We are trying to have our son tested for dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia but most facilities start with the WISC and the WJ. I don't see him be measured accurately because of the way these tests are administered and his specific learning differences.

I was looking at the battery of tests that you use on determining dyslexia and didn't see any IQ type tests, but perhaps I overlooked it. Is there a reason you don't include the WISC in your battery? I did see the WJ, but only for a reading portion. Do you know of any institution or individual psychologist who administers the battery of tests that you recommend in the state of Colorado? Thank you!

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

Current practices in diagnosing dyslexia no longer include IQ, called the "discrepancy model." Here is an article from NIH that does an excellent job explaining the new understandings. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2011/nichd-03.htm

We need to assess a child's oral language skills as part of the assessment battery. Receptive vocabulary has been shown to be correlated to IQ, so we use that; although for the older student with a reading disability we also know that vocabulary skills can degrade over time if he is not exposed to the same texts (information) as his peers. We are looking for a pattern of strengths & weaknesses during an assessment or evaluation -- with strengths typically in verbal comprehension skills and weaknesses in text-related skills (reading, spelling, & writing) and sometimes verbal expression (word finding or naming, for example).

I do not know of specific people in CO. Given that I am in MI, I typically refer people to the IDA provider list for their state. http://www.interdys.org/ewebeditpro5/upload/co_2014_0908.pdf

Not everyone on this list will diagnose, though; some tutor. You'll need to interview the professional and ask how he or she would assess a child your son's age, what kind of experience he or she has had with your son’s age. Ask for references. Here's what a comprehensive assessment should look like http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/parents/learn-about-dyslexia/dyslexia-testing.

I hope this points you in the right direction.