I have a child in the 4th grade who struggles significantly with reading and this year we are seeing a big struggle with understanding math word problems. He has had an IEP in place since second grade and classified as Specific Learning Disability. He has been in the Wilson Program and this year he is now in the Wilson's Just Words. Even with this instruction he seems to be just reading words from memory. Do you know of any testing centers in Florida for dyslexia? Are there tests? The school states it is an outdated term etc.... But I want to make sure he gets the accommodations he needs.


Dr. Pierson's Response: 

Here is the International Dyslexia Association's Find a Provider list for FL. You can look to see whether there is anyone near you. One of the best centers in the country for research on reading is at Florida State in Tallahasee (way north, I know), but perhaps someone there is familiar with Florida and can make a recommendation.

Schools tend to use the eligibility for services under "specific learning disability' as with your son. We can definitely diagnose dyslexia by using a battery of tests. The Evaluation page on our website talks about what to expect in an evaluation, and we've got a list of the various tests that professionals can use.

When I see a child in my private clinical practice who is also struggling with math word problems, it raises a flag about oral language comprehension. Math story problems require understanding of language concepts in order to solve them. An evaluation for dyslexia should include an oral language assessment, so be sure to ask about that. Many times these kids with dyslexia, especially the older ones, will have subtle language issues that may be difficult for someone who isn't practiced in identifying them to pick up. I hope this points you in the right direction.