I was wondering about the cost of testing fees. My child's school told me it was a $2,500 test and can only be done in Lansing. I’m hoping you can help. Also, are there programs to help with the financial part of the testing?

We are desperate for answers at this point. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide for us!

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

First, whoever told you that assessments are only done in Lansing is rather misinformed. There are people all over who assess for and diagnose dyslexia [1].

Second, the school staff could do an assessment [2] for a specific learning disability, under which dyslexia falls.

That said, many students who are indeed dyslexic do not qualify for services in the public schools because they do not perform poorly enough on the assessments to meet the certification criteria. Here [3] is a piece I wrote about that topic.

Outside evaluations do cost, though. And, unfortunately, most assessments for dyslexia are not covered by insurance, but it is worthwhile to check.

At MDI they do testing, but I do not believe they diagnose. I think they have a sliding fee. It looks like a neuropsychological assessment is under $2000.

I do think that it is important to get a diagnosis, though. I have found that there are some children/teens whom I see for a diagnostic assessment who have already had intervention. And, what can happen when a student has had intervention (which is a good thing) is that he or she may not score poorly enough to meet the definitive criteria for a diagnosis, despite showing a dyslexic profile. As a result, when I’m consulted, I always recommend that parents seek an assessment to obtain a diagnosis prior to intervention. Additionally, a good comprehensive assessment [4] will lay the foundation for intervention.

Let me know if you have other questions. But the bottom line is there are other resources where you can go to get a comprehensive assessment for dyslexia, although it is true that there are costs involved at most places. Do check with your insurance company, though.