Dyslexia: Assessments & Treatments For Children & Adults

Dyslexia is a challenging condition that impacts children and adults where people have difficulty reading effectively and without errors.

Boy with dyslexia having a hard time reading

Signs of dyslexia include:

  • Difficulty with reading privately or aloud.
  • Difficulty selling.
  • Excessive mispronunciation of names and words and avoidance of any activities that involve reading.

Unfortunately, many misconceptions surround this condition. People with dyslexia are neither stupid nor lazy. On the contrary, they work very hard to overcome their learning problems, even with an average or above-average IQ.

Assessing dyslexia in adults and children

Most dyslexia guides focus on helping children manage their symptoms because it is typically diagnosed during childhood. Adult dyslexia is not uncommon, however.

Dyslexia can be diagnosed at any age. Testing options vary depending on the individual’s age. Testing for phonological processing, expressive and receptive languages and the ability to recognise sounds and symbols may be done on young children. Interventions at an early age can be highly effective in reducing reading failure rates.

When your child is diagnosed as soon as possible, they can get help much faster, and you will have a better chance of preventing adverse effects on their self-esteem and confidence. In addition, screening can be accomplished early and reliably by Stepping Stones in Life Therapy.

An adult may experience reading and spelling problems, dislike reading books, avoid writing tasks, or get someone else to help them or do the writing for them.

Some adults who have dyslexia may have lived with it for decades without being diagnosed. When dyslexia is present as an adult, it can present some challenges that children with the same condition do not have to deal with. But it is never too late to diagnose and treat dyslexia for a higher quality of life and improved employment opportunities.

Treatment can have a significant effect on dyslexia in children and adults

There is no outgrowing dyslexia, and individuals tend to have different symptoms as they age. But dyslexic people can succeed at school and work if they receive appropriate assistance and support.

Writing and reading from texts at the appropriate level should be used as effective interventions to reinforce emerging skills such as sound recognition, phoneme awareness, and linking letters and phonemes.

Additionally, providing students with systematic teaching methods to help them understand lessons, like repeated directions, everyday routines, step-by-step instructions, and combining verbal and visual instructions, is a good teaching strategy for people with dyslexia.

For adults, a doctor will develop a comprehensive treatment plan for dyslexia after they assess its severity. Working adults, in particular, can benefit from technology to manage dyslexia.

If you are having trouble with your reading and writing or have a child or loved one battling dyslexia, give the team at Stepping Stones in Life Therapy Service a call on (08) 8985 6067. We’re located in Darwin and Alice Springs.


Barbara Kapser

Barbara Kapser

Barbara Kapser is our psychologist at Stepping Stones in Life Therapy Service in Darwin. She's a member with the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health.
She specialises in perinatal infant mental health, attachment disorders, developmental trauma and behaviour support.