Could the Boder Test of Reading Spelling Patterns Help Determine If My Child Has Dyslexia?

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!

Does My Child Have a Reading Disability?

Reading is an important first step on a child’s path to success in life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child, has a high level of self -esteem and is able to easily make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. For many of us reading is a natural process and we can read with ease and pleasure. Unfortunately, for a child with a reading disability, the reading process can become a frustrating and negative experience and is often very difficult to master.

What is a Reading Disability?

A reading disability is an inherited condition that makes it extremely difficult to read, write, and spell despite at least an average intelligence.

Learning to read is a sequential process. Each new skill a child learns builds on the mastery of previously learned skills. First, a child learns to break down words into their most basic sounds, which we call decoding. Later on, the child begins to comprehend the meaning of words and sentences, which we call reading comprehension. Decoding is an essential step in the reading process since it forms the foundation of reading. For a child with a reading disability, decoding does NOT come naturally and is NOT an automatic process. Most reading experts will agree that decoding problems is the basis of most reading disabilities.

Does my child have a reading disability?

Some signs of a Reading Disability:

• Child has difficulties sounding out words
• Slow laborious reading
• Reads without expression
• Ignores punctuation while reading out loud
• Guesses based on first letter of word
• Puts extra sounds into a word
• Drops syllables
• Reverses sounds
• Struggles with spelling
• Substitutes small common words

If your child is struggling in reading and showing the above symptoms, there may be good reason for you to request an immediate assessment. As a parent you want to be certain that you are providing what is needed for your child to succeed in school. To know what is necessary, an assessment is the first thing to do in order to identify the issues to remedy.

What is an assessment?

An assessment is simply a standardized test performed by someone trained and licensed to understand how to give the test and how to interpret the results. Specialists trained to do psychological testing and result interpretation are:

• Clinical psychologist
• School psychologist
• Educational psychologist
• Developmental psychologist
• Neuropsychologist
• Speech and language therapist

How do I get help?

A child with a reading disability will take in and process information differently and needs to be taught by specialists. Students with a reading disability will need to work with a specially trained teacher, tutor, or reading specialist to learn how to read and spell. Students who have been assessed and diagnosed through the school district might qualify for Special Education Services. Children with a reading disability progress best with a sequential, repetitive, systematic and cumulative structured reading program. Fortunately, with the proper assistance and help, most students with a reading disability are able to learn to read and develop strategies to become successful readers.

When is the best time to get help?

Effective early intervention is the key to helping a struggling reader learn to read. This training needs to begin sooner rather than later for the best results. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 95% of children who have trouble learning to read can reach grade level if they receive specialized help early on. Kindergarten to the middle of first grade are the “window of opportunity” to prevent long term reading problems. Without early intervention, the “reading gap” might never close.

There is no reason why a child with a reading disability cannot learn to read and comprehend well. It is important that we never lower the expectations of a child with a reading disability. Children need to feel that even though they are struggling, they are loved and not being judged. So be encouraging and patient and praise often.