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After an initial screening, how is dyslexia formally identified? (2 minutes : 33 seconds)

Christine Carter (Academic Support), Alex Sallis (School of Politics & International Relations), Barbara Taylor (Academic Support).

How does the official route happen? They’ve come to you, they’ve had screening, it’s looking likely, there’s lots of indicators indicating dyslexia, what next?

Barbara Taylor, Academic Support:
They have the opportunity to go for a formal assessment. We’ve got two really nice educational psychologists who come into the university, so they’re operating within a room that they’ve probably worked in before so its very comfortable, because the process itself is not that comfortable. They do an IQ test, and then they’re tested, really, as one of them puts it, to point where they start to fail, so students feel uncomfortable about it. So they go from us to a screening and then, if they want, on to a formal assessment. That’s’s common, but it’s not essential, and there are some students who choose to stay with an informal screening and say, “I’ve learnt a lot about myself”. Some will take 12 months a year to go onto the formal testing, it’s very much individual.

And it also depends, I suppose, on where they are in their university career, because if they’re very close to the end of their university career, it’s bigger to have the formal testing as you go out into work, whereas if you’re beginning as a student that’s a long way away.

What was that process like, what kind of things did the psychologist ask you and get you to do?

Alex Sallis, student, Politics & International Relations:
Well, firstly there was Kim Lawson at the academic support who screened me first to see whether I was actually in need of having this consultation, and she just asked me this straightforward questions about younger life, what I was like when I was younger, my learning, etc. I can’t quite remember exactly the sort of questions she asked. It was actually quite fun, the actual screening itself with the psychologist was actually quite fun, it had lots of kind of IQ tests and different kind of - not games, but block building and mental arithmetic, reciting numbers forward and backwards...loads of stuff. It took two hours, so yeah, it was good. I enjoyed it, believe it or not.

Produced: June 2007, in collaboration with the University's Promoting Enhanced Student Learning (PESL) initiative.

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Module design: What is dyslexia (student perspective)

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