Kids speech therapists answer your dyslexia questions

Could it be dyslexia?

A question often asked at our Brisbane north clinic, in hushed tones so children can’t overhear, is “Do you think they might be dyslexic?”

As kids speech therapists, we hesitate to use ‘dyslexia’ as a diagnostic term, simply because of the fear and anxiety it often provokes in parents, as well as the preconceptions or stigma it can create around the child. We prefer to use the more current terminology of Reading Disorder.

Assessment for dyslexia can be conducted by speech therapists who are skilled in the area, or educational psychologists. SPELD QLD is a great first step for those looking to investigate a formal diagnosis process.

Speech therapists in general have a role to assess both spoken and written communication, including literacy, phonics, word reading, comprehension as well as spelling and writing.

Our aim with this assessment process is to establish a matrix of skills, comparing spoken skills in understanding (comprehension) and speaking (expression) with written skills.

This helps establish whether the difficulties can be identified as:

  • a dyslexic profile (difficulties with reading or writing that are independent of spoken language difficulties)
  • a profile described in the literature as ‘poor comprehender’ (good decoding and word reading, but difficulties with reading comprehension)
  • a more general ‘language learning disability’ profile (difficulties with language in both spoken and written forms).

Our main goal during assessment is to identify each child’s profile and determine what intervention process will best support their needs, for literacy in everyday life, for love of reading, and also for curriculum access.

Please contact us to find out more or book your child in for an assessment with our kids speech therapists.