Child Struggling to read

This Scientific American article argues that changing how dyslexia is diagnosed could help more children get the support they need.

The article begins by taking a look into Tim Odegard’s story; a Ph.D who completed his postdoctoral fellowship studying dyslexia who struggled himself growing up in school. He wasn’t able to get the support he needed due to the lack of understanding of dyslexia within his district. Many of his teachers even doubted his intelligence. He later found out that the reason he wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia was likely a result of the reliance on IQ tests at the time which ruled that he did not have dyslexia. .

The authors then argue that one of the reasons for a lack of diagnosis is that many schools within the United States utilize the discrepancy model as a diagnostic tool for learning disabilities. In regard to dyslexia, the discrepancy model compares IQ scores with reading performance. Many assert that among many other problems, biases in the IQ test result in differences in diagnosis rates and support between racial and socioeconomic status. Specifically, a disproportionate number of individuals who have received a diagnosis and support for dyslexia have been white and middle to upper-class.

Fortunately, the scientific consensus against the discrepancy model has had recent growth. One study found that regardless of IQ score, those who struggle to read benefit from specialized reading support and instruction at statistically identical levels, supporting the idea that using IQ to diagnose dyslexia is ineffective.

Overall, the article asserts that greater access to more accurate testing could result in more students gaining the support they need to be successful in reading and the classroom.