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Assessment for Adults by Alison Tallentire


Alison Tallentire shares the processes for adult dyscalculia assessment

Adult dyscalculia – The process for assessment and workplace adjustments

Alison Tallentire

“What is the process to be assessed for dyscalculia?” This is one of the first questions that adults ask when they contact me.

I have great empathy for every single person so I start by offering a free telephone or video call. If the person prefers to liaise by e-mail, then that is fine too. I usually find that adults are highly anxious about maths which has often come from a history of poor teaching and often combined with a lack of mathematical understanding. So, it’s no wonder they are anxious. The initial meeting helps me to build a rapport and eases anxieties.

The first thing I would be asking an adult, is why they would like to be assessed for dyscalculia? Is it because they require it for a purpose such as workplace or study or is it that they just want answers to something in their past? As an assessor, it doesn’t matter about the motive but it does help me to understand where the person is coming from and what is driving them to seek an assessment. I can then build focused recommendations into the report which is very personal to them and will help them to move forwards.

I can speak with their employer if needs be or tutor or none at all if that is what is preferred, it all builds into a profile of the person I am assessing. Before I do that however, I would agree a date and time for the assessment and I would ask for details such as their family as well as educational background. I am really up front about how much it all costs and always offer a payment plan if people would like one.

I have undertaken extensive training in co-occurring conditions and can refer adults for further assessments from other professionals such as for: visual disturbances and autism. I can also undertake further investigations myself into ADHD and (DCD) formerly known as dyspraxia which I can ‘diagnose’ for educational purposes and for Student Finance England (SFE) for Disabled Students Allowances (DSA).

The assessment itself can be in person or can be completed remotely. I use an online platform such as Google Meet. The assessment takes around 4 hours in total but, we can take as many breaks as they like. Sometimes people prefer to take it over 2 sessions and that’s ok with me too. No special equipment is required, just a laptop with good internet connection, headphones (if possible), a quiet room free from interruptions and a pen/pencil.

As I know how anxious people are, I aim to give my initial thoughts within 48 hours once the assessment has taken place. I then check that all of the background information is correct and aim to send the report usually within 3 weeks of the assessment being completed.

When completing the background information, sometimes I find that the person already has a diagnosis and that it is the employer who is asking for an update. If this is the case then a full diagnostic assessment is not required and I offer a workplace assessment instead. For this, I would liaise between the employer and the employee, find out what their job entails and make suitable and reasonable recommendations on the adjustments that can be easily made. This ensures that the employer retains a valued member of their staff and the employer feels respected and appreciated regardless of any difficulties they may be facing.

Alison can be contacted about an assessment  here – [email protected]

or on 07745067754

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