In honor of dyslexia awareness month, Reading Horizons, a leading provider of literacy solutions for the K–12 education market, has launched a free online dyslexia screener. Parents and educators can access the non-diagnostic risk screener to identify indicators of dyslexia with the goal being earlier recognition and intervention. Studies show that approximately 10–20 percent of students struggle with factors related to dyslexia.
Dyslexia impacts virtually every experience a student will have in the classroom. Research shows that if a student is identified and receives targeted remediation by first grade, the educational consequences of dyslexia can be greatly reduced. The screener was developed by a team of reading and dyslexia specialists including psychologist Dr. Richard Selznick, author of several books on dyslexia and learning issues, who served as a consultant. The primary research sources for the screeners include “Overcoming Dyslexia” by Sally Shaywitz and “Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties” by David A. Kilpatrick as well as several studies. Links to the research behind each question are available on the screener.
“Schools benefit by screening students, whether they have characteristics of dyslexia or not, since many educators may be unfamiliar with the signs of dyslexia,” said Donell Pons, a reading and dyslexia expert and co-developer of the screener. “This is a good first step in obtaining valuable information. Informal screening that includes information from parents and educators can be done quickly and is an effective tool that can be completed at no cost. When teachers know what to look for, they are better able to support their students.”
The screener is available in four versions: one each for four and five year olds, six and seven year olds, eight years old and above, and adults. Each screener includes questions focused on the specific indicators of dyslexia that are developmental or appear as reading tasks become more complex. Parents are invaluable as a source of information to determine if there is a family history of reading problems and other early risk factors such as a child’s delay in speaking, difficulty with rhyming, or retaining letter names and sounds.
Once the screener has been completed, a list of the responses is generated along with recommendations based on the number of identified indicators. To learn more about how to identify, accommodate, and support students with dyslexia, watch Reading Horizons’ second-annual Online Dyslexia Summit.