Free tests for dyslexia offered to Northampton children

A screenshot of the game that children taking the Dyslexia Diagnostics test play as part of the free assessment. It is called Dyslexia Quest which was developed by Nessy Learning.
A screenshot of the game that children taking the Dyslexia Diagnostics test play as part of the free assessment. It is called Dyslexia Quest which was developed by Nessy Learning.

A Northampton psychologist is offering free diagnostic tests for young children as she believes falling school budgets are struggling to cope.

Nisha Tanna, from Wootton, works with parent education authorities to help spot dyslexia in children and reduce the effects in the classroom.

Nisha Tanna says many schools can longer afford the type of screening tests she is offering free of charge

Nisha Tanna says many schools can longer afford the type of screening tests she is offering free of charge

But she has taken to advertising free basic screening tests for children aged between five and 16 years so any problems can be ironed out early - something many schools cannot offer.

She said: "There is limited funding in schools to do it, yet a diagnosis is something that can be very important for a child.

"Children with dyslexia can be branded as naughty or disruptive but it's often just frustration. That can have significant consequences on their lives.

"I see adults now who were ridiculed for being unable to read aloud in class.

"Yes, some schools do offer tests at age seven, but for parents that's a long time to wait."

The outline test is in the form of a game, which gives a profile of strengths and weaknesses.

Parents can decide to either explore the way forward with teachers or let their child catch up to their peers in their own time.

A YouGov survey of 900 teachers in November 2018 showed that nearly three-quarters have seen their school’s funding fall in the last year.

Nisha, whose company is Dyslexia Diagnostics, said: "With over 10 per cent of the population being dyslexic and 1 in 5 children experiencing anxiety and stress, there really is a need for support. Therefore I want to be able to give something back."