Types of Tests For Dyslexia

According to the most recent data gathered by the International Dyslexia Association, 5% to 10% of the world’s total population are suffering from dyslexia. It is believed that 15% of the American population suffer from some form of Dyslexia. That would translate to almost 45 million Americans.

While living with dyslexia can present several challenges for the people who have the disorder, having it properly diagnosed is the first step towards helping people do what’s needed to address their problem.

What is Dyslexia?

Before we discuss the tests that therapists/doctors typically use to diagnose dyslexia, it seems prudent to define it for you.

According to the Mayo Clinic website:

”Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.”

It’s worth noting that contrary to popular belief, people with dyslexia generally have normal intelligence. In fact, the most intelligent dyslexia sufferers can achieve at the highest level despite the challenges they face. Sometimes, they just need a little special training to overcome the challenges dyslexia puts forth.

Dyslexia Tests Preferred By Doctors

It’s of vital importance that people with dyslexia get the proper diagnosis as soon as possible. The earlier they know of their issue, the earlier they can start taking steps to overcome the challenges they will face in school and life.

Most dyslexia sufferers seek help when they begin to realize they are struggling to read, write, communicate, and understand their mother language. These are things most people pick up rather easily during their school years. For the dyslexia sufferer, the language issues they face often make them feel out of sorts in comparison to other people in the same age group. These feelings of inadequacy have the potential for causing emotional and mental problems later in life.

To make a proper diagnosis as quickly and efficiently as possible, therapists/doctors will use a battery of tests to arrive at the diagnosis they feel fits the patient in question. There are, in fact, more than a dozen tests that are available to use in dyslexia diagnosing process. For your benefit, we want to cover 10 of the most popular tests for dyslexia.

1. Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals -5 (CELF-5)

This test is ideally suited for individuals who tend to struggle a little bit with auditory issues and verbal communication. This test and its subtests can help isolate specific issues related to how individuals struggle to communicate. This is done through a process of comparing how individuals do in both written and verbal communications.

2. Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL)

Sometimes, we communicate among ourselves in the abstract or by using slang terms. This can cause confusion for someone with dyslexia. This particular test looks to discover how well individuals are able to comprehend abstract language. Ultimately, this test will help determine the individual’s language skill capacity.

3. Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing -2 (CTOPP-2)

This particular test makes people feel like they are playing a game. That makes taking the test enjoyable for both adults and children. The main objective of this test is to help identify an individual’s underlying phonological processing skills. It helps determine whether individuals are struggling with phonological analysis versus the synthesis of language. Sometimes, it might be both.

4. Gray Oral Reading Test -5 (GORT-5)

What makes this test interesting is it requires individuals to read the test questions aloud and then provide answers. While the test seems to be a reliable indicator of how the individual is processing what they read, there are concerns that test-takers can answer certain questions based on intuition alone. That’s why this test has been redesigned to be more open-ended, which requires a full reading and understanding of the questions.

5. Gray Silent Reading Test (GSRT)

This test helps measure two things. First, it measures reading comprehension by allowing the test taker to refer back to applicable passages to answer questions. Therapists are interested in seeing how often someone might want to refer back. Second, the test has a time limit, which helps determine at what speed individuals can read and comprehend. Since most dyslexia sufferers read slowly, this test helps identify how slowly.

6. Test of Auditory Processing Skills (TAPS)

While administering this test can be time-consuming, it can be very useful in two ways. First, it helps to identify the individual’s communication strengths and weaknesses. Second, it helps determine how difficult it is for individuals to understand connected speech.

7. Test of Pragmatic Language (TOPL)

For people who suffer from dyslexia, therapists need to understand how people communicate on a social level. The test is very effective at identifying individuals who have difficulty with auditory comprehension problems. The key to this test is the way test takers comprehend the test directions. If someone struggles with the directions, they will likely struggle with peer-to-peer communication.

8. Test of Written Language -4 (TOWL-4)

Since most dyslexia sufferers have trouble with written communication, there needs to be a test that specifically addresses how well someone communicates with the written word. This is that test. The test puts a lot of focus on the individual’s ability to spell and the extent and limits of their vocabulary.

9. Test of Written Spelling -5 (TWS-5)

At each level of learning, people are expected to obtain a certain ability to spell. This is a very quick test to administer. It simply focuses on the level of spelling that the test taker displays.

10. Word Test

Persons with dyslexia often struggle with words that have two or more meanings. This is the proper test that is used to determine an individual’s ability to properly identify and use words that have multiple meanings.


Serin Center

Serin Center is one of the leading neurohealth clinic in Metro Phoenix area providing treatment and diagnosis for Dyslexia and other developmental disorders. Visit any of our clinics located in Peoria, AZ, and Scottsdale, AZ, today and get personalized and innovative treatment for these conditions. Feel free to schedule an appointment to one of our neuropsychologists today!

With our help, we make sure your child will reach his/her fullest potential and will succeed in the near future.