What Should a Dyslexia Evaluation Include?

Dyslexia is a complex disorder, impacting up to 20% of the population in the United States and affecting the reading and communication capabilities of individuals of all ages.

A comprehensive dyslexia evaluation can provide the necessary documentation to give an individual eligibility for accommodations throughout their educational career and even into the workplace. An assessment should examine reading ability while ruling out other possible contributions to reading difficulties.

Detailed Historical Information

Dyslexia is often a genetic condition, so it is essential to understand a student’s family history to uncover potential links. The individual’s experience with previous interventions is critical for an evaluator to see what tests and interventions work effectively.

Additionally, prenatal or childhood trauma is an element to consider since emerging studies indicate dyslexia may be a response to stress.

Phonological Awareness

Individuals with dyslexia struggle with perceiving the sounds in words, which can lead to reading difficulty. Testing in the area of phonological awareness can identify oral language barriers by looking at:

  • breaking words into syllables
  • counting phonemes
  • pronouncing words by blending phonemes
  • identifying and creating rhymes

This struggle in phonological awareness is closely linked to the causes of dyslexia in children. Dyslexia often stems from differences in how the brain processes language and sounds.

These neurological differences can affect a child’s ability to discern and manipulate the sounds within words, a key skill in early reading development.

Understanding the causes of dyslexia in children helps in developing targeted interventions such as structured literacy programs that emphasize phonemic awareness, phonics, and other language skills.

Orthographic Mapping

Dyslexia causes problems with learning and remembering the sounds associated with letters. The English language is challenging because letters are often associated with multiple sounds. People with dyslexia can often recognize specific letters but struggle with letter patterns and words. Evaluations should look for the following:

  • confusing similar letters and symbols
  • difficulty with spelling
  • omission of word endings
  • slow reading
  • switching or reversing letters and numbers
  • trouble reading words that are exceptions to common language rules

Automaticity and Processing Speed

Fluidity and speed are issues that typically affect people with dyslexia. A comprehensive evaluation should include a measure of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and processing speed.

Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN)

Also known as automaticity, RAN refers to the ease and fluidity of recalling the names of colors, letters, numbers, objects, and sight words. A key predictor of dyslexia that enables fluent and accurate reading.

Processing Speed

Studies indicate that people with general processing delays also struggle with reading tasks. An evaluation of processing speed includes tasks that measure auditory speed, rate of visual perception, and even motor speed.

Executive Function

An individual’s memory skills impact the ability to recognize letters, spell words, and understand and summarize written material. Executive function includes working memory, an issue for people with dyslexia that impairs an individual’s ability to retain and utilize information while completing a task. 

Reading and Language Tasks

A comprehensive dyslexia evaluation, like the Test of Dyslexia (TOD), includes an assessment of various reading processes, including the following:

  • word reading: decoding and recognition skills
  • reading fluency: combination of accuracy, expressiveness, and reading speed
  • reading comprehension: understanding of the material through reading and listening assessments
  • oral language: pre-reading skills, including grammar, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and communication skills
  • spelling and writing

Find an Assessment

It is crucial to seek a formal dyslexia evaluation for individuals of any age who exhibit reading or language difficulties. Learn more at WPS about how to help kids in school using dyslexia assessment tools.

Salon Privé

Salon Privé Magazine is the quintessence of luxury lifestyle journalism, renowned for its sophisticated portrayal of the opulent world since its inception in 2008. As a vanguard of high-end living, the magazine serves as an exclusive portal into the realms of haute couture, fine arts, and the aristocratic lifestyle. With over a decade of expertise, Salon Privé has established itself as the definitive source for those who seek the allure of luxury and elegance. The magazine's content is crafted by a cadre of experienced journalists, each bringing a wealth of knowledge from the luxury sector. This collective expertise is reflected in the magazine's diverse coverage, which spans the latest in fashion trends, intimate glimpses into royal lives, and the coveted secrets of the affluent lifestyle. Salon Privé's commitment to quality is evident in its thoughtful collaborations with industry titans and cultural connoisseurs, ensuring that its narratives are as authoritative as they are enchanting. With accolades that include being voted the number one luxury lifestyle magazine in the UK, Salon Privé continues to be at the forefront of luxury journalism, offering its discerning readership a guide to the finest experiences the world has to offer. Whether it's the grandeur of global fashion weeks, the splendor of exclusive soirées, or the pursuit of wellness and beauty, Salon Privé Magazine remains the emblem of luxury for the elite and the aspirants alike.