What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems sounding out letters to form words (known as decoding) and recognising previously seen “sight” words (known as whole word recognition). Dyslexia can also involve problems with spelling. 

Are all cases of dyslexia the same? 

No – dyslexia presents differently across all individuals. This is because reading is a complex skill that is made up of many different components, including letter identification, letter-to-sound conversion, and whole word recognition to name a few. Each one of these underlying components can be affected individually, meaning that no two cases of dyslexia ever look the same. 

How is dyslexia assessed?

There is no single test for dyslexia. The assessment of dyslexia typically involves a comprehensive testing session examining overall intellectual functioning, specific components involved in skilled reading, and academic performance. Parents and teachers might also be asked to fill in questionnaires about the child’s reading performance at home and at school. All of this information is necessary to characterise the nature and severity of dyslexia at an individual level.  

Why is a comprehensive assessment important?

There are many reasons why an assessment is important. Firstly, not all children with reading difficulties will have dyslexia. An assessment can assist in ruling out other causes of reading problems, including intellectual disability, visual-spatial processing issues, and even anxiety. Secondly, children with dyslexia are more likely than their peers to have other related conditions (such as ADHD or specific learning disorders) and these can be detected during the assessment. Finally, a comprehensive assessment is the only way to understand exactly why a person is having difficulty with reading and spelling. This information can then be used to plan an effective intervention that is tailored to the individual and their specific reading problems.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the diagnosis and assessment of DYSLEXIA at Marsden Psychology please do not hesitate to contact us.

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