SNP conference calls on more support for adults in obtaining dyslexia assessment

Delegates at the SNP conference support the motion that calls on the Scottish Government to make it easier for adults in obtaining dyslexia assessment. 

A MOTION WAS passed at the SNP conference today (Saturday 18 March) that will enable adults to get the necessary support in getting assessed for dyslexia.

With many adults across Scotland who have not thought of being identified as having dyslexia, the conference called on the Scottish Government to investigate widening the scope to extend easier and more affordable access to dyslexia patients through assessments in workplaces across Scotland. 

Adults who have not identified of having dyslexia face challenges in employment, as well as in their day -to –day lives because of the nature of the condition and the difficulties that they have in processing information.

The motion was moved by Paul McNeil – who is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland – who is dyslexic and was assessed for the condition when he was twelve.  

“At the age of nine, a teacher told me not to dream too high. How dare they tell a nine-year-old that?” Paul McNeil

McNeil told the conference that there is still a stigma for every dyslexia person because they would have been told that they were “thick, stupid, slow and a freak”.  

McNeil added: “We still have a stigma.

“In every dyslexia person I speak to has a story to tell and I am no different.

“I went through a whole education system being failed miserably. Being classed a problem child and pushed to the back.

The cost for an assessment can range from £300-£500 which is usually carried out by Educational Psychologists, Occupational Psychologists or dyslexia specialists.

“At the age of nine, a teacher told me not to dream too high.

“How dare they tell a nine-year-old that?

“That is an embarrassment.”

Over a half a million people in Scotland are thought to be dyslexic, with every dyslexic person has a unique set of difficulties.

“If we back this resolution to assist our adults who were failing before, we can help to make up some of the failures of the past.” Stuart McMillian

Dyslexia Scotland has indicated that 46 percent of the calls that they received to their helpline are from people seeking advice on getting assessed for the learning problem.

While the assessment is free at schools, colleges and universities, adults will need to pay for them privately.

The cost for an evaluation can range from £300-£500 which is usually carried out by Educational Psychologists, Occupational Psychologists or dyslexia specialists.

An assessment usually lasts around two hours that consists of a series of exercise that would enable the person doing the assessment an understanding of how dyslexic people brain process the information.

“Furthermore, improved learning for today’s pupils will make a positive impact on their appreciation of dyslexia.” Stuart McMillan 

Once the assessment has been done, dyslexic people should get a verbal and written report of the findings with suggestions of strategies or software that might help.

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillian second the motion told the conference that “if we back this resolution to assist our adults who were failing before, we can help to make up some of the failures of the past”.

McMillian, who is on the cross-party group on dyslexia added: “It won’t fix all situations, but it will progress.

“At the same time, the improved teaching and understanding in our schools today will help our young people who are diagnosed with dyslexia.

Further information about assessment that is carried out to identified those people who have got dyslexia.

“Today’s improved situation can only have a positive effect on their life chances.

“Furthermore, improved learning for today’s pupils will make a positive impact on their appreciation of dyslexia.”

Conference calls for wider access to assessments and small adaptations within a workplace could help dyslexic adults deal with their challenges, which makes a significant difference for dyslexic employees, by allowing them to develop their potential fully.

Picture courtesy of Dublin City Libraries 

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