In order to provide a holistic and detailed assessment and diagnosis I use a wide range of standardised assessments. Each assessment assesses a differing skill. However, I will not use all the assessments on every child! Part of the information-gathering process is to decide upon a hypothesis and determine which assessment would be most suitable for determining the accuracy of the hypothesis wih your child. From the results gained, a profile of the individual strengths and weaknesses and a diagnosis can be determined.
Not all standardised assessments are suitable or approved for use when assessing for access arrangements for students of GCSE/GCE or higher level qualifications.
I have carefully chosen assessments which are approved through the JCQ and Awarding Bodies as providing a rigorous and robust assessment of a child’s ability.
Literacy Skills Development
Gray Silent Reading Tests (GSRT)
This test enables an accurate measure of an individual’s silent reading comprehension ability. It consists of developmentally sequenced reading passages with five multiple choice questions.
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – Second Edition for Teachers (WIAT-II-T)
The WIAT-II-T consists of four sub-tests which provide a holistic assessment of reading and spelling. The test provides evidence for students who may need a reader, extra time or the application of a scribe. The four sub-tests are:
· Single word reading
· Reading comprehension
· Reading Speed
· Single Word Spelling
The WIAT-II-T can provide evidence that a student is performing below average in accuracy and legibility. This assessment can also be used for statementing purposes and establishing general literacy levels.
Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH)
For many students a major barrier to demonstrating their true ability is handwriting difficulties. Objective evidence provides crucial information enabling comparisons between students of a similar age. There are five subtests, each testing a different aspect of handwriting speed and fine motor development. Careful diagnostic assessment can be made providing indicators as to why a student may be experiencing writing difficulties.
Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP)
Phonological difficulties are an early indicator of more complex Literacy difficulties, which may be associated with dyslexia. This test has a number of elements including
· Phonological Awareness Quotient (PAQ) which measures an individual’s awareness and access to the phonological structure of oral language
· Phonological Memory Quotient (PMQ) which measures an individual’s ability to code information phonologically for temporary storage in the working or short-term memory
Rapid Naming Quotient (RNQ) which provides a measure of an individual’s ability to retrieve information from the long-term or permanent memory. It also measures the ability to undertake a sequence of operations quickly and repeatedly. It is a measure which can be used to demonstrate an individual’s processing speed, and is approved for use when applying for access arrangements.
British Picture Vocabulary Scale: Third Edition (BPVS3)
Measures receptive language and screens for the detection of language impairment across a wide age range. It is suitable for non-readers and children with specific learning difficulties. The Specialist teacher says a word and the student responds by selecting the picture from four options which best illustrates the word’s meaning. The words broadly sample words that represent a range of content areas such as actions, animals, toys and emotions in addition to parts of speech such as nouns, verbs or attributes across all levels of difficulty.
Expressive Vocabulary Test, Second Edition (EVT-2)
This test offers an extensive test of expressive language ability. The test uses a stimulus book with modern pictures which the child is expected to name.
Movement and Co-ordination
Beery-Buktenica Developmental test of visual-Motor Integration, Fifth Edition (Beery VMI)
Visual and motor development is another term for hand-eye co-ordination and is associated with the development of movement and co-ordination. Children who experience difficulties in movement and co-ordination which may be symptomatic of dyspraxia or developmental co-ordination disorder, may be experiencing significant visual-motor difficulties. The Beery VMI helps to assess the extent to which an individual can integrate their visual and motor skills. The assessment is non-verbal and consists of a series of geometric shapes in order of increasing difficulty. There is a short format and a more detailed format which can be administered following the implementation of the short format where it is indicated that there is a need to do so.
Development of cognition and learning
Kaufman assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II)
A detailed measure of both verbal and non-verbal abilities is obtained which provides a comparison of verbal versus non-verbal skills. It provides diagnostic information which helps to identify specific barriers to learning. It also provides a quick estimate of the overall cognitive functioning of a child. The non-verbal scales are also described as ‘fluid intelligence’ as they measure ability to problem solve and is considered a more reliable measure of an individual’s intelligence. The verbal element is described as ‘crystallised’ intelligence as it measures the level of information and knowledge. The verbal scales are influenced by the individual’s culture and their education and experience.
Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA)
Working memory ability is associated with a wide range of measures of academic ability, including literacy and mathematics. The AWMA provides rigorous evidence to support the need for access arrangements or reasonable adjustments due to working memory impairments. This is a computer based assessment providing a fun and enjoyable means of screening for working memory deficits.
These assessments provide an assessment which may indicate a specific learning difficulty is experienced by the client.
Dyslexia Screening Assessment (DST)
This assessment provides an indication of dyslexic tendencies by measuring pupils’ response times as well as the accuracy of their answers.
The DST is now designed as two separate assessments for Primary and Secondary aged pupils. It provides a profile of strengths and weaknesses and can be used to identify children who are experiencing Literacy difficulties which may be associated with dyslexia.
The DST-S consists of the following subtests:
Dyscalculia Screening Assessment
This assessment is computer-based and provides an indication of dyscalculic tendencies by measuring pupils’ response times as well as the accuracy of their answers.