Diagnosis

There's no single test that can diagnose dyslexia. A number of factors are considered, such as:

  • Your child's development, educational issues and medical history. The doctor will likely ask you questions about these areas and want to know about any conditions that run in the family, including whether any family members have a learning disability.
  • Home life. The doctor may ask for a description of your family and home life, including who lives at home and whether there are any problems at home.
  • Questionnaires. The doctor may have your child, family members or teachers answer written questions. Your child may be asked to take tests to identify reading and language abilities.
  • Vision, hearing and brain (neurological) tests. These can help determine whether another disorder may be causing or adding to your child's poor reading ability.
  • Psychological testing. The doctor may ask you and your child questions to better understand your child's mental health. This can help determine whether social problems, anxiety or depression may be limiting your child's abilities.
  • Testing reading and other academic skills. Your child may take a set of educational tests and have the process and quality of reading skills analyzed by a reading expert.
July 22, 2017
References
  1. Dyslexia. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/learning-and-developmental-disorders/dyslexia. Accessed June 8, 2017.
  2. Hamilton SS. Reading difficulty in children: Clinical features and evaluation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 12, 2017.
  3. Hamilton SS. Reading difficulty in children: Interventions. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 12, 2017.
  4. Handler SM, et al. Joint technical report ― Learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision. Pediatrics. 2011;127:e818.
  5. Information and resources for adolescents and adults with dyslexia — It's never too late. International Dyslexia Association. https://dyslexiaida.org/adolescents-and-adults-with-dyslexia-fact-sheet/. Accessed June 12, 2017.
  6. Specific learning disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed June 19, 2017.
  7. Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 5, 2017.