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A. Difficulties in accuracy or fluency of reading that are not consistent with the person's chronological age, educational opportunities, or intellectual abilities.

Multiple sources of information are to be used to assess reading, one of which must be an individually administered, culturally appropriate, and psychometrically sound standardized measure of reading and reading-related abilities.

B. The disturbance in criterion A, without accommodations, significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require these reading skills.


  • Name change to dyslexia consistent with international use.
  • Wording needs to be consistent with the change in the U.S.’s reauthorized IDEA regulations (2004) which states that: “the criteria adopted by the State must not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability, as defined in 34 CFR 300.8(c)(10).”
  • There is little evidence to support the DSM-IV criterion of a substantial discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability (e.g., Fletcher et al., J Learn Disabil 1992; Vellutino et al J Learn Disabil 2000; Siegel LS, J Learn Disabil 1989; Stanovich KE, Learn Disabil Quarterly 2005; Stuebing K [2002,meta-analysis] Am Education Res Journal).
  • Reading fluency is included as a critical feature of reading acquisition: poor fluency is a key feature of dyslexia in adulthood; also poor fluency is a key feature of dyslexia in languages other than English (e.g., Bashir & Hook, 2009 Lang Speach Hear Services Sch; Share DL, 2008 Psychol Bull; Shaywitz,SE et al 2008 Annu Rev Psychol; Shaywitz et al. Biol Psychiatry 2003)
  • Recommend that reading comprehension per se be omitted from DSM-5, because individuals who have specific reading comprehension problems in the presence of good decoding skills, do not meet criteria for dyslexia. Such individuals typically are found to have poor oral language (as in communication disorders). However, specifc reading comprehension disorders could be coded under the newly proposed superordinate category of learning disability
  • Clarification of severity requirements and need for systematic assessment.


Reading Disorder

A. Reading achievement, as measured by individually administered standardized tests of reading accuracy or comprehension, is substantially below that expected given the person's chronological age, measured intelligence, and age

appropriate education.

B. The disturbance in Criterion A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading skills.

C. If a sensory deficit is present, the reading difficulties are in excess of those usually associated with it.

Coding note: If a general medical (e.g., neurological) condition or sensory deficit is present, code the condition on Axis III.

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