There are various red flags that can point towards dyslexia or dyslexic tendencies. Take a look at our recent blog for more information: What is dyslexia.

Which tests are available?

There are 3 options in order to get more clarity if you think your child has dyslexia:

  • Dyslexia Screening
  • Dyslexia Assessment with a Patoss approved specialist
  • Full educational assessment with an Educational Pschologist

A dyslexia screening is a quick, inexpensive way to assess if your child is showing the signs of dyslexia. The results are worded as low ‘risk of’ dyslexia or high ‘risk of’ dyslexia. The reason that these dyslexia screening tests are worded this way is oddly not testing dependent, but dependent on the person doing the test. Only an Educational Psychologist or a Patoss approved specialist is allowed to say definitively that an individual definitely has dyslexia or not. It is, however, fair to take it that if your screening test shows a high risk of dyslexia, then your child is dyslexic. It gives information as to the areas that your child finds difficult which enables you to share this information with teachers and other professionals to get additional help for your child.

A Patoss (Member of the professional association of teachers of students with specific learning difficulties) assessor can formally diagnose dyslexia. These tests are a little more involved than a dyslexia screening and can be a good next step if you want to have your child’s dyslexia formally diagnosed. If you think your child may have a number of issues, such as ADHD, ASD and OCD, as well as possible dyslexia, an Educational Psychologist may be more appropriate.

An educational psychologist is able to conduct tests to assess across a fuller range of issues, such as delayed development, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD (attention deficit disorder), ASD (autistic spectrum disorder – Asperger type traits). So this is a good option to review your child in the whole.

Which is best for my child?

This depends entirely on the needs of your child.

A dyslexia screening is perfect if you think that dyslexia is the only issue for your child and you want a quick and economical test to quickly count it in or out.

A Patoss test is more appropriate if you want to have dyslexia formally diagnosed and more specialist testing conducted and are not concerned that there are other issues affecting your child’s learning.

If you think a more wide-ranging screening is needed for your child to include a wider range of possible issues with learning, then an assessment by an educational psychologist can be a good choice.

Tutor My Kids offer dyslexia screenings. For more information, take a look at our Dyslexia page.


What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which show as difficulty in three main areas:

  • Phonic Difficulties
  • Processing Speed
  • Memory/Working memory

The presence of all three is needed before a child would be thought to be dyslexic.

Phonic Difficulties

Difficulties in phonics (the sounds that make up words) can be around finding it difficult to learn the sounds, mixing up sounds such as d and b, v, f and ph and/or blending sounds together such as sp and fl. These problems can make it hard for children to read, understand what they’re reading, spell and write well.

Processing Speed

Processing speed is to do with how quickly children process information and instructions (written or verbal). It’s the time between hearing an instruction and the brain responding to it. It’s absolutely not about intelligence. It’s not unusual to find very intelligent dyslexic children with processing speeds that are slower than non-dyslexic child of the same age.

Memory and Working Memory

Difficulties keeping things in short-term memory and transferring them into long-term memory can be a part of dyslexia.

Working memory is slightly different – this is about keeping one thing in your head whilst listening to or processing another. Dyslexic children typically find it difficult to keep a string of instructions in their head and find it easier if those instructions are given individually. If you need to write down telephone numbers in groups of 3 or 4 figures, you may have this difficulty too.

Can my child have some of these difficulties?

If your child has all three of these difficulties, it’s possible that your child could be dyslexic.

If 1 or 2 of these issues are present, it’s likely that your child will find it harder to learn, but would not be felt to be dyslexic.

How can I check this out?

Tutor My Kids offers dyslexia screening which will allow you to quickly and cheaply see if dyslexia is a concern with your child.


1. You’re worried

You may be concerned that your child’s reading or writing is not where you or your child’s teacher might expect it to be. Often parents say that something just doesn’t seem right – maybe your child is bright and excelling at maths but comparatively weak in English. Maybe they’re very verbally articulate but can’t put their ideas down on paper well. Take a look at Could My Child be Dyslexic for typical symptoms.

2. You’d like to put your mind at rest.

A dyslexia screening is a relatively inexpensive and often quicker to arrange than a full diagnostic report from an Educational Psychologist. It gives a good level of detail to put your mind at rest that there are no issues in that area or give you information to help and pursue more detailed testing if needed.

3. You’d like school to help

Dyslexia is no longer a condition which the council will ‘statement’ for and there is no obligation for them to help. In our experience, however, schools do help as much as they can and find our screening reports on pupils’ strengths and weaknesses useful. If they are not already putting interventions in place for your child, they can (subject to school budgets) arrange these.

4. You’d like to help your child’s confidence

Children with dyslexia or dyslexic tendencies can feel that they are stupid because they’re not able to read, write or spell as well as their peers. This is, of course, completely rubbish but it can affect a child’s sense of self-belief very badly. Realising that there’s a reason why they find some things hard can be really liberating.

Get in touch

Contact Rachel Law on 01223 858421 for an informal chat or email Rachel. Rachel can advise if a dyslexia screening would be a good option or if other options might be better for you and your child.





Dyslexia is very common. It’s thought that 10-20%* of the population are dyslexic. How do you know if your child is? At Tutor My Kids, we see a greater percentage of children with reading and writing difficulties, because our private tutors work one-to-one with many of those students.


Symptoms of dyslexia generally fall into 3 main areas.

Reading difficulties

These tend to stem from the student having a weakness in their phonological understanding (this is the sounds that letters make that help us to read (decode) a word.) In addition, some dyslexic students perceive that the letters move on the page – this is know as Irlens Syndrome – and can compound reading difficulties. Children can be slow to read because they struggle to remember repeated words.  Because decoding the letters and sounds is so hard, students often dislike reading out loud. This can often have an impact on the child’s comprehension because each word has to be sounded out individually, the meaning of the whole sentence can be lost. Children can find copying from the board a difficult and time-consuming process.

Writing difficulties

These tend to show as handwriting being uneven or hard to read, inconsistency in spelling high frequency words (although more complex ones may be remembered more easily) and a difficulty in organising their ideas to get them down well on paper.

Whilst dyslexia doesn’t cause fine motor problem (e.g difficulty in writing neatly and evenly), it can occur at the same time. Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters in words (phonics) makes it hard for children to be able to learn words and spell them well.

Working memory difficulties

These are also part and parcel of dyslexia and become apparent when students are faced with multiple instructions – such as get your book, write the date, start at question 3, skip question 4, then do question 5. It’s not uncommon for children with poor working memory to struggle to remember the third and subsequent instructions.

If there is a noticeable difference between a child’s ability in maths and science, compared to their English, this can be an indication of dyslexia. Also if there is a marked discrepancy between a student’s ability to articulate their thoughts verbally and their ability to write it down. However care should be exercised here as some people tend to be stronger in the maths/sciences or English/humanities. However, if they are present with some of the other symptoms, it may be worth taking some advice on.

We’ve put together a Tutor My Kids Dyslexia Questionnaire for Children. This will help to see if your child might benefit from a dyslexia screening test.

Is dyslexia curable?

Dyslexia is a life-long condition, but with correct timely help it can be managed very successfully.

Why is it useful to know if my child is dyslexic?

Children with dyslexia or dyslexic traits find it so much harder to read, write and remember things. Often dyslexic children think they are stupid because they school friends can do things more quickly and easily than them. This is such a tragedy and can affect a child’s confidence really badly. Some parents/carers are concerned that finding out might label or stigmatise their child, but this is becoming less of an issue with so many well-known and successful people (Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson and others) declaring that they’re dyslexic. It is, thankfully, no longer something to hide. If you, and your child’s teachers, are aware of this, additional help can be put in place to make their life easier.

If your child is approaching GCSEs or A levels, it’s possible they may be able to get extra time in their exams. Take a look at Could my child get extra time for GCSEs and A levels? Tutor My Kids also does exam concession testing.

Screening vs Diagnosing

Initially, it’s always worth having a chat with the SENCo (special educational needs co-ordinator) at your child’s school because some schools are able to screen for dyslexia.

Tutor My Kids offer dyslexia screening to children in the Cambridge and Ely areas. It takes up to an hour and is usually done in the student’s home. It’s a quick and cost effective way to establish if there is a likelihood of your child being dyslexic. We use industry recognised, standardised tests, which are administered by qualified teachers, making it a great starting point to getting extra help from school.

This screening will not give you a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, as only Educational Psychologists are able to offer this, however in our experience parents often initially want an indication of any problems and this screening test gives that. Schools tend not to need a formal diagnosis in order to put additional help in place for students.

Fees for dyslexia screening are £198 (£165 + vat)

Irlens Syndrome

Irlens Syndrome is the name for the sensation that words and numbers are moving on a page, which can make reading text difficult. Sometimes coloured overlays can be used to ‘fix’ the letters on the page and consequently increase reading speed.

Tutor My Kids can offer Irlens Syndrome screening alongside their Dyslexia screening tests, for an additional £20 (inc VAT)

Who can I discuss this with?

It’s always worth having a chat with the SENCo at your child’s school, initially. At Tutor My Kids, Please contact Rachel Law by email or call her on 01223 858421 for help and advice.

*The British Dyslexia Association claim 10%, some American sources think nearer to 20%.