Do you have a child who is in first grade who receives special education services but is already struggling with reading? Have you been told by special education personnel that you are worrying too soon, and that your child does not have dyslexia? Many school districts have a very narrow view of dyslexia which is harming many children all over the USA! This article will discuss definition of Dyslexia as well as a tool called the Boder Test of Reading Spelling Patterns; that may be used as part of an evaluation, to determine if your child has dyslexia.
The International Dyslezia Association defines dyslexia as: A specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent work recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities, and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
Many school districts do not define dyslexia this way, and many children go undiagnosed, which harms children. Why is this harmful? Because children are not able to get the special education services they need for their dyslexia, if they are not diagnosed properly.
A tool developed in the 1980’s called the Boder Test of Reading Spelling Patterns was designed to specifically aid in the diagnosis of dyslexia. The test is recommended to be included as part of a comprehensive (psychological) educational evaluation.
The test was developed to differentiate between the four subtypes of reading problems; one unspecific reading disability and to classify the three types of dyslexia. The three types of dyslexia are called: dysphonetic dyslexia, dyseidetic dyslexia and mixed dypsonetic/dyseidetic. Dysphonetic dyslexia means auditory dyslexia and Dyseidetic means visual dyslexia, and mixed dypsonetic/dyseidetic means both. Another article stated that this test is also used to provide guidelines for the remediation of all subtypes of dyslexia. This would be extremely helpful to parents and special education personnel.
As part of a comprehensive psychological evaluation the Boder test is helpful in determining if a child has dyslexia. A standardized achievement test like the Weschler Individual Achievement Test including the reading comprehension subtest, requires that the child engage in higher level comprehension, which could also show difficulties in reading. Also testing in the areas of: Speech/Language (receptive and expressive), visual and auditory perception, sensory integration, visual spatial, visual motor integration, occupational therapy, phonological awareness, phonological memory, rapid naming, work finding ability, nonsense word ability, reading comprehension, spelling and written expression will be needed.
All of this information can be used by the IEP team to help determine if your child has dyslexia, and determine type of remediation given. Research has shown that children with dyslexia need a multisensory reading and spelling program that uses a synthetic code emphasis approach. A few names of these types of programs are: Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, and Lindamood Bell, though you may find more by using a search engine such as Google.
Recommend this test to your school district as well as testing in the areas recommended above. You will well be on your way to helping your child learn to read and enriching the rest of their life. Good Luck!