What Should a Dyslexia Evaluation Include?

by Fransic verso
Dyslexia Evaluation

Throughout the world, 17-20% of individuals and 20% of those in special education with learning disabilities have dyslexia, making it one of the most prevalent neurological disorders and most common learning disability.

Before the Evaluation

Because children who have one parent with dyslexia have a 30-50% greater risk of having this neurodivergent disorder as well, many assessors will begin with a family medical and neurological history.

Parents may have to discuss their children’s behaviors, such as whether they have good and bad days without explanation, avoid reading tasks, and turn away from the books their parents read to them aloud.

Assessors may also want information about school and intelligence testing. They may review and discuss the child’s educational records and grade reports with parents and teachers.

Reading Skills and Comprehension

Reading assessments are important because up to 80% of those who struggle to read have some form of dyslexia. Dyslexia screening always involves reading fluency testing.

Reading assessments may begin by testing how fast a child reads, but they also include accuracy. Children read short paragraphs aloud during these assessments.

Children then read silently. Assessors ask questions about their understanding of the text. The difficulty of these tests increases and varies between literal and nonliteral content.

Oral Linguistic Assessment

Oral assessments, like the (TOD™) Tests of Dyslexia, test the child’s language proficiency. These activities, along with the instructions, evaluate a child’s understanding and reception of language They also test children’s abilities to express themselves through language.

The testing evaluates their vocabulary development, language processing, pragmatic, and morphological language skills.
Dyslexia evaluations may include formal testing and informal interviews with the children’s teachers and parents. Assessors may also speak with the child to determine vocabulary development and high-level language usage. 

Word Recognition, Fluency, and Naming

Assessments for dyslexia include rapid word naming. This test will include words, letters, numbers, pictures, and symbols. However, it may also include challenges like how many animals, vehicles, or flowers the child can name.

Accuracy is not as important as speed during this assessment because those who struggle with dyslexia tend to be slower to name things.

Spelling Tests and Writing Assessments

Spelling and writing are especially difficult for those with dyslexia, so any child undergoing an assessment should have these tests as well.

Spelling challenges may signify difficulty understanding tenses, vocabulary meanings, letter combinations, and the sounds that create words.

Writing often reveals dyslexia first because this form of language is the most difficult. Children often have to write on a topic. The assessor evaluates the number of sentences, clauses, and paragraphs; flow of the piece as a whole; grammar and punctuation; editing capabilities; audience appropriateness; and vocabulary and sentence structure.

Phonological Processing

Phonological processing involves recognizing, analyzing, and using sounds in language. Therefore, assessors will ask children to sound out words.

They will also receive word-blending activities, including blending non-words. They should receive tests on segmenting words and nonwords. This often involves separating them into specific sounds and syllables.

These tests include naming words, letters, numbers, and objects. They may also ask children to remember words, letters, and numbers. Rhyming activities are often part of this testing.

How Assessments Help

Assessments like the (TOD™) Tests of Dyslexia have everything needed to analyze, diagnose, and produce treatment options for students with dyslexia. 

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