Cassidy MacNamara is conducting a screening for dyslexia among students at a Bridgeport elementary school with the help of an animated toucan named Pip. She has introduced students to Pip the Toucan, the star of EarlyBird, an award-winning diagnostic application developed by neuroscientists at Boston Children’s Hospital to screen for signs of dyslexia. Pip is the application’s mascot and interacts with students to keep the process engaging.
This is a great list of common clues to recognize dyslexia in younger children. If you suspect your student may have dyslexia, early assessment and intervention is the most important thing you can do for your child! Photo from: Ascend Learning Center
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has chosen EarlyBird as an approved early literacy screening assessment. Developed and scientifically validated at Boston Children’s Hospital in partnership with faculty at the Florida Center for Reading Research, EarlyBird is a game-based screener that brings together all the relevant predictors of reading in one easy-to-administer assessment.
Research results show that brain regions in the reading network change more in first and second grade. Reading interventions such as speech therapy often start only in the third year, because there must be an ongoing problem. But by then, the reading grid will no longer be plastic. If you want to prevent further deficits, it is best to intervene when these brain areas are most likely to improve.
In further development of the reading regions on the left side of the brain, they no longer found any structural differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic children. They develop similarly. But discrimination that already existed in preschool age is no longer compensated for without early intervention.
Read the story from master chef James Martin in our link for today. He was not aware that he had dyslexia until he was 30 years old. Read his story of struggles and how it has affected him, although he still was able to build a great career.
Starting in the 2022-23 school year, every Kindergarten through third grade student who is reading below grade level will be screened for dyslexia.
The State Board of Education voted to approve screening assessment providers in its Thursday meeting. School districts will have the upcoming school year to determine which assessment they want to use.
Research suggests as many as 17% of children are affected by dyslexia, which hinders one’s ability to recognize and decode words, as well as the sounds associated with printed language. Spotting and addressing dyslexia is as essential to a young student’s learning and development as is identifying those students who are nearsighted or need help hearing.
“Despite the number of students impacted, the considerable advances in research, and the increase in dyslexia-related legislation in the U.S., early identification and targeted education of students with dyslexia in public schools remains a challenge,”
Colorado education officials were set to select five elementary schools for the one-year, $92,000 pilot program in late April. By the application deadline Friday, just five schools had applied, and state education officials are still determining if they all meet participation requirements.
New dyslexia screening efforts in Denver and Boulder — plus the possible state pilot — come amid a nationwide push to boost reading achievement, including by paying closer attention to students with reading-related disabilities. Experts estimate that dyslexia affects 5% to 15% of the population. In Colorado, that could be more than 100,000 school-age children.
Havas Lynx Group has developed Andi Goes with a dual purpose – a book that for children acts as a fable to encourage them to embrace what makes them different, whilst for parents, the book helps to spot any possible early signs of the condition.
The book is written to include key words and phrases that may give an indication of dyslexia, such as using Fry’s first 100 words (the main words a child should read by the age of six) and in the parents’ guide at the rear of the book, there are tips on how to spot things like corrective partial decoding (where a child who finds it hard to visualise a word correctly – has a stab at it, a bit like predictive text). Signs within the guide are not meant to act as a diagnosis in themselves but are simply there to inform parents, to help them gain the confidence to push further, get professional help and, if needed, a diagnosis. Seeing these signs early is vital to the future of the child’s development and education.
Recent articles and position statements have been calling for pediatricians to view literacy as a developmental domain and to participate in screening for future literacy concerns as early as preschool age.1-4 As a pediatrician, I agree wholeheartedly with one article’s statement that “The development of reading proficiency in childhood is a public health issue.”1 There is robust evidence linking lack of reading proficiency with school failure, negative impact on meaningful employment, increased risk of involvement in the criminal justice and welfare systems, as well as mental health consequences of reduced self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. As pediatricians we should be aware of and attempt to modify all of these negative outcomes by helping to identify risk factors for future reading disabilities and referring our struggling readers for further evaluation and remediation if available……….
While there are some very robust and mature diagnostic tests currently available, they rely on the skill and experience of trained experts in the field to carry out. Could there be a way to automate the process using tools like machine learning? Could such systems prove to be more accurate and expedient in identifying potential dyslexics?
From Mississippi comes the free Dyslexia screener that teachers can use to screen their students and find out in an early stage if they should have more testing done and be a possible candidate for extra help with reading and writing.
People taking the Dystech test supply a date of birth and email before being presented with a series of words on the screen. Users then repeat the words aloud with the audio being recorded for analysis.
The test, available through a mobile app or in the browser, takes around 10 minutes to complete.
The audio is automatically analysed by the algorithm to determine the likelihood of dyslexia. While the test can’t provide a diagnosis and Dystech does not offer medical advice, Richard says it returns a percentage likelihood of dyslexia as well as metrics on reading reaction time and average reading time.
The results can give an indication if users should seek an official diagnosis – currently only able to be provided by a psychologist.
The “Read My Frustration” campaign aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of dyslexia in Australia and draw attention to the unnecessary pain and frustration caused by unrecognised dyslexia. We know early identification, reading instruction informed by science, and supportive classroom environments would allow all dyslexics to achieve their potential.
Cognitive-behavioral research has revealed that there are early literacy skill deficits that represent red flags for dyslexia risk and can be measured at a preschool age. Altogether, this evidence points to dyslexia as a disorder that can be flagged by a pediatrician before school entry, during a period of heightened brain plasticity when interventions are more likely to be effective.
The most effective intervention is early, hopefully before the child reaches second grade. But, even before they enter school, they will exhibit some clues. They may have trouble learning to speak and doing such things as learning nursery rhymes as a result of memory and attention span difficulties. Kids with dyslexia also have difficulty recognizing letters and sounds, reading comprehension, and have poor spelling and letter recognition.