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Physical Distancing and SpLD Assessment
SASC issues updated guidance outlining essential issues and considerations for alternative consultations by remote online video-platform
calendar04/05/2020

Given current limitations around in-person assessment resulting from the COVID-19 situation, SASC recognises there are individuals who may require evidence of need to access immediate support.

There are important considerations as to what can be provided.

Key Points:

·       Assessments that can wait, should wait.

·       An interim evaluation of need may be possible.

·       Any report produced should contain a statement (as recommended by SASC, below) clarifying the limitations of the evidence collected.

Statement to be Included on Reports

'Public health guidelines currently recommend physical distancing to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This evaluation of need could not therefore be carried out in person but is based on a process using an online video platform. It does not use a full range of tests to deliver a full diagnostic assessment but instead, following publisher and professional guidelines, uses a more limited range of tools. As such, the outcomes must be treated with caution. They do not provide a 'diagnosis' of a specific learning difficulty/neurodevelopmental difference but do provide an evaluation of need together with some useful indicators of areas of strength and weakness based on the taking of a detailed background  'history', the administration of a diagnostic questionnaire and the administration of a limited range of tests. The recommendations made should be regarded as preliminary and, where necessary, advice has been given as to the appropriateness of referral for further assessment when this becomes possible.'  

SASC fully recognises that individuals, agencies and organisations offering diagnostic assessments to individuals with suspected specific learning difficulties / neurodevelopmental disabilities may wish to explore alternative ways to offer consultations and support in the present circumstances. SASC has consulted with a wide range of key publishers and professional organisations to inform the detailed guidance outlined in our guidance and hopes that this will provide welcome clarification to those assessors unsure how to respond to requests for assessment.

See full guidance paper for essential further information. 

Access by this link and found in Downloads.

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