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Understanding the Term "Diagnosis"

Joy is not a psychologist and does not claim to do psychological testing or psycho-educational testing.

  • This type of testing does not include IQ testing or any other cognitive testing.

  • If you take this course, you will get “educational” training to do “educational” assessments and give an “educational” diagnosis.

  • If you take this course, you get to design the assessment process in the way that suits your specific needs. If you are a teacher, you might take this course just to learn how to better support dyslexic learners. If you are a tutor, you might take this course just to learn how to score the PAST test more accurately. Or you may choose to do the whole comprehensive assessment process with a student, or choose different situations for different students.

  • You have complete and total free will to use whatever terminology that feels comfortable to you. You may call it an “educational diagnosis” as I have chosen to do in my center, or you may call it “identifying dyslexia” or “student fits under the dyslexia profile” or “student is showing signs of dyslexia.” I will discuss this in greater detail in the course as to some situations to consider when choosing terms and vocabulary.

  • There are SO many reasons to give an actual confirmation of dyslexia, including identity/self-esteem/self-image/empowerment, and we will dive into this inside the course, but again, you can decide if you want to just say that this student “fits under the profile of dyslexia.”

  • In no way do we as educators want to test every single student that comes through our doors. You will learn which students to refer to a medical practitioner to get a “medical” diagnosis.

  • This type of testing can be done by a teacher in the school setting *depending on the individual rules of your particular school or school district.* PLEASE check with your administrator before registering for this course.

  • This course would be great for you if you are any type of educator and you want to get additional training in how to do a more formal comprehensive assessment using educational assessments.

  • This course would be great for you if you want to learn more about how to better support a student who has dyslexia, especially within the school setting.

A few other things you might not have considered:

  • A student may not know they have dyslexia because when a child was in 3rd grade and struggling, the school jumped in right away with awesome structured literacy/OG intervention, BUT ONLY for maybe one school year. Fast forward a few years to now a middle school student who doesn’t know why he/she is struggling. They think they are dumb and they are shutting down in school. A neuropsych evaluation may not even “find” the dyslexia because the good intervention the child had earlier causes the student to score too well, thus not leading to an “official” diagnosis. **We need to identify dyslexia early, intervene early, and continue these good interventions and not just stop when the child reaches grade-level reading skills** It is much easier to justify the need for this type of intensive intervention when there is a confirmed “educational diagnosis” of dyslexia.

  • As mentioned in the previous bullet point, sometimes a neuropsych evaluation will not “find” dyslexia because they are required to go off of much more black and white criteria and hard data. They do not always take into consideration that a student may have gotten good phonological awareness instruction in earlier years, which causes those scores to be a little higher, causing the practitioner to say that the child’s scores are “too good” for them to have dyslexia. A big part of this course is learning how to analyze school records, previous testing reports, and other information to aid in determining if this child in fact does have dyslexia, EVEN IF they are scoring a little bit higher than expected on phonological awareness tasks.


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