An evaluation for Dyslexia includes assessments involving cognitive abilities, reading, writing, and sometimes even math, language abilities, and visual perceptual abilities. These assessments all help to rule out other causes of reading difficulties and determine exactly which parts of reading and/or writing are impacted. Georginia can assess students as young as 4 to screen for possible risk factors, as well as students in elementary, middle, high school or college, and adults in the work force in need of accommodations. Georginia is a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and on the referral list for the Rocky Mountain Branch of the IDA.
What is Dyslexia?
The International Dyslexia Association (2002) defined dyslexia as “a specific learning disability that is neurological in nature. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities... Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes dyslexia under Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in reading, noting that dyslexia is an alternative word to describe a pattern of learning difficulties characterized by problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor decoding, and poor spelling abilities.
The problems associated with dyslexia are language-based, not visual and not related to cognitive skills or intelligence. Phonological processing problems are the principal cause of dyslexia. Phonological processing refers to the ability to analyze speech or spoken language, from identifying individual words, to word parts or syllables, and then into the smallest parts called phonemes or speech sounds.
Possible signs of dyslexia
Do you think your child may have dyslexia? Or are you an adult who thinks you have dyslexia? Some possible signs in childhood and adulthood include struggles with spatial reasoning, very slow reading with difficulty decoding new words, difficulty recognizing patterns in words, difficulty focusing when reading where the individual loses their place frequently, reading the same sentences or even phrases multiple times, confusing similar words (such as clarify and classify, player and prayer) in reading and writing, lack of desire to read for pleasure, avoiding reading aloud, difficulty in spelling even with spell check, and/or omitting or transposing letters when writing or copying written work.
Dyslexia in schools
It is important to note that many schools will likely use the terminology "Specific Learning Disability in reading decoding, fluency, and/or comprehension" rather than dyslexia. This is due to the terminology of the special education laws that schools must follow, which does not differentiate dyslexia from other reading disabilities. The student will likely get similar if not the same exact support regardless of whether the term dyslexia or Specific Learning Disability is used.
College students may be able to have testing or assignment accommodations. Colleges typically require recent assessments, including a full cognitive and academic achievement battery, within the last 3 years.
For adults who demonstrate significant difficulty in reading, whether the diagnosis of dyslexia is warranted or not, you may be eligible for accommodations due to the impact reading difficulties may have on your ability to perform your job functions. By providing Georginia a copy of your job description and explanations of daily functions that you feel are impacted by your reading difficulties, she may be able to help you request accommodations in your job under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Do you believe your child might have dyslexia? Or do you believe you as an adult may have dyslexia that is impacting your college or working life? Contact Georginia today to schedule a consultation and possibly an evaluation!