Adult Dyslexia Checklist

The Adult Dyslexia Checklist (reproduced on the next page) is a list of 20 questions relating to the typical ‘symptoms’ of dyslexia. It is widely used (especially in colleges and universities) to assist in the process of identifying adults who have dyslexia. It is not copyright and so may be copied and used freely. Copies are widely available (including in books, magazines and on the internet) so an adult being screened or assessed for dyslexia may well have seen it before. For this reason (and because responses are highly subjective) it is vulnerable to falsification and misleading responses. Therefore it is not recommended that the check list is used as the sole means of identifying adults with dyslexia. However, it can be useful as part of an overall screening process and for exploring an individual’s particular difficulties. For further information on the Adult Dyslexia Checklist see Vinegrad (1994).

There is no set method for scoring the Adult Dyslexia Checklist. However, the authors have found the following rules of thumb to be useful.

Horne and Singleton (1997) reported on a study of 72 university clients with dyslexia. Clients falling into three categories of severity were found to be significantly different on the Adult Dyslexia Checklist and also on measures of reading, spelling and memorisation. However, although the Adult Dyslexia Checklist can be a useful general indicator, the authors have encountered cases in which it was strikingly inaccurate. These included one adult who scored only 2 on the Adult Dyslexia Checklist who was subsequently found to be dyslexic, and another adult scoring 19 on the Adult Dyslexia Checklist who was not found to be dyslexic (although he had general learning difficulties).

In the context of interpreting LADS Plus results (and especially individuals falling into the ‘Borderline’ category), the Adult Dyslexia Checklist can be useful, provided caution is exercised when drawing conclusions. Administrators should be confident that the client is answering the check list questions truthfully and (where possible) that the answers are consistent with what is known about the client.