Diagnostic Center for Dyslexia & Related Disorders

The Diagnostic Center for Dyslexia & Related Disorders


The Diagnostic Center for Dyslexia and Related Disorders is administered by SMU's Learning Therapy Center, which is one of the programs within the School's Department of Teaching and Learning.

Center Objectives

The Diagnostic Center was established in response to a community need for services that evaluate individuals for learning disorders related to reading acquisition, comprehension, and written expression.  The Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive evaluative services and appropriate medical, psychological, and educational referrals and recommendations to children, adolescents, and adults who are at risk for dyslexia and learning disorders.

Dyslexia

According to the International Dyslexia Association (2002), dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and a reluctance to read, both of which can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

Dyslexia is not due to a vision problem, seeing “backwards,” lack of intelligence, lack of effort, lack of education, disease, attention issues, or emotional problems.

For more information on dyslexia and issues relating to dyslexia, please click here.

The Diagnostic Center’s Services

The Center provides both initial and follow-up evaluation services for children, adolescents, and adults. Comprehensive initial evaluation services are available to individuals who have exhibited symptoms of dyslexia. Based on the evaluation results, the Center helps these clients secure appropriate remediation and/or accommodations (e.g., a time modified SAT or ACT) and provides medical and psychological referrals if warranted.

Re-evaluation services are available to individuals who have previously been diagnosed with dyslexia but require a follow-up evaluation and diagnosis in order to continue receiving remediation and/or accommodations. Again, the Center provides clients with appropriate recommendations and assistance in securing accommodations.

The SMU Diagnostic Center for Dyslexia and Related Disorders meets or exceeds the mandates for the identification of dyslexia established in:

  • Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003
  • Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.28
  • §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 2008
  • §504 criteria for documenting need for college-level accommodations
  • Feedback from parents and clients.

Candidates for Evaluation

Educational diagnostic evaluations are suitable for individuals (kindergarteners through adults) who exhibit difficulty with word recognition, spelling, reading comprehension, phonological processing, basic reading skills, reading fluency, reading comprehension, spelling, and written expression.

The minimum age requirement for testing is five (5) years or older. There is no maximum age limitation.

Evaluation

The extent of an evaluation is determined by the particular needs of the client, but typically includes a battery of tests that assess a combination of the following:

  • Education history
  • Family history of learning disabilities
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Word decoding skills
  • Phonological awareness
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading rate & fluency
  • Spelling
  • Handwriting
  • Written expression
  • Math

Our Center does not diagnose ADHD.  However, we may refer clients to a specialist for ADHD if issues related to attention or focus are identified in the evaluation.  Additionally, we may refer clients to appropriate specialists for behavior or psychological concerns.

A typical battery of tests takes 6 to 8 hours. The testing is rigorous and is divided into two sessions.

Evaluation results are provided in a comprehensive written report and reviewed in a face-to-face diagnostician-to-client/parents conference. Evaluation reports are typically finalized within 8 weeks after testing is completed.  Recommendations and referrals are provided as warranted, as is assistance in securing appropriate accommodations and remediation. 

Although testing is primarily for dyslexia, the evaluation will also indicate a variety of other learning disabilities.

Testing Fee

The fee for testing appointments is $1,300.00  and includes the interpretive report and follow-up conference.  We require a non-refundable $50 deposit to schedule an appointment. 

Our Center accepts Visa and MasterCard.  We also accept checks, payable to Southern Methodist University.

Insurance

We do not bill third party; however, clients may submit our diagnostic evaluation receipt for reimbursement or to insurance providers who cover psycho-educational testing.  The insurance CPT codes for our evaluation services are currently 96101 and 92506.

Prior to the Evaluation

The questionnaires below, along with records of previous testing results (if applicable), must be returned to our office at least three business days before the evaluation.  Forms and previous testing documents may be mailed, faxed, or emailed to our Center.

Parent Form - This form should be completed by a parent for clients who are ages 5-17 years.

Client Form - This form should be completed by clients who are age 14 through adult.

For More Information

The Diagnostic Center for Dyslexia & Related Disorders
5236 Tennyson Parkway, Building 4, Suite 108
Plano, Texas 75024
Phone: 214-SMU-READ (768-7323)
Fax: 972-473-3442
eMail: reading@smu.edu