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Parents who suspect a problem should take action. If left undetected dyslexia or dyscalculia may stop a child from mastering the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, damage self-esteem and self-confidence and have negative long-term effects.

An Educational Psychology Assessment is done by an educational psychologist and is a way to get a definitive assessment of dyslexia or dyscalculia. The dyslexia assessment includes testing of cognitive abilities as well as literacy skills. For a dyscalculia assessment various numeracy skills and cognitive ability are tested.  The educational psychologist also needs to get relevant background information from parents, individuals, schools, colleges or any other relevant sources.  Conclusions are made based on a combination of the history reported and the performance on the tests.

The assessment session varies in length, but on average you can expect to be with the educational psychologist for between 2½ to 3 hours.  A detailed written report is supplied a few weeks after the assessment, which contains relevant history, test results, conclusions and most importantly recommendations for addressing any areas of difficulty which emerged.

Parents who suspect a problem should:

  • Contact the child’s school, which may agree that a problem exists.
  • Have the child’s hearing and sight tested to ensure that there are no acuity problems.
  • Arrange for an Educational Psychology Assessment with a qualified educational psychologist. This should describe the nature and extent of the problem and provide recommendations for useful help.  Before attending for assessment, make a list of the child’s earlier and current problems and take it along.  A teacher’s report is always very helpful in this process.

There are generally 3 ways to get an assessment in Ireland – in school with NEPS, with the Dyslexia Association of Ireland or with an independent private educational psychologist.

1. School-going children may be tested free by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS). School principals will have information on this.  Schools are only allowed a limited number of assessments each year, so in practice, often only students with very severe difficulties are likely to be seen through the school service.

2. For details on the Dyslexia Association of Ireland Educational Psychology Assessment service please visit our Assessment page.

3. There are also many independent private educational psychologists, throughout the country.  A list of registered psychologists can be obtained from the Psychological Society of Ireland’s website at, by emailing the Society at or by writing to the Psychological Society of Ireland, Floor 2, Grantham House, Grantham Street, Dublin 2.  Charges vary between €500 and €800 on average.

NOTE: Tax relief on the assessment fee of a dependent child is allowable via the MED1 Form. Visit the revenue website and see the section on tax relief for health expenses for further information. You can download a MED1 form from the Revenue website or get one from your local tax office.


Preparing a Child for an Assessment

Having an assessment with a psychologist should be a pleasant event in a child’s life.  Some common-sense points to help ensure a good assessment experience are listed below.

  • Choose your educational psychologist carefully to ensure that they have the appropriate qualifications and are familiar with specific learning difficulties
  • Find out as much as you can about the assessment procedure in advance – the more informed you are the more relaxed you will be and this will be beneficial to the child.
  • Be as honest and frank as you can.
  • Tell the child why you are visiting an educational psychologist, i.e. because the child is having some difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, maths, etc.
  • Present it in the most positive way you can – as something you have arranged especially so that you can help.
  • Explain what the educational psychologist will do, i.e. they will talk to the child about school, ask questions, do certain tasks like jigsaws, finding missing parts, do some reading and spelling.
  • Explain that this is not an exam. The child cannot fail. The educational psychologist will only be interested in finding out how the child thinks and learns.
  • Tell your child where you are going, at what time and how long it will take.
  • Try to ensure that the child is well rested.
  • Bring a nutritious snack if necessary.
  • If possible, build in a little treat afterwards.
  • After the assessment, the educational psychologist will probably give you some brief feedback. Using your own good judgement, tell the child, as simply as possible, what the educational psychologist said, always stressing the most positive things. If you are anxious or upset about what you have been told, wait until you are feeling more positive before saying very much to your child.

Preparing a Child to Have an Assessment Through The School System
If your child is being assessed by an educational psychologist from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), you will be assigned a specific person and the assessment will take place in the child’s school. Therefore, some of the points above will not be relevant.

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DAI activities are part-funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019 administered by Pobal), the Special Education Section of the Department of Education and Skills, SOLAS and KWETB.