A CUP OF JOE
Dyslexia: Coming to a School Near You
by Joe Biondo, MA, Educational Consultant
If you haven’t heard by now, the Missouri legislature passed a law over a year and a half ago mandating schools to screen children for dyslexia annually. The specifics are still being ironed out, but it is to go into effect beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. As a result, I am writing to give you a little information as to what is meant by “screening,” and what it will mean for you.
First of all, Dyslexia is defined by the International Dyslexia Association and by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as,
“a specific learning disability (disorder) that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word 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.”
In general, the screening will focus on a specific set of skills that help predict a child’s performance on a larger set of skills that contribute to a level of academic proficiency. This will likely include children in kindergarten through 5th grade. In this case, the screening applies to reading proficiency at the basic level. This would include the recognition of letters, letter sounds, and sound symbol association both in isolation and combination (phonological awareness). The screening is not meant to diagnose dyslexia. It is simply a tool to be used with all students to detect the possibility of dyslexia. If a student fails the screening, then follow-up testing would be warranted.
Updated information will be provided within the April 2018 LDA Leader eNewsletter. If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the new dyslexia mandate further, please feel free to contact me at the office at 314-966-3088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about dyslexia screening, please register for our workshop:
FUNDAMENTALS OF DYSLEXIA SCREENING
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