Dyslexia

“This page is about dyslexia assessment and support.  For further information, you are welcome to phone, text or email. I can usually assist Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm. We  provide free, no obligation, advisory appointments, and aim to reply to emails within 2 working days.” Ruth Gravelle, ruth@rightmind.life, 07919 405 501 .  

Screening & Assessment ,  Dyslexia Counselling and Hypnotherapy,   Tuition & Support,     Positive Dyslexia Mindset,    Free Advisory Appointments, and resources ,  Vision and Dyslexia,  Testimonials

Screening 

The screening checklists below can reveal indicators of dyslexia; they are subjective and not considered as a diagnostic tool. 

CHILDREN: Screening Test Video  and download:  Dyslexia Screening Test for Children 2024 *  (*IMPORTANT NOTICE below).

ADULTS: Adult Dyslexia Screening Test video

Assessment 

CHILDREN: As a first step to booking an assessment for your child please download and complete the Family Questionnaire – 7 to 15 years   Your dyslexia assessor also requires background information from your child’s school. Please ask your child’s school to complete the School Questionnaire  When the background information has been received, a dyslexia specialist will give you a call to discuss any queries, and hopefully schedule the assessment (see *IMPORTANT NOTICE below).

ADULTS: As a first step to booking an adult assessment (aged 16+), please download the Adult Questionnaire 16 years +  Adult assessments can take place in person or online. Please do call with any queries (see *IMPORTANT NOTICE below).

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The Questionnaire files currently open as a Read Only. On a computer you can Copy & Save under a new file name before completing your questionnaire electronically; this doesn’t seem to be an option on a smart phone. If you are unable to complete the form electronically and decide to print the document and complete it by hand, if possible, please scan rather than photograph the document before returning it. iPhone’s Notes includes an icon of a camera which scans. I would appreciate a text or separate email message sent to: ruth@rightmind.life, to confirm that you have submitted your questionnaire. If you have any difficulties completing the paperwork, I can assist you with this over the phone. Please text or phone with any questions: 07919 405 501.  Many thanks. Ruth Gravelle.

Ruth Gravelle, Specialist Teacher (level 7), is your first point of contact if you are considering booking any specialist services with associates of rightmind.life

 A diagnostic dyslexia assessment is carried out by an educational psychologist or specialist teacher (Level 7). This type of assessment is available for children (age 7+) and adults.

An assessment costs £560. A non-returnable deposit of £140 is payable upon booking, and the remainder of the payment (£420), can be made anytime in advance of the assessment date. 

What is the difference between an Educational Psychologist and Specialist Teacher Assessment? There is little difference between the two assessment types; both educational psychologists and specialist teachers use appropriate tests and provide a detailed diagnostic report including recommendations. 

Do I need to see an optician/optometrist before my assessment?
You may do. Specialist teachers require that children have had their vision tested within 12 months of the dyslexia assessment. If your child also reports experiencing visual difficulties when reading such as: seeing two of each word, words appearing blurry, unclear or moving about on the page, or if your eyes become sore or water or irritated in some other way, or if reading for more than a few minutes results in a headache, we may recommend that you see a behavioural optometrist or an optometrist to assess for scotopic sensitivity (further information under Vision and dyslexia below).  
 

How long does the assessment take and when will I receive my report? The assessment usually takes between 2-4 hours to complete. The detailed written report usually takes between 2 – 4 weeks to complete. Please ask your assessor at the appointment about their expected report completion date, as this can vary. 

What kind of information and tests are used to assess for dyslexia?   Background information, reason for referral, as well as tests provide further information about your strengths and underlying ability in areas of visual and verbal skills; speed of processing, phonological awareness, memory and auditory processing. We also explore your reading, writing and spelling skills, as well as handwriting and fine-motor skills.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the assessment? If you normally wear glasses, hearing aids, use colour overlays, a pencil grip or any other aid, please bring them with you to the assessment.

Where does the assessment take place? Assessments arranged by rightmind.life are usually carried out on the first floor at: Chelmsford Counselling and Therapy Centre, 14 Wells Street, CM1 1HZ. There is no lift at Wells Street, so please let us know if you have a disability preventing you from using the stairs and we can arrange an alternative location for the assessment. We also offer assessments in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Some adults, including university students, can now have an assessment online, if preferable.  

Online Workplace Needs Assessment is available for adults. 

What if English is my second language? The independent assessors who work in association with rightmind.life may be able to offer you an assessment if English is your second language, or you may be advised to contact the British Psychological Society (BPS), who have a register of multilingual psychologists: https://www.bps.org.uk/public/find-psychologist

Will I definitely get a diagnosis of dyslexia if I have an assessment?  No, although dyslexia is very often diagnosed as an outcome of an assessment. When dyslexia is not identified, the report findings can provide helpful insight of the learners educational profile, and to plan education/support needs.

What if I suspect that the person who may be having the assessment has additional learning differences? Just as every person is unique, every case of dyslexia and/or dyscalculia presents with some differences. The Make-up of Neuro-Diversity diagram is intended only as a discussion diagram and refers to adults, but may be of wider interest.   

The Make-up of Neuro-Diversity diagram at www.rightmind.life
The Make-up of Neuro-Diversity diagram was created by the late Mary Colley, a humanitarian, educator and expert in the field of dyspraxia.

You are advised to contact your GP who can make NHS referrals via the medical route if you suspect that your child may be on the autistic spectrum, experience dyspraxia (DCD) or ADHD. Alternatively, you can contact the British Psychological Society (BPS), who have a register of multi-disciplinary psychologists who can provide a more in depth specialist assessment: https://www.bps.org.uk/public/find-psychologist The Association of Child Psychologists in Private Practice – AChiPPP, also have a register of child psychologists, some of whom offer in depth specialist assessments: http://www.achippp.org.uk 

CHILD FEES: 

Diagnostic dyslexia assessment is carried out by an educational psychologist or specialist teacher. This type of assessment is available for children (age 7+) and adults.  £560. 

Online Workplace Needs Assessment is available for adults with neurodiversity (including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, ASD and ADHD). You don’t need to already have a formal diagnosis in order to have a workplace needs assessment.   The cost of a Workplace Needs Assessment is £560. 

Tuition, Coaching, Study Skills and Confidence Boosting

Online tuition is currently available for KS2 students, and study/revision skill for older students

Online Coaching is available for adults in the Workplace following recommendations of a Workplace Needs Assessment.   

Online one-to-one multi-sensory tuition, study skills and confidence-boosting is available with dyslexia specialist teachers. We support children, young people, adults including university students and people at work, assisting you to:

  • Identify personal strengths and find your best ways of learning/working
  • Develop reading, spelling, memory and organisational skills
  • Use technology which supports reading, writing, spelling, memory and organisational skills
  • Make sense of the learning difference experienced
  • Cope more easily at school, home, university, in the workplace and socially
  • learn to revise using the most effective methods for you
  • Increase confidence and self-esteem

Tuition, study skills and confidence boosting fees are payable in advance

Online tuition, study skills and confidence boosting sessions provided by Ruth Gravelle or her colleagues from £45 per session

Dyslexia Counselling / Hypnotherapy for Dyslexia 

If you are finding it difficult to cope with dyslexia on a daily basis, you are welcome to contact us to book a therapy / hypnotherapy / counselling session with Ruth Gravelle. It can absolutely help to talk. There are no guarantees, but you’re likely to feel heaps better after just one session! Please see the ‘hypnotherapy’ page on the Rightmind/life website for further information. 

Positive Dyslexia Mindset

Research shows that people with dyslexia “…have a unique brain structure and organisation, with some different brain strengths” (Eide and Eide, 2011). Many have excellent skills in visual thinking and visual technologies, and they have a highly creative potential (West, 1991/2009). Social, cognitive and work related strengths have also been identified, as well as a strength in unconventional thinking, which are, “…precisely the skills needed for individuals and organisations to flourish in the 21st Century” (Nicholson, 2015).

We need to identify and nurture their strengths!

Whilst dyslexic people have many strengths, the diagram below (tes resources) provides a snapshot of the types of difficulties you may observe in dyslexic children. This diagram could be used as a starting point to identify where changes to teaching and learning are required. For example, if a child is struggling to learn the 10+ weekly spellings routinely given at school, reduce them to perhaps  3-5 spellings a week to enable them to learn spellings in a structured, cumulative and multi-sensory way, incorporating their strengths.

The types of difficulties you may observe in dyslexic children

Dyslexia, and other specific learning differences need to be taken seriously and managed carefully. The danger of children ‘failing to learn and learning to fail’ (Nicholson, 2015) makes safeguarding them from “toxic learning experiences” an absolute priority.  We must quickly notice the children who are struggling and enable them. 

Assessment from the age of 7 years and a carefully developed Individual Learning Plan is recommended. We need to help people to become better at being dyslexic (Eide and Eide, 2011), to identify and remove dyslexia related stressors and to find skills and strategies that enable them.  Multi-sensory teaching  methods, Apps and exercises for ‘brain training’, breaking things down into small manageable chunks, support with homework, organisation, memory, reading, reducing weekly spellings and assisting children to find strategies can all help. Most of all, we need to help them recognise, celebrate and work with their strengths; the world needs people with different strengths.   

Nicholson (2015) states that,”Dyslexic children of 5 years are not reading ready”, and a body of research has found that all children under 7 years old learn best through play, not just the dyslexic ones! Upstart (www.upstart.scot) is an organisation campaigning for all children in Scotland to delay formal education until the age of 7 years, with a statutory play-based ‘kindergarten stage’ in early years. Would you like to see this change in the UK too?  “Childhood is not a race!” The under-sevens need “PLAY NOT TESTS” (Upstart)!

Ruth Gravelle’s 30 minute talk, “Positive Dyslexia and a New Approach to Education” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab4-2QZti0A introduces dyslexia, and what is meant by ‘Positive Dyslexia’. A new approach to education is proposed for the UK to better enable all learners, not just those with dyslexia. Please contact Ruth through www.rightmind.life if you would like her to speak at an event.

Free Advisory Appointments

rightmind.life offers free 30 Minute online or phone Advisory Appointments to parents and carers of children where dyslexia is known or suspected. Students over about 10 years old may also like to join in the meeting. Adults are welcome to book an advisory appointment for themselves.

Please email: ruth@rightmind.life , phone/text for 07919 405 501 to request an advisory session with a specialist teacher.

Free Resources

Free Spelling Template for Adults (and teenagers): Free Spelling Template for Adults

Help Dyslexia Video – Free Memory Aid. This printable  memory aid can be downloaded and edited to meet your individual requirements  – a great everyday memory, learning and revision aid! Help Dyslexia – Free Memory Aid – editable Word template 2

Please see the video for further explanation: 

Vision and Dyslexia

We ask that children being assessed for dyslexia have had their vision tested within 12 months of the dyslexia assessment. If you also report experiencing visual difficulties when reading such as: seeing two of each word, words appearing blurry, unclear or moving about on the page, or if your eyes become sore or water or irritated in some other way, or if reading for more than a few minutes results in a headache, we may recommend that you see a behavioural optometrist, or an optometrist to assess for scotopic sensitivity. 

Optometrists with a specialist in the scotopic sensitivity and other visual issues that can influence learning in Essex include:

Families in Focus

For your information, if a young person in your family is struggling to cope with a particular change, challenge or crisis, Families in Focus may be able to support you. This organisation is  “…a parent led registered charity providing holistic support to families of children with disabilities and special needs (aged 0 to 25) across Essex, who require advice, information and support, particularly at times of change, challenge and crisis.” http://www.familiesinfocusessex.org.uk

Testimonials

Hi Ruth, I just wanted to say thank you for all the time and effort you have given Ben over the past year. He has come along leaps and bounds and I know it hasn’t been easy. We will continue with Starspell and would love to work together again. I think revision classes would be very beneficial for Ben as he struggles to retain information so this would be great! Many Thanks, Sam

Parent, 2023

Thank you, F has really enjoyed the sessions she has had with you and it has given her some great tools to work with going forward. Your sessions have really helped her though and she is a lot more confident especially in the revision side of things. She is making maps, plans, charts etc where she didn’t even know where to start before. 

                                                                                                                  Parent, 2021
Hi! I wanted to write and give my praise and appreciation for my Study Skills Tutor, Ruth Gravelle. Her understanding of the difficulties and advantages of being Dyslexic was a breath of fresh air. She was able to think outside the box and suggest a variety of ways of approaching studying, revising, and academic study skills in an uncommon specific medical area at MSc level, where others would use that as their excuse to not be able to help me. She was also very supportive during the stressful exam periods and always left me feeling motivated and inspired to study. Her disposition is always happy, positive, encouraging, and understanding. Without a doubt the best support I have received in further education. This was all achieved remotely through Zoom sessions. Alison.

Postgraduate student, July 2020

Feedback from parent following 3 sessions  

Hi Ruth… Happy New Year. M has been doing really well on her revision these last few weeks and has got into a really good rhythm. I am very proud of her… She is creating the flash cards to revise and has just got on with it with confidence she did not have before. I will keep you posted. Thank you for all your help to date – you have been a star. 

A parent, January 2020

Letter to Dr Sue Warnock:

“…I just wanted to pass on our huge appreciation of helping us understand D and how best we can help him. We now have a framework through which to have structured and supportive conversations, rather than the lazy, immature perception that we’ve struggled with.

We can also now understand why D says “nobody believes me anymore” and he becomes extremely frustrated when he tries to explain why he can’t produce written work, follow instructions or do physical movements, despite seeming to be a capable and bright boy. It broke my heart when he got his year 4 report and he cried and said “mummy, it’s not very good but I don’t understand why, I have tried really hard”. Bless him …… this must be incredibly frustrating!

We are feeling positive that we can provide the support he needs and hopefully with techniques and coping mechanisms there are practical ways to improve his ability to convey his brightness in his school work and progress tests so will be in a better place for his upcoming 11+ common entrance exams later this year…”

– A Parent, January 2019

“Ruth has worked with my son who is diagnosed with dyslexia and was a reluctant reader and writer. Since working with Ruth he has blossomed into a learner who is engaged, curious and willing to give reading and writing his best shot. Although he still struggles to get his ideas written down he is much more confident in giving it a go and is able to see the benefits of doing so, which is fantastic to see. Ruth has also worked on improving his memory and recall skills and he is now confident in applying these techniques to all aspects of his learning.

Ruth has provided regular updates and always delivered well planned lessons with a great variety of resources. Ruth’s passion for making learning fun and meaningful has enabled my son to become an independent reader and writer.”

– Becky (Primary Teacher), 2018

“We do the letter arc, reading, spelling, memory games, computer work and drawing. The lessons are fun. Ruth is a very kind and good teacher.”

– Joseph, age 7, 2017

“Ruth has helped me to gain confidence and find practical solutions which have made a real difference, especially with coping at work…”

– Jack, Social Worker, 2017

“Ruth Gravelle has helped me to overcome aspects of my disability that in the past held me back in my education and employ-ability. The educational support and positive psychological input has helped me in the last 6 years to graduate from two universities, and has given me a positive outlook to living with dyslexia.

I am currently working full-time as a Counsellor at a hospice.”

– Graduate (DSA), 2015

Previous Events

Positive About dyslexia 2017

During dyslexia awareness week 2-8 October 2017 rightmind.life provided an information display in the covered area just outside Chelmsford Central Library. This is all as relevant now as it was in 2017! 

On 1 October 2017, Chelmsford Community Radio’s LIfe Matters show (104.4fm) discussed dyslexia. Ruth Gravelle interviewed Jared Bates and Marilyn Smith. You can listen to this show again here (link to follow).

We support The British Dyslexia Association theme of “Positive about Dyslexia”

Addressing the Strengths and Challenges of Dyslexia
Wednesday 7th November 2012 – Dyslexia Rooms Talk

Ruth Gravelle from Dyslexia Rooms returned to SNAP to give a talk on addressing the strengths and challenges of dyslexia. The talk included an overview of dyslexia, consideration of perception and the identification of the strengths and challenges, which children and young people with dyslexia face. Ruth offered support and guidance to parents and discussed a variety of strategies, which they can use to try and help their children.

“It has given me as a parent a better understanding of what my daughter is going through.”

“The talk gave me a better understanding of different ways dyslexia affects individuals and how to be more considerate towards their needs.”

“It was helpful in reminding me that there are so many strengths and that I should be focusing on them rather than the weaknesses and challenges.”