Laws and Credentials

Dyslexia Basics

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Who can DIAGNOSE dyslexia?

“Professionals with expertise in several fields are best qualified to make a diagnosis of dyslexia. The testing may be done by a single individual or by a team of specialists. A knowledge and background in psychology, reading, language, and education are necessary. The tester must have a thorough working knowledge of how individuals learn to read and why some people have trouble learning to read. They must also understand how to administer and interpret evaluation data and how to plan appropriate reading interventions.”

Common professionals who may be able to diagnose with the correct training:


Specially trained educational professionals

Medical and eye doctors cannot diagnose dyslexia

Insurance does not cover the cost and you will have to pay out of pocket.

The testing can be conducted by trained school or outside specialists. (See the Dyslexia Assessment Fact Sheet for more information.)


A diagnosis of dyslexia cannot be determined by any one single test. A diagnosis of dyslexia includes consideration of background information, school history, and comprehensive assessment of both oral language (speaking and listening) and written language (reading and written expression) skills at all levels from the simplest to the most complex. A professional thoroughly familiar with the characteristics of dyslexia at different ages and stages in the continuum of literacy skills must interpret and integrate the information gathered into a comprehensive written report that includes the following information:


 Assessment of dyslexia involves individual testing, most often provided by a team of qualified professionals who have had extensive clinical training in assessment as part of a graduate degree program. Professional clinicians who assess Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and dyslexia may have M.A., M.S., M.ED., Ed.D., or Ph.D. degrees in Education, Reading, Speech Language Pathology, School Psychology, Psychology, or Neuropsychology. Evaluation by a medical doctor is not required for assessment or identification of SLD or dyslexia.


Q: Does obtaining a particular level of CERI certification permit me to diagnose dyslexia or other learning difficulties in my students?

A: Diagnosis of dyslexia is not the purview of any one professional group, and CERI certification does not grant any type of medical knowledge or authority. However, because dyslexia unfolds in an educational context, information about that context, including about the type of instruction and intervention a student has received, is essential to appropriate identification practices. In an educational setting, decisions about eligibility for services in the category of dyslexia, or related categories such as specific learning disabilities, would be made by an educational team, e.g., a Planning and Placement Team (PPT), that includes teachers and other support providers with knowledge of the student. Possessing CERI certification, especially at an advanced level, supports the credibility of its holder to provide input on effective reading interventions as well as the eligibility of a particular student in the context of a PPT.

Lexercise- Who is qualified to diagnose?

Mayo Clinic - Diagnosis Treatment

UM How to diagnose dyslexia?

UM Diagnosing Dyslexia


NHS UK Dyslexia Diagnosis

Medicine Net

Ascend Dyslexia Diagnosis

Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota - Diagnosis

SST - Comprehensive Testing

The Speech Bubble - Assessments

UM - 14 Tests

UM - Tests

Reading Rockets School Assessment and Identification

Serin Center - Types of Tests

Reading Assessment Database

TRM-Blog on getting tested

Missouri Reading Laws

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