Brief professional biography

After originally intending to go into publishing, I actually spent the first twenty years of my working life being a fashion designer ending up in London. It was very hard work and enormous fun, but I moved to Gloucestershire in the 1990s after constantly sketching dresses and fabric designs triggered constant extreme pain in my left am and shoulder. And after a bit of time out getting better and concentrating on bringing up my daughter I found a new passion, Dyslexia. I initially achieved a Dip SpLD (at post graduate level) from the Hornsby International Dyslexia Centre in London in 2001 and this led to me studying for an SpLD APC, which is an assessment practicing certificate which was awarded to me by patoss in 2006. My interest in Dyslexia was initiated by family members on both sides finding spelling and aspects of reading difficult, in striking contrast to other aspects of their development. And being an inquisitive person and never being happier than when researching subjects, off I went. And here I am today all these years later, still enjoying working with all the interesting and different people that I am lucky enough to meet as a result of my chosen career.  (Aspects of the differing work I have done are outlined in the ‘recent work’ section of this site.) And I seem to have found my way back into publishing by writing my books so it all came together in the end…

Initial Screening Assessment: £85

This a useful and affordable way of exploring the idea that a specific learning difficulty may be present. I will spend an hour and sometimes slightly longer, using different relevant assessment tools determining whether your child, teenager or you yourself appear to have a specific learning difficulty. If relevant I also screen for motor control difficulties and/or attention and concentration difficulties. If the results are positive then the rest of the assessment can continue on the day or be finalised within a week or two after the initial tests. The initial fee will then be deducted from the full diagnostic assessment fee.

Full diagnostic assessment: £375- £425

When assessing a child or teenager to determine whether they may have a specific learning difficulty, or more than one, it is important to assess as many aspects of their relevant processing skills as possible. Each student presents with their own very specific strengths and weaknesses and background history which all needs to be delineated accurately and considered very carefully. This information may lead to a slightly different set of assessment tools being used which may mean that the report takes longer to write and this is why the cost may vary. And this is also why carrying out the assessments can take up to 3 hours on the day and the subsequent report may take up to 14 days to be finalised.

DSA Assessments: £375-£425

Notable change to guidelines re assessments to be used to apply for a DSA

There is a significant and very welcome change in the statutory guidelines related to assessments used to support students’ applications for a DSA (a Disability Support Allowance) when studying at higher education level. Assessments may now be used that have been written at any stage in the individual’s education, not simply after the age of sixteen. So parents’ or carers or you yourself, no longer have to pay twice!

But the diagnostic assessment must be written following ‘SASC’ guidelines and be written by a specialist teacher with an SpLD APC, qualification (as I do) or be written by a practitioner psychologist registered with the HCPC, to be applicable for a DSA. ‘SASC’ is the ‘SpLD Assessment Standards Committee’, of which I am an associate member and a listed assessor.

Access Arrangement Assessment: £250-£275

This is an assessment which is designed to determine whether the student processes words both when reading or/and writing, at a below average rate or/and efficiency. This would then impact on their ability to work through examinations papers as easily as their peers sitting the same test. They may then, if the tests prove this to be the case, be given ‘Access Arrangements’ to be used when taking public and internal examinations. There are various access arrangements available depending on the specific difficulty the student is experiencing. They may be given a reader, to read examination papers to them, or if they prefer they may be given extra time to read the paper themselves. If necessary students may be given a scribe to write down their answers, if their spelling or writing makes their own writing illegible, or they may prefer to be given extra time to write down their answers themselves or they may opt to use a lap top.

Please read my blog for more information.

Affiliations and Qualifications

Initially email:sarah@sarahcowell.co.uk with your enquiry and a personal response will follow on the same day. We can then arrange a phone call to discuss which of the options below will suit you best.

SASC

Listed assessor and associate member of SASC since 2006. SASC is the ‘SpLD Assessment Standards Committee’ which was set up by the DfES in 2005 to oversee Standards of Assessments of Specific Learning Disabilities in an educational setting.

British Dyslexia Association

Listed assessor and tutor at both the Oxford and Gloucestershire branches of the British Dyslexia Association.

PATOSS

Listed assessor and tutor at ‘patoss’ which is the acronym for the ‘professional association of teachers of students with specific learning disabilities.’

SpLD APC

Holder of an ‘SpLD APC’ award since 2006 which is an ‘Assessment Practising Certificate’ for assessing Specific Learning Difficulties in an educational setting.

Dip SpLD

Holder of a ‘Dip SpLD’ awarded by The Hornsby International Dyslexia Centre in 2001 which enables me to tutor people of all ages struggling with Dyslexia.

 

 

 

Dyspraxia Foundation

Professional Member of the Dyspraxia Foundation
‘Dyspraxia’ may be described as ‘DCD’ which is the short form of ‘Developmental Co-ordination Disorder’.

Associate Member of the APA

Associate member of; APA, American Psychological Association

DSA assessment, mother’s comments:

‘Thank you very much for the report. I really appreciate the thoroughness and the level of detail confirming _____ strengths, but also the challenges she has with literacy activities. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a level of detail provided in a report’.

Diagnostic Assessment, mother’s comments:

‘Wow, what a fantastic report!’

Diagnostic Assessment, mother’s comments:

‘The paediatrician was very impressed with your report.’.

‘I use the latest versions of all the assessment tools because they reflect the most recent research.’

Qualified Assessor and Tutor