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SpLD diagnostic assessment

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by terri14, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. terri14

    terri14 New commenter


    I am half way through the level 7 Specialist Teaching (dyslexia) course. I'm not going to be teaching but need the qualification to be able to assess/diagnose SpLD in HE students for DSA applications.

    I assessed students for access arrangements in my previous job, having completed the Cpt3A assessor's course but diagnostics is a whole new ball game.

    I was just wondering what tests other assessors use and how to ensure that I cover all bases for assessment.

    I was thinking that the WRAT5, CTOPP2, WRIT, DASH and ART2 would be enough but I've been advised that I need to include TOWRE and TOMAL2 as well.

    Is this really necessary?

    I would be very grateful for opinions from experienced assessors.
  2. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Yes. You need a working memory battery, which TOMAL gives you in the supplemental tests. TOWRE is a really valuable processing speed test, really quick to administer as well. I often find it helps to interpret a lot of other tests more accurately.

    If you can do without ART2 and WRAT5, I would recommend WIAT instead for reading, spelling and comprehension and reading speed.

    If someone recommends SDMT, that is fine, but I would hold off until you are more comfortable with other tests. It is notoriously difficult to score and interpret, and a lot of assessors get it badly wrong!
  3. terri14

    terri14 New commenter

    Thank you for your reply Flanks.

    I'm not in a position to be able to buy any more tests at the moment but will look into it for the future.

    I just don't know if the range of tests I'm doing is excessive. It's taking me well over 2.5 hours per assessment. The psychologist who comes in to my work takes less than 2 hours to do a dyslexia and dyspraxia diagnosis. Maybe she's just faster? Maybe she uses the WIAT.

    Sorry to keep asking questions but if you/anybody could have a look at the tests I'm doing and see if I'm doing anything that is unnecessary it would help immensely........

    CTOPP2 - Rapid Naming, Phoneme Isolation, Elision

    WRAT5 - Spelling, Reading, Sentence Comp and Maths (full)

    WRIT - Matrices, Diamonds, Vocab and Analogies

    TOWRE - full

    DASH17 - full

    TOMAL - Attenion/Concentration index

    ART2 - full

    Am I duplicating any tests unnecessarily?

    Thanks again
  4. suzyshepster

    suzyshepster New commenter

    I would also add the Symbol Digit Modality Test (SDMT) for speed of processing
  5. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    The wrat maths is pointless.

    I can do the full battery in 2 hours, bit a lot of practice!

    If the ed psych is doing dyspraxia in the same battery, without ot input, they are bragging guidelines, wouldn't use them as a role model!
  6. terri14

    terri14 New commenter

    Ah okay. I will skip the Maths which will save me 15 mins. Thanks Flank.

    Suzy, I was told that the rapid naming covered processing speed. Is this not the case?

    I am still trying to get my head around all the different elements of testing and I want to cover all bases without wasting my own time (and the students’ time).

    It’s not an easy business this assessment lark!

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