Identifying Strengths and Challenges
Dyslexia screening is a process which involves gathering information to identify the factors contributing to a student’s difficulty with learning to read and spell. We gather information from parents and teachers to understand development and the educational opportunities that have been provided. Then, tests are given to identify strengths and weaknesses and a tentative road map for intervention is created. Conclusions and recommendations are developed and reported.
When a student is having difficulties with reading and spelling, an evaluation is important for three reasons.
- Diagnosis An effective evaluation identifies the likely source of the problem. It rules out other common causes of reading difficulties and determines if the student profile of strengths and weaknesses fit the definition of dyslexia.
- Intervention planning An effective evaluation develops a focused remedial program. Students who have a specific learning disability in reading (dyslexia) need a specialized approach to reading instruction to make progress. It is crucial that this specialized instruction begin at the student’s current level of reading skill development, rather than at the student’s grade level. An effective evaluation helps parents and teachers see which specific skills are weak and where reading and spelling instruction should begin.
- Documentation An effective evaluation documents the history of a student’s learning disability. One purpose of this documentation is to determine eligibility for special services, including special education. Documentation is also important for obtaining accommodations on college entrance exams (ACT, SAT), in college, or in the workplace.