At What Age Can You Test For Dyslexia?
It is important to identify dyslexia as early as possible, before the literacy difficulties turn into reading failure. Screening children in the first two years of school will reveal those at risk of dyslexia, and provide the opportunity for immediate intervention. Research indicates that intervention in the first years of school is most effective, and prevents damage to both self-esteem and motivation.
Screening can be done even before a child can read, as early as pre-kindergarten, but the best time to screen in the first year of school at 5 years.
Who should be tested?
An experienced teacher will quickly identify those children who are struggling to keep up. These children should always be screened or evaluated for dyslexia.
Because dyslexia is genetically linked, looking for a close family member who also has dyslexia or has the typical spelling difficulties of dyslexia, should also be enough to have a child screened or evaluated.
Other signs that should lead to testing are a history of delayed speech and repeated ear infections as an infant. Although it is important to remember that not all dyslexics have speech issues.
Early screening will identify the children who need targeted intervention. The results of a screener are going to provide valuable information that will be useful later during a formal dyslexia evaluation and can be used to plan instruction.
Why should a student be formally assessed/evaluated?
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) state 3 reasons why a formal evaluation is useful.
- It provides a professional diagnosis that will be more difficult for a school to dispute.
- In the hands of a specialist teacher it will prove helpful when planning a program of intervention.
- It provides a documented history which is needed for examination accommodations.