Diagnostic assessments can only be undertaken by a suitably qualified psychologist or a specialist teacher (with a qualification called an Assessment Practising Certificate or APC). We have both available for assessment at SDC.
Usually, but not exclusively, adults are assessed by chartered occupational psychologist, Mrs Justine Webb and children by specialist teacher, Mrs Karen Anderson.
The regulations have recently changed and, although previously only those obtained after the age of 16 were admissible, now a diagnostic report obtained after 7 years of age can be used as evidence of specific learning difficulties when applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (D.S.A.) in Higher Education.COVID precautions:
Currently our post 16 assessments are being undertaken via Zoom.
Under 16s are being seen face to face within the Centre.
The windows will be open in both the waiting room and the assessment room- please ensure you bring appropriate clothing.
We ask all adults to wear a mask throughout and for you to use the hand-sanitiser provided.
Please be aware that the assessor will not be wearing a mask during my time with your child, nor will they be expected to wear one.
The assessor will have taken a lateral flow test and we require you and your child to have done so too.
Please do not bring them, if they or any of your family have been in contact with Covid or they are unwell for any reason.
Please ensure they bring their own pen/ pencil and something to fiddle with if this helps them to concentrate.
For the sake of other families waiting for assessment, please err on the side of caution. We appreciate you may have had a long wait, so if you do have to cancel, we will offer you another appt as soon as possible.
Please contact us via email and we will send you the appropriate questionnaires.
Once either the family questionnaire or the adult questionnaire has been returned, (the school one, if applicable, can be returned nearer to the date of the assessment) you will be placed on our waiting list and contacted as soon as we can offer you an appointment.
Before the assessment appointment:
You will receive an email confirming the appointment, with travel directions, and payment details.
If you wish the school/college to be involved, please pass on the appropriate questionnaire to them to complete.
For Year 9 and above: If the application for GCSE or GCE exam access arrangements is a likely outcome, a joint email to the school/college SENDCo and SDC is required giving permission for us to liaise with the school or college. This will be required BEFORE the assessment for the completion of the necessary paperwork.
During the assessment appointment:
Please allow up to 3 hours for the appointment.
Accompanying friends or family are welcome to use our waiting room.
Ample, free parking is available on site.
The assessor will discuss the information contained in your questionnaires and your current needs and concerns.
The formal process involves assessment of performance in verbal and non-verbal underlying ability, levels of attainment in reading, spelling, writing (and sometimes maths) and diagnostic testing to investigate the presence of dyslexia and possible indications of other specific learning difficulties.
Areas of strength are identified as well as any problem areas.
Some verbal feedback will be provided at the end of the session.
Following the assessment appointment:
The completed report is usually emailed within 3 working weeks of the assessment date.
This comprehensive report details scores, conclusions reached and personalised recommendations for support. These are likely to include for example, appropriate learning strategies, useful resources, assistive technologies and, if appropriate, will recommend specialist tuition.
After the report has been received, a ½ hour post-assessment feedback session can be arranged to discuss the findings/recommendations in the report, if required.
Costs for Assessment with Specialist Teacher/Psychologist
How to book