A screening test is designed to provide an indication regarding the likelihood of an individual being identified as dyslexic if they were to undertake a full diagnostic assessment. It is not a diagnosis and is not 100% accurate.
Many primary and secondary schools are able to provide screening tests as part of their routine SEN service, and parents who feel their child may be dyslexic should talk to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator [SENCo] in the first instance and ask for a screening test to be provided.
Where the screening test indicates a moderate or high probability of dyslexic difficulties, an appropriate course of action may be to consider following up with a full diagnostic assessment. This would determine the presence of dyslexic and any related difficulties. However, if provision of a full diagnostic assessment is not possible this should not prevent the child from receiving appropriate specialist support within the school.
If a school is unwilling or unable to provide a dyslexia screening test – or if a parent wishes to obtain a ‘second opinion’ – Dyslexia Lincs is able to provide this service.
A screening test is a quicker and more informal process than a full diagnostic assessment which explores the child’s previous educational and medical history in greater depth. The screening test usually takes less than an hour to complete, and has four sections which cover a range of early skills, including the child’s non-verbal reasoning, language skills, speed, balance and hand-eye skills. By looking at a range of skills we find strengths as well as weaknesses, and this can be very helpful when considering how to help your child progress. From results of a screening test, we can check whether or not your child might have subtle hearing problems, or memory problems. These difficulties can make it harder to learn to read. The sub-tests included enable us to check the likelihood of dyslexia. If there is any history of difficulties in learning to read in your immediate family, (yourself, your spouse, your child’s brothers or sisters), it would be helpful if you could let us know.
A screening test can be undertaken after school on week days, at a weekend, or during the school holiday period.
Usually within five working days, parents are provided with a concise written report summarising and interpreting test results and providing an ‘At Risk Quotient’ in the form of a score indicating whether a learner is at risk of dyslexia. Risks indicated range from ‘no risk of dyslexia’, ‘mild risk of dyslexia’, ‘at risk of dyslexia’ to ‘strong risk of dyslexia’. A full diagnostic assessment is recommended in cases where a moderate or strong risk screening test result occurs.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of dyslexia screening please contact us.