What tests are used to diagnose?

Thank you very much for your response. I heard you on Richard Glover’s Drive programme on 2BL yesterday. If we were to come to you in WA at some stage, what tests would you use to diagnose dyslexia? My son had a diagnosis of dyscalculia but I believe he is actually dyslexic even though his reading is satisfactory. His handwriting and spelling is extremely problematic and always has been (he is 10). If he is to undergo more testing, I would prefer it be with someone who knows what they are doing.
Thanks & regards


I developed my test for SPELD here when I wrote the course for TAFE. You have to be dyslexic to do the course since it is targeted for dyslexics. I use that but much more comprehensive. Its not just about diagnosis, its about learning how your kid learns and perceives the world. Once we know how he thinks then we know how to teach him. Unfortunately most testing focuses on the problem and merely identifies that. My testing is solution based. I am looking for the solution not the problem.

Dyslexia is a learning difference so once we can establish his strengths and weaknesses we can develop a teaching program around this.

Dyscalculia merely means that the kid has problems with numbers, its actually Greek for “difficulty with numbers” and as such is not a true diagnosis, in my terms. what you need to know is why he has difficulty with numbers. It could be due to a number of things, including, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger’s Syndrome and other things. All these learning differences need to be taught in a different way from each other.

I am posting details of my assessment on the site soon.

hope this helps

My Daughter …

My daughter aged 10 has just be diagnosed with global learning difficulties can you please tell me what is the difference between that and dyslexia?

Learning difficulties fall into 2 types, specific learning difficulties and global learning difficulties.

Specific learning difficulties, include dyslexia, dyspraxia autism etc where the child has specific strengths and weaknesses. This means that the child is basically bright but has weaknesses in some abilities. Their WISC test profile has high and low scores.

Global learning difficulties is where the child is low right across the spectrum. The chid has tested as having no specific strengths.

However many, many kids are being misdiagnoses all the time. i have worked with scores of dyslexic kids who have been labelled incorrectly as having global learning difficulties.

I assume that your daughter must have been given the WISC test. If you consider this to be incorrect in your daughters case, get hold of the WISC subtest scores and send them to me or have them evaluated again at a Dyslexia Centre.

I will be pleased to help.

New kids blog soon to be launched …

Heyy everyone, im jessie im 13 soon to be 14, i’ve recently found out I’am dyslexic and one of dawn matthews many studnets.
We’re soon to be setting up a kids blog and I will be the one running it.
Any kids out there with dyslexia or hey just need to talk someone feel free to e-mail.
I will try my best to answer all your questions and give advice to the best of my abbility, and any of the tequnical questions im not able to answer dawn will be sure to assist.

And to tell a bit more about myself; I live near perth with family and currently being home tutored because my previous school weren’t teaching me right and i felt as though teachers were picking on me constantly, I was so angry I thought that one day I would throw a chair at one of the teachers so it got to the point that I wasnt ready to take any responsibility and decided to just skip school.

Thats all for now


I think I may have Dysgraphia …

Hi There

I have been doing a bit of research and think I may have Dysgraphia. Is there some way I can assess if this is the case and if so, what I can do to help manage it?
I didnt find the suggestion on the dysgraphia page to ‘stop writing and use a computer’ very helpful as there are many situations in life where that is just not practical e.g. taking notes for work, filling out forms and writing on cards etc.
Any guidence is appreciated.

Dysgraphia is a wok that literally means “difficulty with handwriting” so if you have a problem with handwriting then you have dysgraphia.. what is important is in knowing why you have it.

There are a number of probable causes:
.* Having problems spelling the words and putting idea down on paper. if this is the case then you will not have the problem with drawing. This is most likely a form of dyslexia.
* Having fine Motor problems and finding it hard to form the individual letters and shapes. if this is the case you will bad at drawing also .This is most likely a form of dyspraxia.
* Having a mind that thinks too fast so that it is impossible to put the ideas down fast enough and the writing becomes messy. This is most likely a form of Asperges syndrome.

Each of these has to be treated differently. and each has its own set of coping strategies. However you could take a laptop into work for notes and send emails rather than cards.

Do the tick tests to help find out which you have.

Dysgraphia – a problem with writing

This came through as an email but I thought it may be useful for others.

Hi there,

Recently my partner, heard about dysgraphia while watching a documentary, and explained to me that he thinks he has it. He has struggled with hand writing ever since he was a child, and I know that dyslexia runs strongly in his extended family. He little trouble reading, but when he is writing has trouble forming letters, he swaps letters around in every word, and misspells words even though verbally he can spell them absolutely perfectly. He will run all the letters he writes together unless there are lines on the paper to guide the writing. His biggest trouble is taking notes and copying things down which he has to do a lot for work, and if he forces himself to write neatly it is slow and he forgets what word he is writing. So he basically avoids writing at all costs. I’ve always thought it’s odd how rarely he writes things down, and why he gets annoyed at me when I ask him to write in a birthday card to his mum or jot down a phone number! He also said that when he is reading often the lines of text “bend” or jump, which I’ve heard some people with dyslexia have?

I was wondering what sort of help is available to help him, and how he can go about getting that help? It’s something that has impacted on his life for so long without him realising and has affected his confidence. Now he’s got a feeling about what it might be, and that he’s not the only one out there with this problem, he wants to do something about it. Any advice you have would be of great help! Your website is terrific.

he obviously has dysgraphia as that only actually means “problems with writing”. what is important is in finding out why.
do the tick box tests for older students in both dyslexia and dyspraxia and see if either of them fit.

in the mean time stop writing and word process. you don’t actually have to write nowadays and most people who find writing hard find word processing easy once they get good at it.