The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

The Wrightslaw Way random header image

Testing for Dyslexia – What Tests Do You Use?

by Susan Bruce

My son is in the 5th grade Resource Room. He has problems with reading and writing. I’m curious about dyslexia. What type of doctor can test him? What tests do they use?

To my knowledge there is not one specific “test” for dyslexia.

Evaluation is based on the “clinical judgment” of a psychologist, by the way a child tests on a battery of tests.

How Children Learn to Read…

1. The first thing you need to learn is how children learn to read. I mean really learn to read. I don’t mean just memorize and word call.

Read anything by Jeanne Chall and Louisa Moats. You can google their name to find out more about them. You will find books by them in the Advocate’s Bookstore.

2. Then look at your child’s test scores.

Consider these questions:

  • Has my child received adequate reading instruction?
  • Where are my child’s deficits in reading?
  • Does the program being used address those deficits?

3. Don’t assume a teacher knows how to teach all children to read.

Many teachers do not know how to teach children to read, especially children with dyslexia whose needs are different. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) found that only 11 out of 72 colleges of education actually teach teachers the components of the science of reading!

Reading Tests: What They Measure, and Don’t Measure

More about Evaluations

Print Friendly

Tags:   · · · · 12 Comments

Leave a Reply

12 Comments on "Testing for Dyslexia – What Tests Do You Use?"

Diana p

Although districts can require the use of RtI to diagnose SLD, they cannot delay the sped initial eval. They can be done at the same time. OSEP has issued a letter confirming this and that letter can be found at millermom under the advocacy sub board.


I was surprise to see the battery of tests you chose to highlight and evaluate for dyslexia. As a mother of dyslexic child, I found that the WADE ( Wilson reassessment for encoding and decoding), to be an invaluable tool for the reading specialist working with my son who used OrtoGillingham methodology and required that his end of the year evaluations included a WADE and GORT. I made sure that these evaluations were used measure progress because they identified the specific sounds , blends, trigraphs or other areas of weakness to tailor the instruction at annual time. I also found that requiring my District to complete CBM in the areas of extreme deficit for my son before and after extended vacations gave me all the evidence to.prove substantial regression and recoupment, thus proving him with ESY services during the summer.

Sharon L.

e. Hefner, if the student is going to go to public school the school will provide the eval. It is my understanding that if the student goes to private school the public does not have to pay for the testing.

e. Hefner

Testing/evaluation for dyslexia was quoted $985.00 given at a local college, public school system was called to see if they test, this child goes to a catholic school. Parent was told that they do not test students, it is the parent’s responsibility to get the child tested with using her own money and then bring the results to the school. Is there an evaluation for children who come from a low income family and still be considered acceptable?


My son was placed in Special Ed at the end of 2nd grade, 3rd grade he received 30 min of Wilson – parts 1-5 in a pull out – which was not written in the IEP, then he received support facilitation in the reg ed class during the 90 min, reading block for approx. 30 min- to finish steps 6-10 of the Wilson daily. That year he scored a 2 on the – FCAT. The following year when I asked for the same type of service the principal told me that to offer Wilson this year it would have to be done in “self- contained” I went along with it because I knew needed a research based program and loved the teacher. The teacher had students on three grade levels and was unable to do the Wilson Program with Fidelty. He dropped another level now-1. HOW do I get the school to offer the Wilson?