The Dyslexia Screening Test – Junior; provides a profile of strengths and weaknesses which can be used to guide the development of in-school support for the child. The DST-J is designed for early identification of children who are at risk of reading failure so that they can be given extra support at school.
Child aged between: 6 years, 2 months – 17 years
Parent or Care Giver supervision and input for Assessment entirety
Two (2) hours of total Assessment time allocated
Dyslexic Screening Test – Junior (DST-J)
Report supplied to Parent or Care Giver two (2) weeks following Assessment
Please Note: Dyslexia Assessments from us are only provided in: Crows Nest (NSW), North Sydney (NSW) and Brisbane (QLD)
For more information about the Dyslexia Assessment, read the product description below or watch our Dyslexia Assessment video on the home page.
The dyslexia.com.au product ‘Dyslexia Assessments’ is offered through third party providers.
I’m Gail Hallinan, I’m an Educational Consultant specialising in Dyslexia Assessments.
I believe that Dyslexia is a difference, that’s my definition for Dyslexia. People who are Dyslexic think differently so they need to learn differently. As simple as that.
I taught for 25 years as a primary school teacher, both in the State system and the Catholic system, and always in my classes there were a group of children who were unable to achieve an appropriate level in literacy development. These children were bright, artistic, good at drama, good at art, good at music and good at maths most often, but just didn’t get it with their literacy. They didn’t know how to work out how to spell words and how to read them, and so their comprehension suffered. So for years I was searching. This became more relevant for me when my daughter was one of those children. It didn’t make sense when she went to school with her twin brother that she had problems with literacy. The literacy problems that she had initially were with phonics. She didn’t get the letter sound relationship, and this made it really difficult for her. She also didn’t get her sight words. Now she could wright stories. They were brilliant, creative and imaginative. She took you into a world that other people couldn’t go to, but there was no punctuation and the spelling was atrocious. I worked very hard to make it right for her, but I didn’t know how. You can imagine my frustration as a mother and as a teacher, I didn’t have the answer for my daughter.
As a teacher I was never taught about Dyslexia. I didn’t know about it. And, it’s very important to become aware of it. For classroom teachers there are very simple methods that can help the Dyslexic child in the classroom and I learnt those methods.
In 2010, I branched out into assessments. Why did we want to do assessments? We wanted to make it easier for parents to know; yes or no, whether their children were Dyslexics. And, this is important for the classroom teacher to enable them to be aware of the different learning style of a Dyslexic child.
My assessment takes two hours. I like the parent, or care giver, to sit in on the assessment. It is very important for you to see what I am doing. I talk initially to the children about the different learning styles; picture thinking, word thinking, or a combination of both. I get the child to guess what learning style they think they have. That is very interesting when we are going through the testing I can point some things out to them about the learning style I am seeing. I won’t start the assessment until I feel the child is comfortable. They need to be in a relaxed state get the best results on the day.
During this assessment time I look at many aspects. The basis of my assessment is Dyslexic Screening Test (DST). Now, this DST was devised by Pearson Phycology, there is a junior test and a senior test. My age range starts at 6 years and 2 months and ends at 17 years.
I use a whole variety of other things to. I want to look at the whole child, so there are various other activities that I will use as well. After an hour and a half one-on-one, I need about five minutes to do some calculations, so that I can give you an answer on the day; yes or no.
If the answer is yes, then I can tell you whether it’s; mild, moderate or strong.
If it’s no, I hope that I can direct you in the right way to help your child.
If it is yes on the day, after we have had a discussion about the results, I then talk to the children about what Dyslexia means. What does it mean to be Dyslexic? I talk to them about the gift of Dyslexia. I tell them about the famous, creative people in our world who are Dyslexic and who have changed, moulded and shaped our world, and I tell them that they belong to that group. So what I want your child to feel is positive when they leave me. This assessment is met to be a positive experience.
I get a report to you within two weeks of the assessment. In that report I analyse all the data I have taken. So, I am looking at the DST results, but I also look at any other testing that I have done as well. I then make school recommendations in that assessment. Now, these recommendations are really important for a classroom teacher. They are practical, simple ways for a teacher to accommodate a Dyslexic child in their classroom. The recommendation I will make to you as a parent, is to do a multi-sensory, non-phonics program, and I will recommend a program for you.
The cost varies, between; $300 and $500 for both the assessment and the report. (All inclusive)
Unfortunately, because I am an Educational Consultant and not a medical consultant, my fee is not refundable with Medicare or any health fund.
If your child is having difficulty with phonics, so they don’t get the letter sound relationship, or if they are having trouble with their sight words, this is a major part of my assessment that I am looking at. They might mix up words like; of/for/from, or the/a, one of the questions that I ask is: Does your child have difficulty with sight words, and do they have difficulty with phonics?
In terms of getting testing done at school, your school Councillor is more likely to do IQ testing, rather than a DST. They have access to the WISC and the WIAT, and they’re the sorts of tests that they would do in a school setting, they’re not likely to do DST for Dyslexia.
The DST is not a formal diagnosis, as an Educational Consultant I can’t give you a formal diagnosis, but you don’t need a formal diagnosis to have Dyslexia acknowledged in the school system. They just need to be aware, and they will recognise from the DST that your child is Dyslexic. You don’t need the formal diagnosis. If you would like a formal diagnosis, then you would need to go to a psychologist and you would need to ask specifically for a formal diagnosis in dyslexia.
The benefit in having your child screened, to know whether they are Dyslexic or not, is an awareness factor. You can go to school and say; ‘My child thinks differently, so they need to learn differently, and the learning environment needs to accommodate that.’ In my recommendations to school, I ask the teacher to be aware of the child. I also ask for things like; extra time in exams, for time out during exam time, and if necessary for a reader or a writer for a child who is Dyslexic.
Sometimes we don’t like to name, or put a label on a child. I don’t see Dyslexia as an inadvertent label in any way. My approach to the children is that they have a gift. When they walk away from my assessment, they feel happy. They understand that for the past few years, and for some it’s many, that they don’t have a disability, they have the gift of Dyslexia which has caused a learning difficulty for them. A learning difficulty usually associated with literacy.
If you’re wondering about your child, and wondering if they are Dyslexic, these are the things to look for: Are they creative? Do you really believe that they are innately intelligent? Are they creative in the form of; art, music, sport, drama? They might be really good at maths, but they have an issue with literacy.
It might not be all aspects of literacy. They might love reading, but they might not be able to do-code. They might not be able to comprehend what they’re reading. They might have issues with phonics, in trying to sound things out, and they always have problems with the sight words. There are those little words that they just cannot deal with, and that’s because they can’t see them.
For some children, they become very anxious. They can be at school in a classroom situation, and they can be asked to read aloud. That can send them into absolute turmoil. So the anxiety can be a real sign of Dyslexia. They’re coping really well in other areas of school, but in literacy they are really not making the grade, and for them because they are clever, they can look around and see what reading group they should be in, and they’re not there, so they begin to feel dumb. Another child might make a comment about them – about their reading ability – “Oh I thought you could read better than that…” and suddenly their self-esteem and self-confidence plummets. There the sorts of sighs you can look for in your child as well. Is their self-esteem suffering? Is their self-confidence suffering? Do they feel as if they are dumb?
For the Dyslexic child in their early education, they may zoom through kindergarten, they may be able to do their readers in kindergarten because they’re clever enough to hide the fact that they’re not actually reading the words they’re reading the picture. Now, that’s how children first begin to read, by looking at a picture and making the association between the picture and the words. The Dyslexic child will be clever enough to cover that up for a while, and all of a sudden you might get a call to say, in the middle of year one, ‘you’re child doesn’t know their sight words…’/’your child is suffering and they are not making progress…’ A Dyslexic child is clever, they can cover things up.
Another thing to look for is, in the class room the teacher might say; ‘They’re going to the toilet all the time, is there a problem?’/’They’re always wanting to go jobs for me…’/’They’re avoiding the situation…’/’They’re avoiding wanting to read in front of the class…’/’They’re avoiding having their classmates seeing that there’s things that they can’t do…’
Is there a cure for Dyslexia? No, you don’t want to be cured. You always want to be Dyslexic, because being Dyslexic means that you are gifted. You have the gift of Dyslexia. There is a correction for Dyslexia – you can do a program that will enhance you’re abilities and enhance you’re creativity. You don’t need to be cured.
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