Practical guidance and instruction during childhood open the door to a productive life. However, dyslexia and other learning disabilities can stand in the way of a child getting an efficient education.
A proper dyslexia diagnosis can equip parents, educators, and clinicians to care for a youth successfully. Hence, medical professionals should recognize the following circumstances that complicate a dyslexia evaluation and understand how to avoid inaccurate results.
Dependence on a Single Methodology for Measuring Symptoms
An accurate diagnosis requires the collaboration of professionals across fields. Patience and thorough examinations are essential testing.
Dyslexia can manifest in various ways. The condition could present itself through clearly evident symptoms or only mild indications. Unfortunately, the guidelines for some organizations only look for one element of this learning disability.
For example, various groups only measure phonological awareness as a linguistic risk factor but should also consider poor verbal memory, orthographic knowledge, and slow rapid automatized naming.
Studies show that when evaluators only examine one possible risk factor, they may miss half of the cases of dyslexia. A comprehensive assessment model that considers multiple symptoms makes identification more reliable.
Distinct Definitions and Terminology
A significant step toward dealing with any challenge is its identification. The term “dyslexia” makes it easier for educators, medical professionals, and families to understand the nature of a child’s cognitive abilities.
However, efforts for greater sensitivity and inclusiveness have motivated some people to forgo its usage. The professional teams coordinating in evaluating a child should agree on verbiage to avoid confusion in diagnosis.
Additionally, clinical texts and organizations vary slightly in defining a dyslexia diagnosis. Education and medical professionals must harmonize their understanding of what dyslexia is and how it presents itself. Unifying around a single set of resources for dyslexia assessment, screening, and intervention can minimize confusion.
Comorbidities and Overlapping Symptoms
Different learning disabilities and psychological struggles are not mutually exclusive. The similarities between dyslexia and other conditions can lead to a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis.
A common culprit is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD and dyslexia can present through reading and writing challenges and as inattention and resistance during evaluations.
Many other conditions are also similar to dyslexia. Consequently, a multidisciplinary team and a comprehensive evaluation considering cognitive, educational, medical, and psychological factors are vital for an accurate assessment.
Missed Diagnoses in Gifted Students
A highly gifted child may still have learning challenges, including dyslexia. These twice-exceptional students may have average or above-average reading scores that mask their struggles.
Despite the child’s ability to compensate, the missed diagnosis limits their full potential. Examiners must review the full scope of a child’s circumstances and performance to determine if dyslexia is present.
An Effective Tool for Dyslexia Evaluations
Achieving an accurate dyslexia diagnosis and determining the proper treatments are challenging. However, professionals can make an accurate assessment by using efficient tools.
Contact WPS to access the Tests of Dyslexia (TOD) assessment and kits to simplify and improve your dyslexia evaluations. With these powerful tools, you can help young students and their families unlock their full potential.