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Screening and assessment

Screening or diagnostic assessment?

Screening for neurodiverse conditions is different from expert diagnosis and assessment. At the TSSA we offer initial screening, in the form of a structured conversation with a trained Neurodiversity champion. Champions use the HDQ (hidden disabilities) screener, developed by Dyslexia Action, to identify potential areas of difficulty which people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) commonly experience.

The screener does not tell people whether they have any of these conditions, but rather indicates areas of difficulty which may be related to a hidden disability. If the champion thinks that it is possible you may have one of these hidden disabilities they will signpost you towards a diagnostic assessment, either via your employer or under your own steam. 

Screenings with TSSA Neurodiversity champions are free and completely confidential - the champion will not discose to the empoloyer or anyone else that they have done a screening, or what was discussed.

How can I get an assessment?

Dyslexia assessment is not available free on the NHS. If you have a Neurodiversity champion or union rep they can support you in raising this with your employer. You may also have to pay for a diagnostic assessment for dyspraxia, however do have a discussion with your GP as free assessments are sometimes available on the NHS.

You will need to see your GP to find out about accessing specialist diagnosis and assessment for ASDs through the NHS. This is becoming easier, however you may find you need to provide evidence of how you feel the condition affects you adversely in everyday life.

Again, for diagnosing ADDs it is worth asking your GP for a referral to a specialist assessor, who may be a psychologist or psychiatrist. The provision of specialist diagnostic assessment for ADDs is not widespread and you may need to be persistent to find a diagnosis as an adult. AADD-UK (a website and support group for people with ADD by people with ADD) have further information about this on their excellent site:

Who can assess me?

It is possible to be diagnosed either by psychologists, or by teachers and healthcare professionals with specialist qualifications. We recommend that you seek a psychologist for diagnostic assessment wherever possible, because of their understanding of the interactional impact of early physiological, environmental and teaching processes on learning, skills and current performance.






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