(***For every one of these blogs (500+ and counting), I feel I need to put out a front-end disclaimer, in case people get riled up.  What is said here is an opinion.  Take it for what it’s worth!)

So, let’s dive in the opinion pool again.

Not sure when this light bulb went off, but there was a time not that long ago (let’s say five+ years) when it was fairly rare for the presenting problem for assessment to be centered on “dyslexia.”

Now, there is a parade of parents whose central concern is the “D word,” layered on top of issues like “focusing,” “poor self-regulation,” “meltdowns,” often mentioned as secondary factors.

Let’s get a couple of things straight as we go into this new school year.

  • Not all reading problems are “dyslexia.”
  • There are essentially two types of reading problems. I have referred to them in books and blogs as Type I and Type II.
  • Type I are the more common.  With Type I the issues are with reading rate, accuracy and fluency. The more moderate and severe Type I are what fit the definition of “dyslexia” (see International Dyslexia Association definition –  International Dyslexia Association).
  • Type II have no issues with reading rate, accuracy and fluency, but they struggle answering comprehension questions.

Here’s the rub.  There is no one test, no one diagnostic indicator that says, “Yep, it’s dyslexia,” or “No, it’s not.”

These issues always occur on a spectrum, from quite mild to moderate and more severe.  The mild ones are often falling in the average range (often the lower portion of the average range) on the tests given and therefore will not get any school services.

Finally, one more point in the world of dyslexia.

I frequently hear that schools are telling parents that, “You need to be seen by a neurologist in order to diagnose dyslexia.”

I have known many child neurologists over the years.  I don’t think one of them has ever given a battery of reading, spelling and writing tests necessary to evaluate dyslexia.

Until they do, then neurologists do not diagnose dyslexia.

(More next week.)