28 Oct What Does A Dyslexia Evaluation Look Like?
There are many quick or DIY screens for dyslexia that can be confused for a full evaluation. These screening tools, even the reputable and evidence-based ones, are helpful in identifying a child who has a reading difficulty. However, they often provide little to no information about where the reading difficulty comes from or what type of intervention would be appropriate to effectively address the problem. That’s where a comprehensive dyslexia evaluation can help.
What Does A Dyslexia Evaluation Look Like?
This type of evaluation will often take one to two full days of testing since a comprehensive diagnostic for dyslexia needs to cover all the underlying areas that could cause a reading deficit in a child.
For example, a child may be very smart and have strong intellectual skills, but might suffer from visual-spatial processing where their scanning ability is compromised and is holding back their reading deficit. Alternatively, they could also have phonological processing deficits where, even though they can hear the sounds normally, they process them in an inconsistent or inaccurate manner, which leads to pronunciation and reading problems.
Because of these various etiologies, it’s necessary for the evaluation to cover both the underlying intelligence level as well as a child’s skills in:
- Visual-spatial processing
- Visual-motor integration and scanning
- Long-term visual and auditory memory
- Phonological processing
- Working memory
- Academic functioning
In addition to the in-person evaluation, it is also necessary to review past personal, academic, and medical history.
A review of the child’s medical history is essential since there are multiple medical diagnosis that can affect the child’s reading, which need to be ruled out before a dyslexia evaluation can be properly conducted.
A diagnosis also requires a child to have had appropriate instruction and reading which has not been successful. This is particularly important during this previous covid-19 pandemic and ensuing shutdown, as many children have not had appropriate reading support during this time and their reading deficits may not accurately reflect their true potential.
What is the ‘short dyslexia test’?
Some practitioners will offer a short “dyslexia test”, which does not include the background information and assessment of other abilities. This type of test is more of a reading screener than a true dyslexia evaluation.
Are dyslexia evaluations covered by insurance?
Unfortunately, due to the extensive testing necessary to understand where a dyslexic deficit may come from, these tests can be expensive and are generally not covered by medical insurance.
Do schools perform dyslexia testing?
Although schools will often conduct their own evaluations for a child’s intellectual functioning and reading, many schools are reluctant to diagnose children or perform more comprehensive evaluations to identify the underlying deficits.
Read Next: Is dyslexia testing available at school?
How much does a comprehensive dyslexia evaluation cost?
The assessment in total which includes the evaluation, records review, feedback, and report will often cost several thousand dollars.
Despite the high cost, the potential benefit of improving a child’s reading for the duration of their academic career and life is often worth the investment in the evaluation.
As such, many parents go through dyslexia evaluations to fully understand their child’s reading deficit, which in turn helps them get the help and specialized tutoring that they need.
Dyslexia Evaluations With Dr. Malkin
Some people who perform dyslexia evaluations only look at overall intelligence or a few cognitive areas and then deduce the reading deficit based on those areas. However, it has been known in the research literature for several decades that reading disabilities can arise from multiple sources.
Dr. Malkin goes beyond above and beyond short, often incomplete tests with dyslexia evaluations that assess your student’s memory, intellectual and executive functioning, and academic functioning. He not only diagnoses the underlying causes of dyslexia, but also provides guidance for the educational resources and techniques that can optimize your child’s future education.