Today I had a chance to catch up with a member of our Dyslexic Advantage community who had just heard the great news that her 17 year old son had been granted accommodations for both the SAT and ACT, including the calculator-free section of the new SAT. This family navigated several difficult transitions: private school to public gifted school, middle to high school, and now college entrance exams. Accommodations granted this student included: Double time for reading, computer for essay, extra breaks between test sessions, reader, double time for math, double time for essay, record answers in test book, 4-function calculator on non-calculator active sections Hooray! Mom sent all the previous evaluations from All Kinds of Minds (Mel Levine’s old system), but also old speech […]
So it's begun: states like South Carolina have begun making their first professional development for teachers explaining what dyslexia is and how teachers can meet their needs of the students in their classrooms. It's a start. However, if you look at the modules (see...
With new legislation moving schools toward early identification of students with dyslexia, teachers, classrooms, and districts are having to decide on which screener would be best for identifying students “at-risk.” For dyslexic students, presence of a reading gap has been detected as early as the first grade and early intervention is well-recognized to be beneficial. Universal screening in schools is a great idea – parents, teachers, and students should just be aware of the limits that a brief screening tool can have. Most early screeners will not include cognitive or intelligence tests (e.g. working memory, reasoning, ‘giftedness’) nor will they assess non-reading academic tasks such as math, writing, or spelling. They are a start, however, and will definitely be valuable for helping kids get the […]
A School Psychologist asks… Q: How Do I Identify Dyslexia? You may be surprised to learn that psychologists may not know how to identify dyslexia in the school setting. You may be even more surprised to learn that a NASP consensus statement recommended school psychologists avoid the term “dyslexia” all together. Thankfully, not all school psychologists agree with this statement or practice and perhaps since the Secretary of Education said there was no reason not to “Say Dyslexia”, the consensus may change. One insightful school psychologist blog offered this warning citing the NASP report: Warning! Bad Thinking Ahead. Excerpt: “There are several problems with that advice, not the least of which being that it flies in the face of various state legislative and education department initiatives. First and foremost, […]
I recently came across Bobby Gilman’s article on the critical issues facing twice-exceptional or Gifted LD students at school. It’s an ambitious paper for sure, but provides a solid big picture view of the challenges that 2E students face in their pursuit of an appropriate education. The challenges include states drastically scaling back services for students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) of which dyslexia is considered a part. Sometimes the issue is that the threshold for students to qualify for services is so prohibitively low (e.g. 5 or 12th percentile), that many students are missed and fall off any radar. Regarding Response to Intervention or RTI: Gilman et al. states: “RTI was not developed with gifted children in mind, and adaptation of its rules for gifted children […]
Florida Department of Education just released results of their Florida Standards Assessment or FSA Test. 46% of all of the public school children who took the test were below standard and 20% are at risk for being held back in the 3rd grade. What are these tests that can force 3rd graders to repeat a year? A sample 3rd grade reading passage (with questions and answers) is provided by the Department. The passage was clearly developmentally appropriate for 3rd graders – and ridiculous for dyslexic 3rd graders who are likely to make up 15% of every classroom. But don’t take just our word for it. When we put the 3rd grade FSA practice reading passage through a readability tool, What was the passage appropriate for? […]
“Two years after starting school, 1/3 of children who had experienced articulatory problems or whose language acquisition had been delayed were significantly behind in reading and spelling. By contrast, only one of twenty children in the control situation were behind.” – Dr. Marcel Just, Dyslexia Characteristics and Causes Although dyslexia is quite common (up to 15-20% of the population), many equate it as being a problem of reading, whereas there are a wide range of differences (as a group) between dyslexic and non-dyslexic individuals – including speech difficulties but also strengths. Speaking difficulties may be one of the earliest ‘signs’ of dyslexia including, but not limited to late talking, tendency to stutter / cluttering (rapid speech, irregular rate, rhythm, and sequence), word retrieval difficulties, mispronunciation […]