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What Is Involved in Making a Diagnosis of Dyslexia?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

Observing and possibly recognizing dyslexia symptoms, finding a professional to administer tests, and taking a series of more than a dozen tests are some tasks involved in making a diagnosis of dyslexia. To make any progress on a diagnosis, a parent or teacher must spot the signs of dyslexia. Some people go a decade or two without realizing their problems because no one spotted the symptoms. Next, a person to administer a dyslexia test must be found either through a health clinic or school system. Lastly, the child or adult takes a series of tests, which are graded by a professional to determine if the patient has dyslexia.

There are different types of dyslexia, but a good amount of cases are present in people as children rather than developing in adults who did not previously have dyslexia. Dyslexia can be observed in children too young to attend school, though many children do not have a noticeable problem until learning to read and write. In small children, a parent or teacher must take notice of the many symptoms of dyslexia. Some symptoms are reversal of letters and numbers, using both hands to write and reach for things with no preferred hand, and potentially acting out to draw attention away from poor reading and writing skills.

People with visual dyslexia have trouble with words and letters.
People with visual dyslexia have trouble with words and letters.

It is not possible to make a true diagnosis of dyslexia without first visiting a health professional. After observing symptoms of dyslexia, a doctor’s appointment is in order to allow a professional to assess the situation. Some schools have the equipment and training to make a diagnosis of dyslexia, but they are usually not able to determine the specific type of dyslexia a child has. Psychologists and speech therapists are better equipped for this sort of appointment, but seeing a general practitioner for an opinion is also a good place to start.

The actual tests to make a diagnosis of dyslexia involve an intelligence test and a test to determine reading level. Like many other health problems, dyslexia is not easy to diagnose; in fact, one doctor can make a diagnosis of dyslexia only to have another doctor disagree with him or her. Dyslexia is not like having the flu or a vision problem because someone either has these problems or not. On the other hand, with dyslexia, there is a range of normal functioning that a professional decides whether a child is within. The tests for dyslexia are considered standardized and reliable, but many things can influence the outcome.

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    • People with visual dyslexia have trouble with words and letters.
      By: kozini
      People with visual dyslexia have trouble with words and letters.