Through the use of various screening instruments and achievement measures, a number of children are identified as possible reading disability cases. Once identified, these children are subjected to further testing usually with a reading diagnostic test which attempts to identify specific strengths and weaknesses in performance. Discussions with school psychologists, educational diagnosticians, and teachers of children with reading disabilities suggest that much credence is still placed on profile analysis of diagnostic reading test data as suggested by their authors (Durrell, 1957: Karlsen, Madden, and Gardner, 1966) among others. Reviews by Wechsler (1974), Sattler (1974) and Hirshoren and Kavale (1977), in the area of intelligence testing, provide appropriate cautions regarding the practice of profile analysis. Since it is not unusual to find remedial programs developed at least in part on these profiles, it might be profitable to examine why profile analysis adds spurious specificity and misatriculated authority to quasi diagnostic statements.
Kavale, K., & Hirshoren, A. (1977). Profile Analysis of Diagnostic Reading Tests: Is It Warranted?. Reading Horizons, 18 (1). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol18/iss1/7