DYSLEXIA ASSESSMENT

Clinical Neuropsychologist Registrar Holly Nelson and Clinical Neuropsychologist Juhi Sanghavi conduct dyslexia assessments for children and adults. The assessment provides valuable information for the individual, their parent/s, teachers and caregivers regarding difficulties that may be impacting on the person's learning or development.

Dyslexia affects approximately 10% of the Australian population. It is a lifelong specific learning difficulty/disability, characterised by persistent difficulties with reading and spelling. A comprehensive assessment and diagnosis can have a positive impact on a child's learning and development, by providing information for parents and teachers about the child's strengths and limitations. This can assist in tailoring literacy instruction for the child and therefore, helping them reach their educational potential.

We believe that a comprehensive assessment is critical for individuals with learning difficulties. Our assessments aim to evaluate all areas of cognition and learning pertinent to establishing a full profile of learning difficulties and strengths. Associated difficulties often co-exist in learning disorders, so we take time to assess many areas of cognitive, literacy and language skills such as: attention/concentration, working memory, executive functioning, learning and memory, oral language skills, vocabulary and overall intelligence. We provide you with a written report outlining strengths and difficulties and options for intervention support. This provides helpful information for the individual and can be essential for receiving appropriate supports at school, university and in the workplace.

What are the signs of Dyslexia?

Lower Primary School

  • Difficulties with oral rhyming, syllabification, blending and segmenting of sounds in words

  • Delayed speech and language development

  • Limited spoken vocabulary

  • Difficulty in the acquisition of letter knowledge

  • Slow and inaccurate word recognition

  • Inability to read nonsense words

  • Poor spelling

  • Difficulty understanding reading material

  • Difficulties with understanding tasks requiring reasonable working memory capacity – such as following instructions or remembering sequential information

 

Upper Primary School

  • Reduced ability to isolate and manipulate individual sounds in words

  • Difficulties holding verbal information (eg instructions) in working memory

  • Slow to complete literacy-based tasks

  • Reading is slow and not fluent

  • Visually similar words are often confused when reading

  • Trouble decoding unfamiliar words

  • Poor reading comprehension

  • Limited retention of orthographic knowledge including spelling patterns

  • Numerous spelling errors (phonetic or non-phonetic)

  • Significant discrepancy between verbal ability and written skills

  • A lack of interest in or avoidance of reading and writing tasks

  • Ongoing difficulties in working memory

 

Secondary School

  • Poor reading fluency

  • Reduced reading comprehension (may need to re-read material many times to comprehend)

  • Poor spelling, including lack of knowledge of patterns in words and morphological knowledge (affixes and base words)

  • Poor writing fluency

  • Difficulties writing in a structured manner (ie poor sentence and paragraph construction, unable to structure essays)

  • Slow speed of writing

  • Disorganisation and difficulties with planning

  • Limited working memory

  • Word finding difficulties

  • A lack of interest in or avoidance of reading and writing tasks

  • Working memory difficulties may become more pronounced

What does an assessment involve?

The assessment process generally consists of:

  • An initial session with adult clients or with a child's parent/s only, to discuss relevant background information and ascertain whether an assessment is appropriate

  • 2 assessment sessions with the adult or child, which run for approximately 2 hours each

  • A feedback session in which the comprehensive assessment report is provided and feedback about the assessment results is given.

How much does a dyslexia assessment cost?

The fee for a psycho-educational assessment is $1700 which includes a comprehensive written report and feedback session. There are no Medicare rebates for psycho-educational assessments.

Please note, full payment of the assessment fee must be made prior to the assessment.

Will my child (or I) get a diagnosis?

Individuals with learning difficulties experience one or more areas of literacy and/or numeracy skills that are significantly below expectations based on their age and intellectual functioning. Thus, we provide a comprehensive assessment of intellectual functioning skills, literacy and numeracy abilities.

 

We follow best practice guidelines, meaning that a diagnosis of a learning disorder in children and adolescents is only made when these areas of learning difficulties persist despite having at least 6 months of targeted intervention (e.g. individual or small group targeted learning support). In adults, a diagnosis can be made if there is evidence of persistent difficulties experienced throughout schooling and beyond. This information can be obtained through clinical interview and review of school reports. 

 

If you are uncertain whether your child has received 6 months of appropriate intervention support, you can arrange an appointment to speak with one of our neuropsychologists to explore this further. If intervention has not yet occurred, an assessment can provide valuable information to assist with intervention planning. A follow-up review can be planned for 6-12months’ time to monitor your child’s progress and make the final diagnosis (if appropriate).

What is the waiting period for an assessment?

Our current waiting time is approximately 3-4 weeks.

Should I do anything whilst waiting for an assessment?

It is important for us to rule out all possible causes of your child’s learning difficulties. Therefore, in many cases it is recommended to have your child’s vision and hearing checked before attending an assessment.

How do I arrange an assessment for myself or my child?

You do not need a referral to arrange an assessment. Simply call our receptionists on 9456 0411 or email: info@amherstpsychology.com.au .