When considering the estimates that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia and that there are successful teaching methods available for this population, one might wonder why our education system does not have standard practices to identify and help these students. In addition, with the new research suggesting that students with dyslexia also exhibit cognitive based strengths compared to those without dyslexia, perhaps one might consider it to be a learning difference and not a disability. Sadly, without a diagnosis in hand, our current education paradigm dooms these struggling learners to maintain the same ill-instruction.
With a Whole Classroom of Students, How Can I Help?
Have you ever come across a bright and creative student that is struggling in class? Reading is labored, decoding is difficult, spelling is poor, writing is challenging and their grades just don't reflect their abilities? Did you ever wonder whether he or she may have dyslexia? With a large classroom of students, it can feel overwhelming to assess and address the needs of a single student. However, you can help all your students receive the needed attention and accommodations so that they can reach their true potential.
What are the steps?
- Use the free Good Sensory Learning dyslexia screener. This quick 20-question assessment can be administered and scored by a parent/guardian, teacher, or taken by the individual who may have dyslexia. This will help to determine whether there is enough symptomology to warrant formal testing.
- Ask the parents to request formal testing through the local school district for students 18 and under. For older individuals or testing outside the school system, local professionals can administer the needed tests. One place to find these experts is through the International Dyslexia Association provider directory. If the individual in question does not require educational or workplace accommodations of any kind, then the Good Sensory Learning Dyslexia Screener can be used as an informal evaluation.
- After a formal diagnosis has been made and properly documented, one may contact one's school or workplace and request a meeting to determine “reasonable accommodations.” Please note that the DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is the manual that is used to diagnose disabilities. It includes codes for all mental health disorders. At present, dyslexia falls under the category Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in reading.
The Free Good Sensory Learning Dyslexia Screener
The Good Sensory Learning Dyslexia Screener is a 20-question screener that offers a simple, Likert scale assessment that addresses all the common symptoms revealed in the research. It is an informal evaluation and is best used to indicate whether formal testing should be pursued. CLICK HERE to download your free copy.
Once Diagnosed, How Can I Help a Student with Dyslexia?
If you would like to learn about products that can assist with the remediation of dyslexia, CLICK HERE.
Are There Other Screeners?
Yes, you can also get copies of my
- Executive Functioning Screener - CLICK HERE to learn more.
- Working Memory Screener - CLICK HERE to learn more.
- Dysgraphia Screener - CLICK HERE to learn more.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
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