In order to have a proper diagnosis and proper plan of intervention and remediation, a thorough differential diagnosis should be administered, which considers the entire syndrome of dyslexia and attention deficit disorders. No SINGLE test exists that can identify dyslexia. No IQ test exists that can identify dyslexia.

Diagnosticians should give a variety of tests which examine the individual's learning, language, perceptual, and intellectual strengths and weaknesses.

Diagnosticians may be educational specialists, speech and language pathologists, or psychologists who are trained in the field of dyslexia.

Questions PARENTS should ask when choosing a diagnostician:

1. What do you know about dyslexia? What organizations/conferences concerning dyslexia have you been affiliated with?
2. Does your testing give a differential diagnosis or do you use the exclusionary model, which is used by the public schools? (A differential diagnosis is the most appropriate.)
3. Does your testing evaluate the entire syndrome (characteristics listed above) of dyslexia and attention deficit disorders?
4. Will your testing report present specific information on how to address my child's learning differences?

NOTE 1: If a diagnostician continually keeps shifting back to using the term specific learning disability, then the diagnostician probably does not really understand or know how to identify dyslexia.

NOTE 2: An excellent resource for parents searching for a diagnostician is Testing: Critical Components in the Clinical Identification of Dyslexia, published by the International Dyslexia Association, Chester Building, Suite 382, 8600 LaSalle Rd, Baltimore, MD 21286-2044, phone (410) 296-0232 or (800) ABC-D123.

Questions ADULTS should ask when choosing a diagnostician:

1. What do you know about dyslexia? What organizations/conferences concerning dyslexia are you affiliated with?
2. Does your testing give a differential diagnosis or do you use the exclusionary model which is used by the public schools? (A differential diagnosis is the most appropriate.)
3. Does your testing evaluate the entire syndrome (characteristics listed above) of dyslexia and attention deficit disorders?
4. Will your testing report present specific information on how my learning differences affect my employment and social/emotional behavior as well as my learning?
5. Will your report give me specific recommendations for obtaining my potential?

NOTE 1: If a diagnostician continually keeps shifting back to using the term specific learning disability, then the diagnostician probably does not really understand or know how to identify dyslexia.

I. Perception 1. Impaired directionality or poor right/left discrimination.
2. Poor performance on visual-motor gestalt test for age and intelligence.
3. Field dependent perception.
4. Impaired auditory discrimination.
5. Poor spatial orientation.
6. Impaired temporal orientation.
7. Impaired coordination or gross motor skills.
8. Impaired fine motor skills.
9. Impaired reproduction of tonal patterns.
10. Impaired reproduction of rhythmic patterns.
11. Speech irregularities.
II. Processing 12. Impaired concentration ability.
13. Short attention span for age.
14. Slow in finishing work.
15. Poor ability to organize work.
16. Variability in performance.
17. Impaired inhibitory patterns or perseverative behaviors.
18. Low tolerance to frustration.
19. Impaired activity levels.
20. Concrete thought patterns.
21. Possible secondary emotional overlay.
III. Intelligence 22. Spotty performance on intelligence test, achievement high in some areas while low in others, high on some types of tests while low on others. Depression in intelligence scores.
23. Mental age on Draw-A-Man test below mental age on individual intelligence tests.
IV. Academic 24. Reading disabilities. (Oral reading and/or comprehension)
25. Spelling disabilities.
26. Writing disabilities. (Dysgraphia)
27. Expressive problems. (Dysphasia)
28. Mathematical and/or calculation disabilities. (Dyscalculia)
29. Poor performance on group tests that require reading and writing.
30. Frequent perceptual reversals in reading or writing beyond age and instructional level.
31. Phonological awareness problems.
32. Poor retention of learned information.

V. Medical and Family Background -- Genetic 33. More susceptible to allergies and addictions.
34. Family or personal history of allergies, diabetes, alcoholism, arthritis, migraines, learning problems, thyroid disorders.

 

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