The International Dyslexia Association
Testing for Dyslexia
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is often referred to as a language based learning disability. It is the most
common form of learning disability. Approximately 15-20% of the population has a
learning disability and The National Institutes of Health report that 60% to 80% of those
with learning disabilities have problems with reading and language skills. Individuals
with dyslexia usually have difficulty with either receptive oral language skills, expressive
oral language skills, reading, spelling, or written expression.
Dyslexia varies in degrees of severity. The prognosis depends on the severity of the
disability, specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses with the individual, and the
appropriateness of the intervention. It is not a result of lack of motivation, sensory
impairment, inadequate instruction, environmental opportunities, low intelligence, or
other limiting conditions. It is a condition which is neurologically based and often
appears in families. Individuals with dyslexia respond successfully to timely and
Why is an evaluation important?
If you suspect dyslexia, it is important to have an evaluation to better understand the
problem. Test results determine eligibility for special education services in various states,
and they also determine eligibility for programs in colleges and universities. They
provide a basis for making educational recommendations and determine the baseline
from which remediation programs will be evaluated.
At what age should an individual be tested for dyslexia?
Individuals may be tested for dyslexia at any age. Tests which are selected will vary
according to the age of the individual. Young children may be tested for phonological
processing, receptive and expressive language abilities, and the ability to make
sound/symbol associations. When problems are found in these areas remediation can
begin immediately. A diagnosis of dyslexia need not be made in order to offer early
intervention in reading