Identification of the presence of dyslexia is an essential part of getting support. Many people with dyslexia will not be aware that they are dyslexic. Instead they will have been under the impression that they are slow at learning, or intellectually inferior. Many people are unaware of the existence of dyslexia, let alone aware that it many apply to them.
Establishing the presence of dyslexia can be a matter of “best fit – not clinical certainty.” Dyslexia is not a “black and white” condition, and elements of judgement are involved. None the less, to an experienced practitioner the external signs are obvious.
Levels of identification.
1. A full Diagnosis or Assessment. This is expensive, time consuming and emotionally and academically invasive. A full assessment will take several hours and can be carried out only by a qualified SPELD assessor or by a specialist Educational Consultant. A fined grained and extensive report is produced. A full assessment/diagnosis can cost between NZ$500 and NZ$1,500
2. Dyslexia Screening. A screening is less expensive and takes around an hour to complete. The result is a report that is two to three pages long and is sufficient to determine the best steps to support an adult with dyslexia. The cost varies. At Hidden Talents a screening, together with a recommended course of action will cost $200.00 per person. There are three different screening tools available: –
– The Pearson Dyslexia Adult Screening Tool (DAST). A personally administered screening.
– The Lucid LADs Plus. This is a computer-based assessment where the subject engages directly with a computer.
– The Quick Screen. This is a cloud based, digital screening tool.
3. The Adult Checklist. This is not an official assessment tool – but can be accessed by an individual and is a useful starting point to decide whether or not to take a screening.
Hidden Talents/Dyslexia-Consulting recommends a screening tool as the most practical solution.
It is vitally important to link the identification of Dyslexia to the next step – which is what to do next. An individualised Needs Analysis is essential as a first step towards managing the future. A Needs Analysis will consider the dyslexia screening result, the nature of education, training or employment that the individual is involved in and make some firm recommendations. Included in that recommendation report would be guidance about what technology would be useful to support the person with dyslexia.