A diagnostic assessment will help you learn about your condition, maybe in surprising ways. It will help you and others round you at school, university or work to understand your challenges better. In some cases having ‘reasonable adjustments’ can make all the difference between succeeding or failing at school or college; being in work and being unemployed. To make these adjustments educators and employers need to see evidence of difficulties.
The standardised tests used by Dyspraxia UK are accepted by PATOSS, Universities and employers and individuals as giving “new insight” and being “extremely useful” and being in some cases “life changing”.
When do I need an assessment?
An assessment is useful at all stages of life, but the most beneficial time for a child is around 5 years old. So, ideally, during their school life, learning will be supported and needs will be met. In reality this rarely happens due to shortages in the NHS of Child Development Centres and staff to provide this comprehensive early diagnosis.
School age children benefit for a clear diagnosis so that some provision can be put into place before they start to feel they are ‘failing’ due to slow writing, clumsiness or hypersensitivity.
Secondary school is a big time of transition for children with dyspraxia and the larger buildings, crowds and frequent room changes can be seriously challenging to them.
This is an ideal time to get support for your child with a diagnosis and recommendations will get help with studying and more time in exams.
University and College
Many universities and colleges require an up-to-date Dyspraxia/DCD assessment report prior to entry. This is so provision can be put into place by student support services in good time. The report will enable you to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), which can facilitate access to extra tuition, training, equipment and tutorials.
To apply for DSA, you will need a post-16 Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) report written by a qualified professional. If you suspect that you may have dyspraxia whilst at university, you can still get a diagnostic assessment. Reasonable adjustments can be made at a later date. The whole process is likely to take several months to put in place, so it is generally recommended that you do this before applying to university/college to get the maximum benefit. Some universities offer in-house testing so it worth investigating this with the student support department. If this service is not offered, Dyspraxia UK can provide an expert assessment and report.
What are the benefits of diagnosis?
- Self knowledge
- Raising self esteem
- Getting support from others
- Success in education with the appropriate support
- Improved social relationships
- Support for problems at work and success at work
- Better outcomes of tribunals and disputes
- Understanding you are not ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’
- Coping better with stress caused by sensory processing difficulties
- Understanding your child, and maybe yourself, better
- Educating others about Dyspraxia