Dyslexia and Specific Learning Differences

Advice and support for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLD), such as dyslexia, is available from the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service.

Diagnosis report

If you have a diagnosis report, we'll need a copy of that. You can send it to include@essex.ac.uk. If you don't have a diagnosis or a copy of the report, we can help to arrange an assessment for dyslexia.

Support available

Once we have confirmation of your SpLD you may be able to access the following support:

If you would like us to notify your department of adjustments for your differences, please complete the consent to disclose information form, which can be found in My Essex under the heading 'Your wellbeing' (login required).

Dyslexia assessments

Getting an assessment

If you think you may have dyslexia or an SpLD, or if you were referred by your tutor, please contact us to discuss. We'll talk about your experiences of education and what you consider are your strengths and weaknesses. We can explain the assessment process and answer any questions you might have about assessment or see the BDA Checklist for further information.

Assessment process

If after the discussion it's felt you would benefit from a formal assessment, we can arrange this for you on campus. We can arrange assessments up to the end of the Spring Term (week 25). We don't arrange assessments during the Summer Term or during vacation periods. We will ask you to complete a questionnaire to give us more information about the areas where you struggle. Please return this to us on the day (or next day) of your online payment. There is usually a short wait for an assessment (depending on availability this can be up to two months). We will contact you when we have a time available.

The assessment usually takes between two-three hours. The assessor will be friendly and helpful and you should not worry about going to see them.

Assessment costs

You will need to pay £45 online.

You are likely to be eligible for a bursary to meet the remainder of the assessment costs (approximately £265), if you qualify for all of the following criteria:

  • UK student
  • registered as studying full-time or more than 50% part-time
  • be on a course lasting more than 30 weeks
  • have more than two months remaining of your current course

If you are not eligible for this bursary please contact us about funding/arranging an assessment.

The assessor will write a report with the findings. We will meet to discuss the conclusions and any support that has been recommended.

Previous assessments

If you had your dyslexia assessment completed before you were 16 years old, show us a copy of your assessment report and discuss with us which services you hope to access. We can advise if this is adequate or whether you need another assessment.

Independent assessments

If you want an assessment outside the University, you will be responsible for the cost (usually £300 - £400). We advise you to select an educational psychologist or specialist teacher who is used to testing adults. For further information on assessors contact the British Psychological Society or the British Dyslexia Association.

Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) assessment

If you require an assessment for Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), you will need to make an appointment to see your UK doctor/GP who will be able to take forward the specialist referral if this is appropriate.

Your doctor may be able to provide interim support and treatment that is beneficial. When this referral is in place, if you are registered with a UK doctor and are eligible for NHS services, in most cases you have the legal right to choose the hospital or service you'd like to go to. This may include private hospitals if they provide services to the NHS. For example, information for private providers of ADHD and ASC diagnosis can be found on ADHD UK’s website. This may be especially useful if NHS waiting lists exceed the usual 18-week NHS limit (this waiting limit may be subject to change so please check current information), as you may have the opportunity to access other NHS or eligible private services earlier.

When you see your doctor you may also wish to ask for medical evidence confirming a 'working diagnosis' so that you can provide this to the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (this should confirm the symptoms experienced, how these have been assessed and confirmation that they have lasted, or will last, longer than 12 months) who will be able to review your support needs and provide information about how these may be met.

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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.