any difficulties with accessing the site, payment or a query about the report you should contact the company directly on 020 33 22 55 36 or email: email@example.com
Dyslexia Scotland Helpline - 0344 800 8484 to discuss any queries regarding dyslexia and assessments.