Diagnosis of dyslexia is a very professional and serious matter, and a conclusion can only be drawn after a series of complex professional tests by speech-language pathologists or psychologists.
Taking Hong Kong as an example, only officially registered and publicly licensed Clinical Psychologists or Educational Psychologists are eligible to use standard assessment tools to diagnose dyslexia.
Assessment tests verify the presence of dyslexia and provide diagnostic documentation that dyslexics need to receive specially designed guidance and support throughout their educational career, from elementary school to university and even graduate school.
Research and empirical evidence from developed countries and regions show that providing appropriate early intervention in kindergarten to third grade is essential for reducing the chances of a dyslexic. Capability gaps are very effective. Early intervention should begin at the beginning of kindergarten or first grade, when gaps between students are small and children are. There are brain plasticity advantages. Therefore, it is best to start the assessment of students' literacy skills at this time.
Following clinical review or analysis of the collected data and information, a written report is required summarizing all information and history. The report should clearly describe the referral issue or concern that led to the evaluation. For individual assessment of dyslexia, a battery of tests is used to ensure reliability and validity. Standard scores and percentiles should be included in the report.
Scoring and interpretation is done by skilled professionals who synthesize intake information, reports, test scores, interpret the results, give a definitive diagnosis when appropriate, and provide specific reports to parents and schools. If a student is diagnosed with dyslexia, the written report must clearly identify remedial recommendations (also known as specially designed instructions).
Educational assessments for dyslexia should include the following areas:
Phonological awareness - an individual's awareness and understanding of the phonological structure of his/her spoken language
Phonological or language-based memory - able to recall sounds, syllables, words
Fast Auto Naming - how quickly you can name objects, colors, numbers or letters
Receptive Vocabulary - understanding the words heard
Phonological skills - understand the relationship between symbols and sounds, either alone or in combination with other words
Decoding - uses "symbol-sound" association to identify spoken text
Oral reading fluency - able to read accurately at a storytelling pace to facilitate/support comprehension