Testing & Diagnosis
Generally, no one individual has all the common characteristics or symptoms of dyslexia; but if he/she has quite a few, it may be time to get the child properly evaluated.
Start by discussing your concerns with your child’s teacher. Teachers often provide valuable insight into how your child learns and areas of deficit.
Next, request that your school conduct an educational evaluation for a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in the areas of language skills — reading, writing and spelling. Provide an accounting of the symptoms you have observed in your child and concerns you may have. Make the request in writing to the school’s principal.
Finally, recognize that schools maintain certain criteria for special education eligibility. It is not uncommon for a child’s tests to indicate that they have severe deficits in some areas, but the test scores are too high to qualify them for special education services. It’s a catch-22: dyslexics tend to have above-average intelligence, making them great at compensating their weaknesses with their strengths.
Once your child is evaluated by the school, you may also want to have him/her assessed by a qualified specialist. Ask your pediatrician for a referral, or choose one from our provider list.
A thorough evaluation is extremely important: it will give a full picture of your child’s learning strengths and areas of weakness. In so doing, you can tailor your child’s instruction to address their deficits and exploit their strengths.
A diagnosis of dyslexia should only be reached after an evaluation that includes interviews, observations and testing. A professional should interpret all the information in order to reach a proper diagnosis. You should then be provided with a comprehensive report of the tests and their results.
Your provider will be a vital resource in identifying the best instructional approach for your dyslexic learner. Once you have a strong profile of your child’s learning differences, you will be able to form an intervention strategy that best meets his/her needs.
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