There just isn’t enough clarification about what people mean when they say “Dyslexia Tests Online.”

The word I most associate with screening is “quick.”  This is not inherently bad at all but when you’re testing for something as complex and important like whether you have issues with reading, writing and spelling I’d like to err on the side of being thorough!  Like I said in my earlier posts, a screening for dyslexia could be a great first step.

When you look it up in a dictionary, screening is defined as “a preliminary procedure, such as a test or examination, to detect the most characteristic sign or signs of a disorder that may require further investigation.”  Bingo.  It’s the first step in a process.

And these days I would say that taking dyslexia tests online, whether it’s a screening or a complete evaluation, is okay as long as you have a solid Skype or Skype-like headset, microphone and camera to communicate clearly with the other party.

A complete evaluation means just that.  If you listen to my podcast What Should An Educational Evaluation Look Like? you’ll hear about the four key components to a very thorough evaluation and why it’s important.

Part 1:  Observations, Interviews and Checklists–This is what I call “building a village.”  At the beginning of the eval the diagnostician who is helping you should guide you as you enlist support from your community.  There will also be interviews with school, parents, the child, his or her medical doctor and anyone else that might provide key information.  Very likely, checklists will be filled out as well.

Part 2:  Intellectual Assessment (IQ Testing)–It’s good to have an overall sense of the child’s verbal and nonverbal reasoning abilities.

Part 3:  Academic Achievement to Date–This part will provide a snapshot of where your child is at that time regarding reading, written language and math.

Part 4:  Cognitive Processing Testing–This is the key component.  “Cognitive processing” is a fancy way of saying “How is your brain wired?”  If we know how your brain is wired, we can 1) better understand why you are struggling (or your child) and more importantly 2) develop a plan that will help you find success and relief!