Psychoeducational Evaluation: Dyslexia & reading struggles
Assessment aligned with science
I offer Comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluations, and diagnose dyslexia when a student meets criteria.
Reading and writing skills are assessed, along with key processing factors related to reading, spelling and writing struggles. Math skills are assessed as well, as reading difficulty often impacts performance on symbolic processing and word problems. I complete a full parent interview, and test comprehensively for the underlying cognitive and language processing measures related to dyslexia. This includes phonemic awareness, phonological memory, rapid automatized naming, real word and nonsense word decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, spelling and writing.
I also complete a thorough record review of past evaluations and IEP/RTI/504 Plan data. I provide a diagnosis of dyslexia when criteria are met. This type of evaluation allows me to provide the best possible tailored recommendations for your child. I also provide bridges to intervention so that opportunities for improvement can begin immediately.
I personally conduct all testing. My assessments are state-of-the art and up-to-date with best practices, aligned with the science of reading, while also very kid-friendly. By helping kids feel comfortable and relaxed, they can give their best effort, which helps me to best understand their learning profile and how to help them adaptively move forward.
I also provide consults to help parents better understand past assessments and school data, with recommendations for the next important steps. An evaluation is not always needed.
My approach to reading assessment is both holistic and evidence-based. I highly recommend this article by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) on the important components of a dyslexia assessment: dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-assessment-what-is-it-and-how-can-it-help/. I am listed as a provider in the IDA directory: app.box.com/s/lh7hrixkto629rofr1h9 .
All kids with word decoding problems need explicit and systematic instruction. These difficulties can be identified by various professionals, but a psychoeducational evaluation goes deeper to look at a child's whole learning process.
The role of attention can have a different impact on reading in one child versus another. It's important to distinguish between attention problems specific to reading tasks, versus attention problems which occur more globally. When attention problems specifically occur during reading, it's typically due to difficulty and frustration with reading, and the focus should be on solving the underlying reading problem. If a child has broad attention problems across a variety of activities (which may include reading as well as math calculation, watching a movie, etc.), then the attention difficulty should be the focus of intervention. Alternatively, a child who has both underlying reading and attention struggles may benefit most from evidence-based reading intervention that incorporates specific attention strategies and movement to enhance focus.
Anxiety and/or low self-esteem can also impact a student's performance. Psychological testing can be added on to address many different psychological indicators from the view of the student, parent and teacher. This information can be very useful in designing a comprehensive treatment plan.
Understanding these important differences leads to accurate diagnosis (e.g. Dyslexia, ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, etc.) and personalized recommendations for effective intervention.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have about my assessments and consults, as I think parents need solid preliminary information before deciding what path to take.