Dyslexia affects around 10% of the population. Dyslexia affects the way individuals process, store and retrieve information. Students with dyslexia may experience difficulties with memory, organisation, time-management, sequencing, reading and writing.
Dyslexia is one of a range of specific learning difficulties which also includes Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is a related specific learning difficulty which can cause similar challenges and also impair motor / coordination skills. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) can also be identified as a specific learning difficulty, but is usually identified via a psychiatry referral via the NHS.
In this article:
If you think that you may have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, then Disability Support can offer a diagnostic assessment.
1. Request a screening questionnaire by emailing Disability Support
2. Complete the questionnaire and email this back to Disability Support.
3. A Learning Support Coordinator will review your questionnaire responses and contact you to either:
Offer an appointment to discuss your concerns in more detail, or
Refer you directly for a full diagnostic assessment.
The diagnostic assessment process:
The Disability Learning Support Screening Questionnaire will help us to decide if you are likely to have a specific learning difficulty or if there may be other issues that could be affecting your academic work.
- Complete the questionnaire and return it to the same email address. You must complete all sections of the questionnaire, providing as much detail as possible.
- The Learning Support Coordinator will review your responses and will then contact you to:
- Offer you a follow-up appointment to discuss your concerns in more detail
- Refer you directly for a full diagnostic assessment
Diagnostic assessment for Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)
After we have received and reviewed your screening questionnaire, you may be referred to an SpLD assessor for a full diagnostic assessment.
A diagnostic assessment will take 3-4 hours and includes an in-depth background interview and a range of tasks and tests related to reading, writing, memory and information processing.
The aim of the assessment is not just to provide the individual with a formal diagnosis, but also to explore and understand the person’s pattern of strengths and weaknesses so that to identify the best ways to manage any underlying difficulties
At the end of the assessment you will be given a short verbal feedback. The assessor will send a written report to you and also to the Disability Support Team at King’s College London within two weeks of your appointment.
- On receipt of your written report you should contact the Disability Support Team to arrange an appointment with us to discuss the findings of the report and to discuss appropriate support.
These assessments can only be carried out by an Educational Psychologist or a Specialist Teacher Assessor holding a current practicing certificate. King’s has partnership arrangements with a number of independent professionals who are fully qualified to assess higher education students for specific learning difficulties.
After referral, you should expect an appointment to be arranged within four weeks.
Fees and charges:
- An administration fee of £50 will be charged for all students enrolled at King's (from September 2019 onwards).
- All other costs (and the full costs for students who joined King’s in 2018-19 or earlier) will be covered by King’s College London.
- Assessments cost the university approximately £350.00.
Diagnostic assessments 2021 updates and Covid-19 restrictions
Due to the need for diagnostic assessments to be carried out face to face between student and assessor, King’s is not able to arrange diagnostic assessments as we would usually do. Until we can arrange full assessments safely all diagnostic assessments are suspended.
Qualified assessors external to King’s may offer face to face assessments but we are not able to support this due to health & safety concerns. We cannot guarantee that assessors will have appropriate social distancing and personal protective equipment in place to ensure your safety.
Important to know: If you decide to arrange a face to face diagnostic assessment privately this would be at your own risk.
Alternative assessment process online Evaluation of Needs assessments
In the interim, as an alternative to a full diagnostic assessment we are offering Evaluation of Needs assessments.
- Just like a diagnostic assessment it will be carried out by a specialist teacher assessor with professional qualifications.
- You would participate in a range of limited diagnostic tests and fill in a questionnaire.
- An Evaluation of Needs can be carried out online.
These reports whilst not a full confirmation of a specific learning difficulty can qualify students for Disabled Students Allowances and Personalised Assessments Arrangements.
How is an Evaluation of Needs different to a full diagnostic assessment?
A full diagnostic assessment is carried out using a range of practical tests designed to investigate whether your difficulties with studying and learning might be due to a Specific Learning Difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, or ADHD.
Important to know: ADHD can only be identified as a specific learning difficulty in these assessments. This is not a medical diagnosis of ADHD.
The aim of the assessment is to provide the individual with a formal diagnosis if applicable and also to explore and understand the person’s pattern of strengths and weaknesses so that to identify the best ways to manage any underlying difficulties.
An Evaluation of Needs is short term response to the COVID-19 crisis where face-to-face diagnostic assessments are not possible. It is not carried out in person but is based on a process using an online video platform. It seeks to explore the same challenges as the full diagnostic assessment process, but the range of tests are limited due to the online communication format.
An Evaluation of Needs will not provide a 'diagnosis' of a specific learning difficulty but will provide indicators of such.
When will King’s resume offering full diagnostic assessments?
We do not expect to be able to recommence diagnostic assessments on campus until the UK government announces an end to social distancing requirements (when we can see that the coronavirus pandemic is coming to an end).
SASC (SpLD Assessments Standards Committee) has issued guidance on this and you can keep up to date by regularly monitoring the SASC web site. SASC News Page.
We are reviewing the situation regularly and as circumstances relating to Covid-19 and King’s plans for reopening face to face meetings progresses.
Is an Evaluation of Needs worthwhile?
We confirm that an Evaluation of Needs will allow you to access support for the duration of your course at King's. Support offered will be the same as we would offer for anyone with a confirmed specific learning difficulty. See https://internal.kcl.ac.uk/student/SupportandAdvice/das/disabilities/spld for more information.
Can I have an Evaluation of Needs and then have a full diagnostic assessment later?
As we do not know when it will be possible to carry out full diagnostic assessments on King’s premises (where we will be able to manage health and safety risks) we can’t say whether those attending an Evaluation of Needs will be offered a second full assessment at a later date.
When we are able to resume full assessments, which we do not envisage being able to do before September 2021, we will prioritise those who have not had the opportunity for any type of assessment.
Can I arrange full diagnostic assessment myself?
Although we recommend you work with any of our partners, you can choose to arrange your own assessment at your own expense. Here's a list of qualified assessors.
If you arrange your own assessment, we may consider reimbursing the cost up to a maximum of £340.00.
Important to know: King's will not fund the cost of a diagnostic assessment for final year students within the last 2 months of their course.
Provided that you understand any assessment arranged privately would be carried out at your own risk, we will consider claims for reimbursement (up to maximum of £340).
- Please contact email@example.com for a claim form.
- You will need to provide proof of payment.
Will I be charged for an Evaluation of Need assessment?
No, King’s will pay the assessor directly.
Important to know: King's will not fund the cost of an Evaluation of Need or of a diagnostic assessment for final year students within the last 2 months of their course.