ASSESSMENT

INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
If you are a teacher or a special needs co-ordinator (SENCo) and you are concerned about a child in your school you may consider referring the child for a psychological assessment through the Local Education Authority.  A full psychological assessment will establish a child’s strengths and weaknesses and will help in planning an effective teaching programme with a specialist teacher.  An assessment will also provide a detailed diagnosis of dyslexia or related difficulties and the psychologist will be able to give recommendations as to what can be done to help, when appropriate.

It may be that the child’s difficulties are not regarded as severe enough to recommend assessment with an educational psychologist. However, we feel that children who are experiencing difficulties at school will benefit from an assessment, in order to ascertain the reasons for their difficulties and to ensure that the right kind of help is received as soon as possible.

If you are seeking information on psychological assessments for adults please see below.

ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Parents who are concerned about their child’s literacy difficulties, should first approach the school. The school may arrange for the child to be assessed by the special needs co-ordinator (SENCo) or by an educational psychologist. Parents may also contact their local Dyslexia Institute centre to arrange an independent assessment with a Chartered Psychologist. All our centres offer an assessment service which is delivered by a team of consulting psychologists whose work is subject to a rigorous system of quality control. The professional conduct of all psychologists in the Dyslexia Institute is regulated by the British Psychological Society.

Administrative staff at Dyslexia Institute centres can give advice and information regarding the help available. If you wish to discuss your own or your child’s educational problems in a little more detail, before making a decision as to whether an assessment is required, a half-hour appointment can be made with a senior teacher.  No charge is made for this service.

A bursary fund exists to help with the funding of assessments and lessons for those people who cannot meet the cost of the specialist lessons, although funds are limited. Some GP fund-holders may be willing to pay for an assessment.

In conjunction with this section, parents and school SENCos should also read linked pages “The SEN Code of Practice” and “Funding for Assessment and Courses”.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A DI PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT?

Assessment for Children

When you have made an appointment for your child’s assessment,  you will be asked to complete a Family Questionnaire. You will also be asked to invite your child’s school to complete a School Questionnaire. These two documents form excellent background information for the psychologist.

The psychologist will chat with you briefly before the assessment begins, and will then spend up to two hours with your child. During the assessment your child will be asked to carry out a range of interesting tasks, which most children find very enjoyable. When the tests have been completed, the psychologist will discuss the results with you and make recommendations as to what action to take.

A confidential report is issued within approximately three weeks of the assessment, setting out the results, findings and recommendations.  You will also receive a free booklet entitled ‘An Introduction for Parents’ , giving answers to many frequently asked questions, as well as information regarding teaching and what you can do to help.

Assessment for Adults
Before attending for the assessment you will be asked to complete a questionnaire to provide background information for the psychologist.  The assessment will take approximately 2 to 2 ˝ hours, during which time you will be able to discuss your difficulties with the psychologist, as well as taking part in a wide range of interesting  tests.  The psychologist will then discuss the results and findings of the assessment and offer some advice as to what action you may wish to take.  A full confidential report will be provided approximately three weeks after the assessment, setting out the results, findings and recommendations. After receiving this report, you may, if required, attend for a free consultation with a senior teacher, who will offer further advice regarding the next steps to take.
What is being assessed?
The tests given assess the following: underlying ability, thinking, organising and planning, using words and patterns; vocabulary; reading, writing, spelling; memory; sound skills.

The result is a ‘profile’ – a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses – from which an experienced psychologist can see whether the student is dyslexic, and what should be done to help.

All the information will be sent in a full confidential report, about three weeks after the assessment.

For a deeper understanding of the process of assessment see “Principles of Assessment” . You  may also wish to  read “Teacher Assessment in the Secondary School” , an interesting article about one specific school.

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR DYSLEXIA INSTITUTE ASSESSMENTS

The Dyslexia Institute believes that an assessment should be a positive experience, providing, wherever possible, answers to questions and suggestions of how to move forward.  As explained in the Dyslexia Institute leaflets, assessment is a key part of understanding an individual’s strengths and difficulties, and planning appropriate action.  The focus of the assessment process is always the individual and it is their interests that will be put first.  In order to obtain a balanced picture it is helpful to have background information from home, schools, employers, etc.  However, no contact will be made with any outside agencies without prior approval and, as explained in our data protection statement, no information will be released without prior approval.

The following Terms and Conditions are designed to explain the operation of the assessment procedure and to minimise the potential for misunderstanding.

 The Dyslexia Institute will:

1)

  1. arrange an educational or psychological assessment of the client[1]  with either a Dyslexia Institute specialist teacher or a Chartered Psychologist respectively
  2. arrange an assessment of the client that is relevant to the reason for referral and within the area of the Dyslexia Institute’s expertise as described within its information leaflets
  3. request completion of a questionnaire covering background information and, when appropriate, request additional information from relevant agencies relating to the reason for referral
  4. ensure that the client being assessed will receive provisional, verbal feedback from the teacher or psychologist immediately after the assessment
  5. provide an assessment report in approximately three weeks  that highlights the client’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, offers advice on appropriate learning and coping strategies, and gives information on sources of appropriate teaching and advice/support etc, where relevant
  6. arrange for the assessment to be performed in a suitable assessment room
  7. provide waiting area facilities at its main centres[2].  However, clients should note that Dyslexia Institute office staff cannot be held responsible for the supervision of children on Dyslexia Institute premises whilst their parents are receiving post-assessment feedback.

[1] A ‘client’ being assessed can be an adult, young person or a child. Where the client being assessed is a child, i.e. under the age of 16 years, the client’s parent(s) will usually be considered as the client for the purpose of conforming to these Terms and Conditions. Generally, young persons aged 16-17 are entitled to the same duty of confidence as adults. Therefore, their parents should explain and discuss with them in advance the reason for the assessment, and obtain their agreement to proceed within the conditions of the above Terms and Conditions. However, it should be noted that children of any age who have the capacity and understanding to take decisions about their own treatment are also entitled to a duty of confidence and to decide whether their personal information should be disclosed to a third party. Where children do not have the requisite capacity and understanding, decisions to pass information may be taken by a person with parental responsibility in consultation with the professional assessor involved.

[2] Waiting facilities cannot be guaranteed at all outposts

2)

  1. provide the client being assessed with suitable literature on the Dyslexia Institute’s available teaching resources, where appropriate
  2. offer the client being assessed a free, confidential appointment after the assessment to discuss the report with a suitable person within the Dyslexia Institute
  3. attend to any queries about the assessment report as quickly as possible

3)

  1. in all of its dealings, conform to UK law concerning the processing and storage of information, employment and civil rights of the client being assessed[3]

4)

  1. enable and support its teachers and consulting psychologists to apply their professional Codes of Conduct at all times when engaging with their clients
  2. monitor and maintain acceptable standards of quality of teaching and assessment from its teachers and consulting psychologists
  3. arrange for educational and psychological assessments to be performed only by appropriately qualified teachers or Chartered, independent psychologists, respectively.

5)

The Dyslexia Institute reserves the right to terminate, or not to accept, a referral, or not circulate an assessment report, if:

  1. the referral appears to be outside its area of expertise
  2. there is an apparent conflict of interest between relevant parties
  3. if any relevant parties are in, or intend to be in, dispute
  4. the Dyslexia Institute’s charitable status is, or could be, compromised
  5. there are current legal or tribunal proceedings that may be affected by the Dyslexia Institute’s involvement
  6. it cannot provide the report in the time required
  7. the fee has not been paid at the required time
  8. the teacher or psychologist decides to terminate the assessment for any just reason
  9. the client being assessed fails to comply with any of the conditions in (7) below and where such failure could compromise the validity of the assessment
  10. the relevant Questionnaire/Authorisation Form(s) (and Letter of Instruction where appropriate) have not been signed by the appropriate person(s) and returned to the Dyslexia Institute
  11. in the case of termination or non-acceptance of a referral or non-circulation of a report, under sub-clauses a, b, c, d, e, f, h, i and j above, and if a fee has already been received, the administrative and assessment fees shall be returned to the commissioner/purchaser on a pro-rata basis.

6)

The commissioner/purchaser (if not the client being assessedwill: 

  1. complete and return relevant Dyslexia Institute questionnaires, or other pertinent information, when requested to do so
  2. use the assessment report for the sole purpose of attending to the needs of the client being assessed
  3. not use or circulate the report for any other purpose than for what it is intended
  4. pay the administrative and assessment fees when requested to do so by the Dyslexia Institute and agree to pay the full fee for appointments cancelled without notification of prior warning or good cause[4]
  5. respect the confidential status of the report and conform to the regulations of the Data Protection Act 1998
  6. agree with the client being assessed, in advance of the assessment, the reason for referral to the Dyslexia Institute and obtain the client’s agreement to proceed with the assessment
  7. agree with the client being assessed, in advance of the assessment, the arrangements for distribution of the assessment report, and confirm this agreement with the Dyslexia Institute, accordingly
  8. agree to all of the above terms and conditions

7)

The client being assessed will: 

  1. be punctual for the assessment
  2. co-operate fully with all requirements of the assessment process
  3. confirm with the teacher or psychologist performing the assessment if any confidential information given verbally or on the Dyslexia Institute’s questionnaires should not be divulged within the assessment report
  4. inform the teacher or psychologist if he/she has received any assessment in the past that may have a bearing on the assessment to be performed
  5. inform the Dyslexia Institute prior to the assessment of any personal health or other factors that may influence the assessment to be performed
  6. bring with them any prescription spectacles needed to see fine details when working with materials at a table
  7. complete and return relevant Dyslexia Institute questionnaires or other pertinent information when requested to do so
  8. not use or circulate the report for any other purpose than for what it is intended
  9. unless funded by a third party, pay the administrative and assessment fees when requested to do so by the Dyslexia Institute and agree to pay the full fee for appointments cancelled without notification of prior warning or good cause
  10. respect the confidential status of the report and conform to the regulations of the Data Protection Act 1998
  11. where applicable, agree with the commissioner/purchaser of the assessment, in advance of the assessment, the reason for referral to the Dyslexia Institute and give their written agreement to proceed with the assessment
  12. where applicable, agree with the commissioner/purchaser of the assessment, in advance of the assessment, the arrangements for distribution of the assessment report, and confirm this agreement with the Dyslexia Institute, accordingly
  13. agree to all of the above terms and conditions

[3] In particular, the Data Protection Act 1998, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Article 8, (right to private life) Human Rights Act 1998

[4] The Dyslexia Institute prefers that payment be made via one paying agent only.

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