How do I get my child tested for Dyslexia?
There are two ways to get your child tested for Dyslexia:
- Through your school board
- Private assessment
Children can be assessed for dyslexia as early was age 5 1/2. There is no one test for Dyslexia. A battery of tests must be administered, generally over two or three sessions. Individuals may be tested at any age. The evaluator may work with other professionals such a s speech and language pathologists, psychologists, physicians and occupational therapists. In Ontario, a diagnosis of a learning disability must be made by a registered psychologist, in order for the child to be identified as an exceptional pupil.
What should an evaluation include?
The expert evaluator will conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine whether the person's learning problems may be related to other disorders, such as attention deficit and or hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders, pervasive developmental disorders and physical or sensory impairments. In general, an evaluation will include the following:
- A case history that includes information on development, medical history, behaviour, academic and family history
- A measure of intellectual functioning (in Ontario , this is usually the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, or WISC)
- Tests of specific oral language skills related to reading and writing success, including a test of phonological processing
- Educational tests to determine level of functioning in basic skill areas of reading, spelling, written language and math. Testing in reading and writing should include the following measures: single word decoding of real and nonsense words, oral and silent reading in context, reading comprehension, spelling in isolation and in text, sentence, story and essay writing, handwriting
- A classroom observation, and a review of the remediation efforts to date
How can I support my child at home?
- Find a tutor for your child who has expertise in teaching students with dyslexia. Contact ONBIDA to do so
- Start and maintain a folder of all letters and materials related to your child’s education
- Include copies of school files and names and dates of all assessments and results
- Collect samples of schoolwork that demonstrate your child’s difficulties
- Collect examples of your child’s unique strengths and natural affinities
- Keep a contact log of discussions with professionals
- Keep a log of your own observations
- Work with your child’s teachers to develop and monitor the Individual Education Plan
- Talk to your child at a developmentally appropriate level about learning disabilities
- Encourage your child to become an advocate on his/her own behalf as he/she matures
- Know your legal rights
- Work as a team with the school to support your child
- The International Dyslexia Association (Ontario)
- Decoding Dyslexia Ontario
- Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
- Dyslexia Help UMichigan
- Dyslexia Advantage
- The Hospital for Sick Children, Learning Disabilities Research Program/Empower Reading
- Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
- People for Education