Question: How do I book an assessment?

Answer: Please complete an Initial Inquiry Form. Or ring the office if you prefer. Phone 03 3815383.



Question: My daughter’s dyslexia is not being catered for at her secondary school. What could I do?

  • Answer: The school needs to summarise the findings of the SLD report and circulate this, and the  Conclusions and Recommendations, around all your daughter’s teachers. They need to follow the recommendations carefully.  (Many students will benefit).
  •  They should keep the full report on your daughter’s file. She should be entered in their Special Needs register.
  • They need to make sure your daughter trials using SAC ( in this student’s case, a reader/writer/or computer) in Year 9-10:  this means she will be ready to use special assessment conditions for NCEA  if warranted.
  • Your daughter should continue to have a tutor to address her SLD. It is good the school can assist.
  • Our website has some ideas for how a teacher can adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of struggling students. This will benefit many students – not just your daughter.
  • You could also draw teachers’ attention to this website as a source of information. It’s great professional development for teachers.
  • I quite like this link for teenagers. It may be suitable to show your daughter to boost her self-worth, although there are many good youtube clips about coping with dyslexia and how it doesn’t mean the student is any less bright. In fact, they often have other ‘gifts’
  • It’s good you are working with the school dean. It sounds like your daughter is going through a really rough patch.




Question: A pupil that I teach had an assessment done earlier in the year. As a class teacher, I feel I have tried to implement the findings. 

I did, however, feel they were quite generalised and would like to know if there are any specific learning strategies I could work on with the student or helpful web sites. 


Answer: I have been forwarded your request for further information about specific learning strategies to use with your student who has a mild SLD.

Our recommendations are described in the conclusion of the report. These recommendations are good guidance for a specialised tutor: such as specific programmes to teach phonics systematically and touch/ typing lessons.

You will also see from the student’s formal report that nine classroom accommodations are listed (p7). Some are necessarily of a general nature as there are many variables in each child’s situation. We cannot presume to tell the teacher what will work specifically in their class. Each teacher should keep our advice in mind and use their professional judgement as to what will best achieve the outcomes for the child.

The conclusion also recommends teachers check out the TKI website for inspiration.  However, it may be easier for you to follow the links in our site:

Go into Resources for teachers. You will find many links to all sorts of guidance for teaching students with dyslexia in the classroom.

The Differentiating and adapting the curriculum section has many specific ideas.

Under Websites for teachers, click on Responding to Individual needs.

Scroll down to the section on Dyslexia. You will find a wealth of information.

The Dyslexia Foundation also has some great resources to help teachers.

Thank you for being willing to support this student in your class and for taking the time to email us.



Question:  Are phonics really important?

Answer: This is a great little summary that answers this question.


Question:  What is expected from students/parents or school when they are applying for a reader/writer for a secondary school pupil?

Answer: I see we have sent you the link to the NZQA website which is quite detailed.

In summary, the school needs to gather evidence to support their application to NZQA. It can be a formal assessment from a registered psychologist, or from a class C assessor. However, the school could, and often should, gather school evidence as well: such as a timed writing sample, spelling test results, results from standardised reading tests, and teacher/SENCO opinion based on trials of reader/writer ( or other special assessment condition) in Yr 9-10.

Your child’s school should be able to tell you what they require to convince NZQA that your child needs special assessment conditions. There will be a person at the school who is responsible for making these applications.



Question: Is there a link between SLD and Executive Functions?
Answer: As described on

“Trouble with executive skills isn’t a diagnosis or a learning disability on its own. But it’s a common problem for kids who learn and think differently. All kids with ADHD have difficulties with executive function. And many kids with specific learning disabilities have challenges in some executive skills”.

Certainly, in many cases of SLD we have seen  there are  difficulties in varying degrees and combinations of all three of the main areas identified on the website:

  1. Working memory
  2. Cognitive flexibility (also called flexible thinking)
  3. Inhibitory control (which includes self-control)

In particular, we see many children with SLD who have poor working memory skills. We also see difficulties with attention, organisation, planning and prioritising, regulation of emotions, and self-monitoring that can cause issues with adapting to or coping with changes and being able to self-manage. Our clients often need support navigating environments and planning for tasks, not just reading and writing.



Question: What do I do if I have a complaint?

Answer: If you have any queries about any of our services or reports, please email so we can try to resolve the issue.

Please be aware an assessment is a snapshot of the student’s performance on the day. The student’s school and the parents/caregivers may well have different perspectives on the student’s ability. All formal and diagnostic data, conclusions, suggestions, recommendations and relevant opinions should be taken into account when deciding on future actions to benefit the student.



Question: I’ve been told the reports are just “cut and pasted” from a bank of comments. Is this true?

Answer:  We write well over 500 reports annually. Each one is individualised according to the assessment results. Some comments may well be the same as others who have the same condition. However, comments are always selected with considerable thought. It is analogous to a medical doctor prescribing the same remedy to different people who have the same condition. Taken in its entirety, each report is highly individualised.