Special Education Services Evaluation Process for Dyslexia Oklahoma State Department of Education

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The DSM-5-TR refers to disordered problems with reading as a Specific Learning Disorder, with impairment in reading. This assessment for Dyslexia encompasses the criteria of dyslexia, but also includes problems with word reading accuracy, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. I prefer this more comprehensive definition of a learning disorder in reading because it accounts for other factors that can contribute to reading problems, and in my opinion, helps to identify more children with reading problems. The school multidisciplinary team determines what tests and assessments are necessary to complete a thorough evaluation. To be eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act , multidisciplinary team findings must demonstrate that the disability of dyslexia has a significant impact on student performance. The bottom line is that schools cannot diagnose dyslexia (check out our blog “Why Can’t My School Diagnose Learning Disabilities” to learn more).

The student who puts odd letter combinations together, such as kpz, does not have a strong sense of English orthography. The first and second steps in Figure 1 pertain to demonstrating evidence of low achievement in reading. In thinking about Sam, Monica and the eligibility team would first consider data specific to Sam’s reading performance that were collected as part of the prereferral (i.e., RTI) process.

Federal law states that eligibility for SLD must consider a student’s response to intervention or classroom instruction, commonly called Response to Intervention or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support . These terms reference educational research demonstrating that appropriate early intervention, provided in kindergarten through grade three, is very effective in closing the gap for struggling readers. Early intervention or additional direct instruction should begin as early as kindergarten or first grade for struggling readers when the gap is small and students benefit from brain plasticity advantages for learning language-based information.

Dyslexia Testing and Assessment

However, having a name for the learning struggles is a huge relief, and clarity always lights the way for the best path forward. We have yet to meet a parent or child who has regretted getting a formal diagnosis of dyslexia. A diagnosis of dyslexia helps a person understand that the reading difficulties are due to a brain difference, not lack of intelligence. Dyslexia tests that target reading comprehension are usually interested in either literal comprehension, inferential comprehension, or both. Literal comprehension is a reader’s understanding of the events and information in a text.

Comprehensive testing can take longer, especially with non-psychologists involved, but this is still less than a day total. As one clinic in Australia points out, a complete assessment with intelligence testing and academic strengths tests takes hours of a psychologist’s time. In other words, it takes up to two working days by the time a report is written. Some tests can assess a child’s ability to read rapidly and quickly. Offer encouragement by praising your child’s talents and strengths. Talk to 讀寫障礙評估 so they can provide the services and support that your child needs to succeed.

Your child may take a set of educational tests and have the process and quality of reading skills analyzed by a reading expert. Dyslexia is defined as an unexpected difficulty in learning to read. Dyslexia takes away an individual’s ability to read quickly and automatically, and to retrieve spoken words easily, but it does not dampen their creativity and ingenuity. The first challenge that parents of struggling students face is finding out “who on earth actually diagnoses dyslexia?!?

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It also makes it difficult for students to do well on timed tests. Students with both the naming speed deficit and the phonological processing deficit are considered to have a “double deficit.” Students with the double deficit have more severe difficulties than those with only one of the two. There is often confusion about the terms used to label or describe a reading problem. Clinicians and researchers use different terminology than the schools. For example, medical professionals, psychologists, and other practitioners outside of the school often use the term dyslexia, reading disorder, and specific learning disorder.

– Measures of single-word (real word and nonsense word) reading in both timed and untimed measures.

Good evaluators will also schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss the results. Some people may fear that a diagnostic label could create or exacerbate stigma. This is understandable, given the widespread misunderstandings about dyslexia in our culture.

In fact, according to the National Institute of Health , reading disabilities can be diagnosed as early as age 5 1/2, or the last half of kindergarten. A school evaluation focuses on determining if a child qualifies for an IEP under an IDEA disability category. A private neuropsychological evaluation can be sought to provide a diagnosis which is different from the IDEA disability categories. Measuring these requires a variety of educational, psychometric and psychological tests. This is why it is important for an assessor to be conversant with technical terms and broader developments in the field.

This means at the very least we need to have some picture of a student’s expressive and receptive vocabulary and their listening/oral comprehension ability. There are TONS of tests you can use to get a picture of this ability depending on qualifications and background but we like to use the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-4) in our clinic to get a very basic picture of these skills. Orthographic competence is the ability for a student to see visual symbols of a letter and quickly attribute meaning to the symbol. We like to use the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2) Rapid Naming subtests, the Word Identification & Spelling Test , or another measure of rapid naming to get a clear picture of a student’s orthographic competence. Thinking back to that literacy processing triangle (….you know the one we are obsessed with) we absolutely must be able to measure all the connection points. Students with dyslexia will usually have relatively circumscribed weaknesses in areas such as phonological processing, but their broad oral language comprehension will typically be in the average range or higher.

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