There can be many hurdles facing students who have not been formally identified.

Early in the school year, parents and students may be told to wait until a student has had time to adjust to class. But then when a student appears to fail without accommodations like extended time, he or she may be told that there is a longwait for testing by the school psychologist, so a student may struggle with no changes being made.


You can always ask for accommodations without having testing. Some teachers may not agree to this, although others will. If the school has told you it may be months or even next year before testing occurs, then you can ask for this option to avoid a huge social and emotional toll on your student. If there are other family members with dyslexia, tell them that – it may help them to see your student’s challenges in a different light.


If the wait time for testing by a school psychologist seems impossible (next year or even later), and you have the financial means to have your student tested privately, then many will do this. Some popular professionals may have extended wait times too, however (months to a year +). Because the best reports will take time to write, many professionals cannot test and report on many people each year.

The costs for private testing may also be prohibitive because typical costs range from $1500 to $5000-7000, and health insurance will often refuse to cover the cost.

If a student has complicated challenges, it may be possible to request an IEE or Independent Educational Evaluation where the school pays for an assessment outside school. To find out more about this process, check out this article at Understood. Some parents may need to rigorously advocate in order to obtain this for their child.

The Neurolearning Dyslexia Screening app that Brock, Nils Lahr, and I helped create is a screening app and not a comprehensive assessment for dyslexia. Still, it has been used by some to request and obtain accommodations for a 504 and occasionally even IEP; however, some schools may also refuse to accept such testing because it is not comprehensive.


Your school may have a list of professionals in your area who do testing. Also a local dyslexia organization may keep a list. One challenging thing is professionals vary widely in their knowledge about dyslexia and using only the simplest screening tools can miss and mis-identify students. Gifted and older individuals may especially present challenges in identification; you can ask professionals you are considering what their experience is – in regard to dyslexia and your particular situation.

Brock and I have been retired from our practice for several years now, but we refer to Liz Smith of Kinderminds in the Seattle area, Dan Peters and his colleagues at SummitCenter in California, and Devon MacEachron on the east coast. There are many other excellent professionals of course, but those are folks’ whose reports we know well to recommend.

Community colleges, universities, and private dyslexia schools may also test students in their area. Some new companies (Marker Learning, Hello Polygon) have announced their tesing online. We aren’t familiar enough with their reports to formally recommend them, but they do contract with licensed professionals. Comprehensive testing is often required for high-stakes exams like the SAT.bSome testing corporations may require testing every 6 years, but it’s possible to appeal.

Dyslexia | Dyslexic Advantage