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At HSR Psychology we carry out Dyslexia screening, assessments and interventions as part of our Dyslexia pathway.

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty with reading and spelling. The difficulty with reading or spelling is below what is expected for the child or young person’s age, and cannot be explained through intellectual ability. Dyslexia is often also referred to as a specific reading or spelling difficulty.

What is Dyslexia?

Ten percent (10%) of individuals in the UK are estimated to have Dyslexia which can affect reading, writing and spelling. Dyslexia is an information processing disorder and is unrelated to intelligence and academic ability, however it can impact on many aspects of school and classroom life.

It is likely that the incidence of S.p.L.D. occurs within a normal distribution as to severity, with 4% of the population seriously affected and 6% demonstrating increasingly less challenge. It is also likely that some individuals are only slightly affected by the difficulties but are able to maximise their strengths.

British Dyslexia Association, Adults and Dyslexia 40 years on.... (2012)

Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent word reading and/or spelling develops very incompletely or with very great difficulty. This focuses on literacy learning at the ‘word’ level and implies that the problem is severe and persistent despite appropriate learning opportunities’ … The conclusion has to be reached through a staged process of assessment and intervention which is based on evidence.

British Psychological Society (1999)

Indications of Dyslexia vary dependent on the age of the child or young person. There are a number of indicators which may suggest that an individual has Dyslexia, including:

Dyslexia and scotopic sensitivity syndrome share similar symptoms such as words appearing jumbled or blurred on a page. Dyslexia relates to difficulties processing, recalling or expressing information.

Dyslexia assessment

A child having a dyslexia assessment with HSR Psychology

What happens prior to a Dyslexia assessment?

A Dyslexia screening is available prior to a full Dyslexia assessment and these are shorter tests related to literacy knowledge and memory and may inform a decision as to whether a full assessment would be necessary.

Before a Dyslexia diagnosis can be made, a number of evidence-based literacy intervention cycles should have happened within the education setting. This is to demonstrate whether progress has been made following targeted interventions.

Our process

At HSR Psychology we ensure that we meet the needs of children and young people. To achieve this we ensure that any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work, is only carried out following an initial discussion.

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Having an initial discussion ensures any services we provide appropriately identify or address needs.

Our process for any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work is as follows:

Step 1: Contact us

We will usually be contacted by the child or young person, parent or carer, or another professional (eg education or health).

You can contact us or complete a referral

Step 2: Arrange an initial discussion

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Arrange an initial discussion

Step 3: Review our recommendations

Following an initial discussion we will send you an email that includes:

  • Next steps recommendations - to provide a bespoke package of support. For example:
    • Assessments
    • Reports
    • Information gathering
    • Meeting
    • Interventions
    • Consultancy
    • Reviews
  • Costing - we will provide costings for any services recommended.

Step 4: Let's get started

On receipt of the next steps recommendations and costing you can decide how to proceed. Once you have decided contact us to arrange the chosen services.

How is Dyslexia assessed?

Dyslexia is assessed through a combination of the following, leading to a holistic assessment.

Full history

A full educational and medical background of the child or young person is useful when assessing Dyslexia as it provides information which would not be apparent through observations or assessments. A full history includes looking at previous reports from education staff and other professionals.


An observation of the child or young person provides an insight into their usual classroom routine and allows the psychologist to assess the environment and whether it could play a part in the challenges.


Discussions with key school staff, parents or carers is beneficial to understanding the impact of the presenting difficulties. Discussions also provide information which may not have been apparent during observations or assessments.

Cognitive assessment

During the cognitive assessment our educational and child psychologists may be able to suggest if there are alternative underlying conditions which could explain the symptoms if it is not Dyslexia. Cognitive assessments are generally closed to teaching staff.

Phonological awareness assessment

A phonological awareness assessment provides information as to how the child or young person is processing sounds and words.

Attainment assessment

Academic attainment is assessed in order to establish the level of difficulty in literacy.

An early assessment of Dyslexia is recommended so interventions and strategies can be put in place at the earliest opportunity. When support is not in place, Dyslexia can lead to individuals struggling with low self-esteem and not reaching their true potential.

Which assessments do we use for Dyslexia?

The specific assessments used will be chosen based on the child or young person. The main assessments we use are:

  • WAIS - Wechsler adult intelligence scale can measure; reasoning, retention of information, processing information, organisation of information, verbal comprehension
  • WISC-V - Wechsler intelligence scale for children can be used to provide a full cognitive profile of strengths and difficulties, including; verbal comprehension, visual spatial, working memory, processing speed, quantitative reasoning, auditory working memory, non-verbal, general ability and cognitive proficiency
  • BAS 3 - British ability scales are used to assess children’s current intellectual functioning and measure; verbal ability, non-verbal reasoning, general conceptual ability, special non-verbal composite
  • PhAB2 - Phonological assessment battery measures; initial sound isolation, rhyme identification, segmenting, phonological information, decoding ability, blending and phoneme separation
  • WIAT - Wechsler individual achievement test measures the following areas; oral language, reading, comprehension and fluency, written expression, mathematics, maths fluency, total achievement

There are other assessments which may be used during a Dyslexia assessment, if these are predicted beforehand then they will be mentioned during the Initial Discussion.

What happens after a Dyslexia assessment?

After an assessment we will discuss plans for supporting Dyslexia or identified literacy difficulties. Interventions for Dyslexia can include reading, spelling and planning. Following this, a report will be written to provide information about the assessment and the recommendations.

If results suggest Dyslexia then a diagnosis could follow if there is evidence from the education setting that literacy interventions and quality first teaching have been put in place for a specific amount of time, and the pupil’s progress has been monitored over this time. We would also conduct a quick post-test to assess whether improvements have been made, as per our Dyslexia pathway.

Evidence of interventions and further input are available from the education setting. If interventions were not in place prior to the Dyslexia assessment then we may recommend specific strategies or interventions to support the child or young person’s learning in relation to their presenting literacy difficulties. After a period of time with specific interventions in place then we could review the assessment and possible Dyslexia diagnosis.

What are the benefits of intervention?

There are many benefits to receiving interventions in relation to Dyslexia as they can narrow the gap caused by the difficulties encountered. Interventions can improve phonemic awareness, spelling skills, comprehension, reading and associated skills, such as memory, organisation and planning, through providing strategies. Interventions support individuals in using their strengths to their advantage.

Our psychologists support evidence-based Dyslexia interventions in addition to bespoke interventions when necessary. If there is a particular Dyslexia or literacy intervention which you would like us to support then please contact us to see how we can help.

What else can we offer in relation to Dyslexia?

In addition to screenings, assessments and interventions we also offer extra psychological services in relation to Dyslexia. Examples of the psychological services we offer in relation to Dyslexia include:

The above services can be used in isolation or alongside an assessment or intervention. If there is a specific service required which is not mentioned above then please contact us to see how we can help.

Are we able to make a diagnosis of Dyslexia?

A diagnosis of Dyslexia can only come from a combination of assessments and a holistic understanding of the child or young person’s background. Context is very important when assessing for Dyslexia. Examples of context we take into account include:

Through combining assessment results with a holistic approach, we will be able to identify whether there are literacy difficulties such as Dyslexia.

Dyslexia affects an individual’s ability to process information, including verbal or written information. There are strategies and techniques available to help children and young people with Dyslexia to be happy, safe and ready for life’s challenges. To book a Dyslexia assessment or to find out more, please contact us to speak to a member of our team.

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