Full diagnostic assessments for dyslexia or dyscalculia are time-consuming, typically taking two half days, and also reasonably costly (refer to Assessment Fees). In contrast, screening tools are comparatively quick and easy to administer, and will estimate the extent to which a Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) may be present. Should an SLD be detected, it is then possible to continue to a full assessment if a more detailed analysis is required.
Screening for an SLD in reading (dyslexia)
Given that difficulties with reading may be due to causes other than dyslexia, a sensible first step is to run a screening test, which will evaluate the extent to which dyslexia may be present. Opportunity Knocks uses GL Assessment's Dyslexia Screener for this purpose, a tool explicitly designed to identify children who are experiencing difficulties known to be associated with dyslexia. As an initial diagnostic tool, it distinguishes between dyslexia and poor reading ability, which may have other causes.
Testing takes approximately 45 minutes, and consists of six short online activities which generate a 'dyslexia index' score, ranging from 'no signs of dyslexia' to 'severe dyslexia'. The screener generates two easily-read reports, one for parents and one for schools.
Screening for an SLD in maths (dyscalculia)
The GL Assessments Dyscalculia Screener is a quick test that distinguishes between those who have poor maths ability and those with dyscalculic tendencies. It comprises four online activities, and takes 20-30 minutes to administer. As with the dyslexia screener, easy-to-read reports are generated for both parents and schools.
Screening for an SLD in writing (dysgraphia)
A computerised diagnostic screener is not available for dysgraphia, however a number of online questionnaires evaluate the possibility that your child may be experiencing symptoms of dysgraphia. One such survey can be found at Dysgraphia in Children: Symptoms Test for Learning Disability. Alternatively, DysTech offer a free phone app that purports to screen for motor dysgraphia.