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:
Recommendations for instructional/remediation approaches that match the student’s profile
Recommendations for educational accommodations such as extended time, if indicated
A statement regarding the need for compensatory strategies (i.e., assistive technology, based on level of organizational skills, note-taking ability, and study or memory skills)
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.
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