At the National Dyslexia Network -NDN (not-for-profit organisation) we encounter many parents who are confused about the learning needs of their child. Some having been told their child is doing fine, but the parents knowing they are capable of far more. Others knowing there is a problem, but thinking their child is too young to have the issues assessed or hoping they will grow out of them. If this sounds like you- then read on.
Often it can prove very helpful to take advantage of our FREE ADVICE SESSIONS. The opportunity to express your worries, to not just a highly qualified professional but also very experienced too (the directors for NDN are former Dyslexia Action Area Managers.)
There are a variety of assessments and making sure you have the one to suit your needs is important. Our Educational Psychologists and Specialist Teacher Assessors are happy to carry out diagnostic assessments on children as young as 6 years and 6 months. For younger children, it is not possible to rule out other causes, so we are able to offer an assessment which highlights their strengths and weaknesses and provides a set of individual recommendations for taking them forward. This is also available to older children and adults, but does not provide a diagnosis.
An assessment enables us to use a child’s strengths to help them to nurture their weaknesses.
When considering specialist tuition, the following information may be useful:
· How much experience has the teacher of teaching learners with specific learning difficulties within very small groups (2 or 3) or individually, since they were trained?
· Teaching qualifications with dates.
· Specialist dyslexia teacher training is essential. You are advised to check for which level[s] they are accredited and have experience. One of the following qualifications would be advisable:
· A SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) Certificate qualification for either primary, secondary or adult levels. SpLD Certificate holders are qualified for teaching, and may assess for the purposes of establishing a teaching programme only;
· To provide specialist teaching and diagnostic assessment, the qualification should be a Level 7 SpLD Diploma including specialist training in diagnostic assessment accredited by SASC (the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee, www.sasc.org.uk ) and accredited for AMBDA;
· Specialists should be regularly updating their specialist knowledge through continuing professional development.
· Ask about his/her current teaching post(s) if any and note relevance for your child.
· Teachers with specialist training may hold professional membership of PATOSS, Dyslexia Guild, ADSHE or the BDA.