Dyslexia - Diagnosis

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How is dyslexia diagnosed?

Dyslexia is a difficult disorder to diagnose. There are many factors the psychologist or other health professional reviews to diagnose the disability. The testing determines the child's functional reading level and compares it to reading potential, which is evaluated by an intelligence test. All aspects of the reading process are examined to pinpoint where the breakdown is occurring. The testing further assesses how a child takes in and processes information and what the child does with the information. The tests determine whether a child learns better by hearing information (auditory), looking at information (visual), or doing something (kinesthetic). They also assess whether a child performs better when allowed to give information (output), by saying something (oral), or by doing something with their hands (tactile-kinesthetic). The tests also evaluate how all of these sensory systems (modalities) work in conjunction with each other.

The tests administered are standardized and are considered highly reliable. The child should not feel as if there is something wrong because testing is occurring. Many of the tests use a game-type or puzzle format which can help make the child feel more comfortable. Children should get a good night's sleep prior to the testing and have a good breakfast. If the testing is done in a school setting, the teacher can prepare the child by talking about the person who will come and do special work with the child. With young children, the psychologist may visit the child's classroom before the testing so that the child is familiar with him. Whether or not the testing is done at school, the parent may want to talk to their child about a new person coming to work with them. However, parents should not try to coach the child concerning the testing. It is recommended that parents not be present during the testing.

A standard battery of tests can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III)
  2. Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC)
  3. Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  4. Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery
  5. Peabody Individual Achievement Tests-Revised (PIAT)
  6. Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT)
  7. Kaufman Tests of Educational Achievement (KTEA)
  8. Bender Gestalt Test of Visual Motor Perception
  9. Beery Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration
  10. Motor-Free Visual Perception Test
  11. Visual Aural Digit Span Test (VADS)
  12. Test of Auditory Perception (TAPS)
  13. Test of Visual Perception (TVPS)
  14. Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised
  15. Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test
  16. Test for Auditory Comprehension of Language
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See what others are saying

Comment from: matt, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: July 26

I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 6 years old. My teacher said my parents should get me tested because I was really smart, but I couldn't learn to read. My parents took me to an educational psychologist who confirmed that I had dyslexia.

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Comment from: 1stTimeMom, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 14

My child is 5 and I feel like she has dyslexia. The teachers at her school told me so but as I look at her she spells her words the wrong way, she"s super smart but can"t connect the letter to say the words.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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