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About Dyslexia Evaluations

Dyslexia evaluations are typically conducted when parents and/or teachers are concerned about a child’s reading and/or spelling skills. At Brain Spectrum, we believe your family deserves a thorough dyslexia evaluation using the latest in diagnostic instruments. We conduct comprehensive evaluations for dyslexia that take into account family history, educational and intervention background, records of school performance, and the results of standardized testing.

Dyslexia is actually a family of disorders that includes phonological dyslexia, surface dyslexia,and mixed dyslexia. As well, many other disorders that are not dyslexia involve difficulties with language comprehension. Each of these disorders requires unique approaches to intervention and treatment, so precision diagnosis is critical. As with all of our evaluations, our dyslexia evaluations are tailored to the individual and may include aspects of neuropsychological testing and/or evaluation of other presenting issues, including handwriting and executive functioning. 

Possible Signs of Dyslexia

  • Slow processing speed with spoken and/or written language
  • Forgetting words
  • Poor-quality written work in comparison to oral ability
  • Messy work with many crossings out and sequences of failed attempts to spell individual words correctly, e.g. wippe, wype, wiep, wipe
  • Reading errors caused by letters that look similar, particularly b/d, p/g, p/q, n/u, m/w
  • Unusual sequencing of letters or words
  • Difficulty blending letters together
  • Hesitant and labored reading, especially when reading aloud
  • Skipping words or adding extra words when reading
  • Poor recognition of familiar words
What Is The Process?
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At Brain Spectrum, we understand how important it is to be a confident and fluent reader, which is why it is crucial to accurately diagnose dyslexia as early and precisely as possible. Dr. Thurlow takes the diagnostic process very seriously, and only uses the most up-to-date, robust, and empirically validated testing instruments in all of her evaluations. 

She uses a combination of tools to accomplish this goal, including psychosocial and developmental interviews, cognitive tests, and detailed assessments of reading and writing. She also reviews academic records, work samples, and prior evaluation reports as core components of her dyslexia evaluations.

What Are The Benefits To You?
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Academic Accommodations & Special Education Services:

In many cases, a recent and comprehensive evaluation is required by the school to help determine a child’s eligibility for special education services and accommodations. At Brain Spectrum, we can assist you in this process by providing you with the necessary evaluation and report.

Specialized Teaching Methods:

Having dyslexia means that a child learns to read in a different way. 

Oftentimes, this means they might benefit from a teaching method that is specifically designed for their unique learning needs. For example, there are a number of teaching programs for children, teens, and adults who struggle with reading. Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood Bell, and SpellRead are three of the most popular and effective programs. 

Brain Spectrum can help guide you to the program that best fits your child’s particular learning needs.

Standardized Testing and Exams:

Standardized tests and exams are primarily those used to make decisions about admissions to college, medical school, business school, law school, and other educational programs. Examples of such exams are the ACT, SAT, AP, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT. 

A documented diagnosis can be helpful in obtaining testing accommodations. Typical accommodations include extended test-taking time or a distraction-free testing room.

It is important to keep in mind that a diagnosis, previous history of classroom accommodations, and/or recommendations for testing accommodations are not a guarantee that you will be provided with testing accommodations. A clear documented history and the presence of functional limitations must be demonstrated, and the bar is being set increasingly high to qualify. 

What Results Can You Expect?
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At the completion of testing, you will be provided with a detailed evaluation report of the results, along with evidence-based recommendations tailored to specific areas of strength and weakness. If indicated, recommendations will also include school recommendations for special education services through an IEP, or accommodations through a 504 plan. 


Dr. Cheryl Arutt, PsyD, Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

"I have known Dr. Thurlow for 25 years and give her my highest recommendation! She is that special kind of expert who really listens, combining her deep knowledge and experience as a neuropsychologist with her compassion as a human/parent/friend to illuminate ways to really support and deeply understand young people whose brains work differently. Her evaluations improve lives, and I always know those I refer to Dr. Thurlow will be in excellent hands."

Dr. Mandy Moradi, Clinical Consultant Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center

"I have collaborated with Dr. Thurlow in various capacities over the years. She is an exceptionally bright psychologist who is committed to the wellbeing of our neurodivergent community. There is wide variability when it comes to evaluation quality, and finding a professional who offers best practice evaluations using gold-standard measures can be challenging. Dr. Thurlow offers the kind of sensitive, thorough, and evidence-based assessments that I trust. I recommend Dr. Thurlow without hesitation."

Dr. Jesse Olague, Child Psychologist, Del Mar

"Dr. Thurlow is without a doubt the best diagnostician in San Diego. Not only does she have the experience and high-level skills to understand even the most complex cases, she is also incredibly compassionate and kind. Families and professionals alike love working with her. I trust her clinical judgment without reservation."

David Teitelman, parent of a neurodivergent child.

"Dr. Thurlow is a spectacular psychologist/diagnostician. I can attest to her expertise in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and Neuro divergence. Dr. Thurlow was able to determine significant flaws in a previous evaluation of my neurodivergent child. With her help, we were finally able to obtain an accurate diagnosis after many years of struggle.

Dr. Thurlow's consultation, compassion, and support in obtaining an accurate diagnosis has truly been life-changing for our family."

888 Prospect Street, Suite 200, La Jolla, CA 92037