How is dyslexia diagnosed?
A child may be diagnosed with dyslexia if he or she has a low average to above average I.Q. yet a low reading level. There is no one test used to diagnose dyslexia, rather a series of tests is used to assess a broad range of language skills, including word recognition, decoding and encoding skills, phonological processing and reading comprehension.
Before a diagnosis of dyslexia is made, other conditions that can affect reading—like a vision or hearing problem or limited educational access—are ruled out. A diagnosis may be conducted privately or by a reading specialist in a school.
Often, a parent or a teacher may request a diagnosis for a child if they see symptoms of dyslexia. Symptoms of dyslexia include:
problems with rhyming or recognizing that two words—like garbage and gorilla, for example—start with the same sound/letter
a problem repeating nonsense words, like “SpongeBob SquarePants,” for example
problems with comprehension (for example, if it takes a child so long to process words he or she forgets what you read at the beginning of sentence or passage.
problems recognizing letters)
problems with fluency; some children can read individual words without a problem but have problems linking many words together.
Why is it so important to get a diagnosis right away?
The sooner a child gets a diagnosis, the sooner he or she can get the appropriate help at school. With a diagnosis, educators can create an independent education plan (IEP), which can help a child throughout his or her entire school career, including college. Sometimes a child with dyslexia is mistakenly thought to have low motivation, low intelligence or sensory impairment. Such misdiagnoses can delay a child with dyslexia from receiving proper treatment.
|Ava Porter is a young child that participated in a study at Children’s Hospital Boston seeking to discover if dyslexia can be seen through brain imaging, before dyslexia is apparent when a child struggles with reading. The goal is to identify and treat dyslexia before it affects reading ability. Read more about this study in the boston.com article|