Portmarnock and Mount Merrion

Dyslexia…what is it and how is it assessed?

At the Insight Centre we work a lot with Dyslexia. We offer assessments, support and teacher / school training. This is offered individually, and we also run workshops about the impact of Dyslexia and entitlements in primary school and secondary school. As this is a common referral, we wanted to do a blog post covering exactly what it is and what to expect should you wish to have your child assessed.

So what is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that makes it harder for people to learn how to read, write, and spell as well as other people their age, despite having the same learning opportunities. It affects approximately 10% of the population.

Dyslexia impacts three main areas of cognitive processing; phonological processing, working memory, and speed of rapid naming. These difficulties in turn make it more difficult for the individual to break down and blend words, read in a fluent and accurate manner, as well as encode and spell words correctly. Dyslexia may also impact on how the individual is able to organise their written work, understand and remember what they are reading, and follow instructions accurately. If left undetected, these difficulties may also then begin to impact on the self-esteem and confidence of the individual, and they might find themselves feeling frustrated that they are not reaching their ability despite putting in the work and effort.

How do you assess for Dyslexia?

When a child is assessed for Dyslexia, these three areas of cognitive processing are investigated, as well as their reading and spelling skills. An IQ test is also often carried out, in order to rule out any other possible difficulties (such as a general learning disability), give the student and their school an idea of their learning abilities, and as a requirement for certain Department of Education accommodations/exemptions (such as the Irish exemption).

The assessment itself takes approximately 2 hours, and some time is also given at the end to chat with parents about the findings. A written report is then provided to parents a few weeks later. This details all the scores, provides information about the tests used, presents the overall findings, and gives detailed recommendations for both parents and the school, including effective intervention strategies as well as accommodations that can be applied for. A follow-up appointment is always offered following review of the report. Reports from The Insight Centre are accepted by the Department of Education and thus, all schools.

If you would like to know more about our assessments or have any questions for us, please get in touch. You can contact us here, or call us on 01-8463894.

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