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How to Assess Dyslexia

Dyslexia, a learning disorder affecting reading, spelling, and organization skills, is not solely attributed to difficulties in language proficiency. Similar to varying aptitudes in playing the piano, challenges in reading may stem from diverse factors.


Dyslexia, a learning disorder that impedes reading, spelling, and organization skills, is not solely rooted in language difficulties. Just as individuals may differ in piano-playing abilities, challenges in reading can arise from various factors. An important starting point is to explore familial connections, as about 99% of dyslexia cases have a hereditary link. Recognizing that learning to read and write follows diverse developmental paths is crucial, with brain development variations observed up to the age of 8, according to a study in the Netherlands.

Hastening to label someone with dyslexia should be avoided, especially since shared errors are part of the natural learning process. Before considering dyslexia, it's advised that at least half of the 37 recognized symptoms, outlined on our website, are present. While timely and effective assistance is crucial, it's equally important to acknowledge that supportive measures can be implemented without necessarily assigning a formal label, which may not significantly alter outcomes.


Dyslexia is a learning disorder that poses challenges in reading, spelling, and organization skills. It is often hereditary, with a strong likelihood of parents passing it on to their children.

Undetected dyslexia can hinder a child's progress not only in reading but also in developing advanced language and vocabulary skills. Seeking professional help is crucial when early warning signs emerge to prevent potential negative self-perception by the child.

Qualified professionals like psychologists, diagnostic specialists, or learning disability specialists can assess individuals for dyslexia. Once identified, appropriate educational accommodations, such as phonics training, can be put in place to enhance language skills and restore self-esteem.


Dyslexia affects decoding and reading comprehension skills.

Dyslexia tests assess various aspects of dyslexia, not just reading ability.

Dyslexia testing should be part of a comprehensive evaluation.


If there's a suspicion of dyslexia, a comprehensive evaluation, including specific dyslexia testing, is necessary. These tests reveal areas of reading deficiency, and the evaluator may also check for other potential linguistic and processing difficulties.

  1. Assessments of Phonological Awareness: Measure a child’s ability to isolate and manipulate sounds, crucial for predicting reading capacity.
  2. Decoding Tests: Assess a child’s ability to interpret words swiftly and accurately, revealing if they use phonics rules or rely on memorization.
  3. Reading Comprehension and Fluency Tests: Evaluate a child’s ability to read aloud accurately, fluently, and comprehend context, providing insight into real-world reading capabilities.
  4. Rapid Naming Tests: Gauge a child’s ability to quickly name common letters, numbers, objects, and colors, indicative of fast phonological information retrieval.

Results from all tests, possibly including intelligence assessments, are combined by the evaluator. The comprehensive data compilation may take a few weeks, culminating in a detailed report.

If dyslexia is identified, parents can take proactive steps to access appropriate accommodations and support for their child. Understanding available dyslexia accommodations and approaching educators about the condition are important aspects of ensuring the child's educational needs are met.