Understanding the Dyslexia Screening Test (Click Here to listen to this Article)
A dyslexia screening test is not the same thing as a comprehensive test. Comprehensive tests are used to determine what type of dyslexia a person might have and at what severity. This is also a misnomer as there is no single test for this currently available, but instead a series of tests used to help pin down type and severity. There could be as many as 12 tests used to determine this.
Where a comprehensive test deals with the specifics, the dyslexia screening tests are a set of generalized questions for adults and children to answer. Since the comprehensive test is arduous and expensive to administer, narrowing down who might benefit from testing is needed.
The Dyslexia screening test is very generalized in the questions it asks. Being screened to take the comprehensive test does not necessarily mean a person has dyslexia. A number of other conditions could exist that would prevent someone from passing through the screening process. The questions on any dyslexia screening test are so generalized that a person who takes is could have ADHD, delayed learning, and even autism. The important thing is that there has been an indication made that something is wrong and some additional testing should be done.
You have many options for taking dyslexia screening tests. There are online assessments which are convenient as they can be taken from home. For your child you could talk to the school and see if they offer a dyslexia screening test, some actually do. There are also county and municipal authorities that would offer this service as well. Even though dyslexia is not a mental health issue, you would probably have to go through your local county mental health agency.
Once you have taken the dyslexia screening test, if comprehensive tests are needed, be prepared for the following: A two hour question and answer session with the psychologist administering the test. For adults, this is not such an arduous task; but if you are there for your child, bring as much scholastic documentation as possible. Old report cards and school placement test results would be very helpful. Also be prepared in both cases to have your family history in relation to dyslexia and mental health discussed, as some forms of dyslexia have been shown to be genetic.
A dyslexia screening test is not the first step to identifying dyslexia—you are. Be it for your child, spouse, friend or even you, knowing the signs will save someone years of frustration.