Much of the confusion over dyslexia testing centers around not understanding the two primary levels of dyslexia testing that exist. There are two Principal levels, depending on the types of dyslexia symptoms you wish to identify.
Initial Screening Tests.
The first level, that of initial screening, is broad, shallow and non-specific. The objective is only to identify any of the tell-tale signs of dyslexic impairment and screen out the subjects for further testing. These tests are made to be given to large groups of people, quickly and easily.
They tend to be in the form of short questionnaires of 20-30 questions or so, asking about any of the known dyslexia symptoms. Questions such as, “Do you ever have trouble writing down telephone numbers, license plate numbers or other numbers given to you over the phone?” are common.
There are other, less formal tests, such as the special computer games offered by The Diagnostic Gaming Company (R). Using these games, designed for different age groups, parents or teachers can easily tell if a child shows signs of dyslexia by its ability to play the game.
Another screening test used by educators is simply observing if a child's reading ability matches its age and intelligence. Any child that is generally bright, attentive and a normal or above-average student but who substantially underperforms in reading, becomes a candidate for full dyslexia testing.
Full Dyslexia Testing.
The second level, that of full testing, is more focussed, addresses different specific potential dyslexic problems and is usually based on demonstrable abilities. Brief exercises or tasks are used, with time limits. Each set of test tasks is aimed at a different specific type of dyslexia symptom.
The test subject is then rated on his or her relative ability to quickly and easily complete the specified tasks. The goal is to identify potential problems and rate them as to severity. To do this the subject may be asked to translate between visual images and sounds, sounds to written text, transpose characters and syllables, etc.
A full dyslexia test is more formal, make one-on-one, with the observations made by the skilled professional administering the test being part of the test results. Response times are important so they are measured. It is a time of paying close attention in order to get accurate readings.
The full dyslexia test will determine if a person is dyslexic or not. And, if so, what specific problems were detected and what was their level of severity. If a subject tests positive for dyslexia, the full test results will be the starting point used by therapists to help the subject overcome these problems.
I n summary , the type of dyslexia testing that would be appropriate to use depends on the goals of the test. For a quick check and to identify possible dyslexia symptoms in members of a group, screening tests are used. To identify, pinpoint and measure the severity of potential problems, a full dyslexia test is required.