11/17/2022 3 Comments
Are There Different Types of Dyslexia?
So, what exactly is Dyslexia?
Well, let's start with the most widely accepted definition created in 2002 by the National Institute Of Child Health and Development:
"Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge."
So, now that we have the formalities out of the way - let's unpack that!
Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading. What I mean by unexpected is that Dyslexia is unexpected in relation to the student's cognitive ability, motivation, and exposure to reasonably effective reading instruction.
It is highly hereditary in nature. Research actually shows us that there is a 50% chance of diagnosis when a parent or sibling has it.
The core weakness in Dyslexia is related to students' accurate and efficient pairing between the sounds in words (phonological processing) and their corresponding letter or letter patterns. This often results in lagging skills in sight word recognition, decoding, overall reading fluency, and can also impact spelling. And then as a result of word reading difficulties, students with dyslexia are exposed to a significantly smaller volume of expository and narrative texts, thereby limiting their development of vocabulary and background knowledge. This is referred to as the Matthew Effect. Students with Dyslexia can also have lagging skills in spoken language and struggle to express themselves clearly or comprehend what others mean when they speak.
So now that you know what Dyslexia is, did you know that there are subtypes of Dyslexia?
Distinct groups or subtypes of Dyslexic readers have emerged in a series of research studies conducted over the last twenty years. So researchers have attempted to group commonly observed behaviors into different categories.
The most common subtypes include a Phonological Deficit and a Naming Speed Deficit.
The phonological subtype impacts phonological awareness and decoding, sight word and passage accuracy. This subtype is characterized as below average performance on standardized measures of phonemic awareness and assessments of decoding, sight word and/or passage accuracy. These weaknesses impact accuracy of reading single words and connected text.
The Naming Speed Subtype impacts Rapid Automatized Naming, Decoding Efficiency, Sight Word Efficiency, and Passage Fluency. Naming speed deficits are characterized by below average performance on standardized measures of rapid automatized naming, particularly subtests involving letter naming, and measures of decoding word reading efficiency (i.e. timed measures of sight word recognition and decoding). These weaknesses impact fluency in reading sentences and passages.
The combination of both deficits in some students results in a reading impairment that is more severe than in students with a single deficit. The Double Deficit Subtype includes impairments in both phonological and naming speed subtypes. Students with a double deficit demonstrate below average performance in both areas. These weaknesses impact accuracy of reading single words and connected text and fluency in reading sentences and passages.
Regardless of the subtype, Dyslexia is a neurological disability, but the exact cause is still unclear. Despite this, brain imaging shows differences in the way a Dyslexic brain develops and functions. Specifically, Dyslexic brains have been found to have difficulties in identifying separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds
Dyslexia is not the result of the daily struggle of learning to read, but rather the result of a unique neurological profile. And as a result, the impact of Dyslexia is different for each person.
We used to think it was more visual in nature, meaning that the disability could be seen in things like letter reversals, seeing or reading words backwards, or letter confusions, but...
Research now shows us that it is not a visual disability, but rather, it is a language-based disability. The "visual" issues that we observe are actually indicative of difficulties with recalling letter symbols for sounds and letter patterns in words.
Happy & Healthy Teaching!
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Brady, Susan. 2019. âThe 2003 IDA definition of dyslexia: A call for changes.â Perspectives on Language and Literacy 45, no. 1: 15-21.
Keys to Literacy, Understanding Dyslexia, course
Kilpatrick, David A. "Essentials of assessing, preventing, and overcoming reading difficulties." Hoboken, New Jersey : Wiley, 2015.
Shaywitz, Sally E., and Bennett A. Shaywitz. 2020. Overcoming Dyslexia: Second Edition, Completely Revised and Updated. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
10/22/2022 0 Comments
Can schools diagnose Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that impacts a student's ability to learn to read.
Federal guidance endorses the use of the term Dyslexia during evaluation, eligibility determinations, and IEP documents when students meet the criteria as outlined in the most widely accepted definition of Dyslexia. In most states, though, Dyslexia falls under the educational disability category of a Specific Learning Disability.
Teams of educators including school psychologists, reading specialists, speech and language pathologists, and special educators can determine if students meet the criteria for Dyslexia (or a Specific Learning Disability) during eligibility testing and/or re-evaluations.
So, can schools diagnose Dyslexia?
Well, we are not doctors so we cannot "diagnose" student. BUT we can find students eligible for Special Education services under an educational disability category of a Specific Learning Disability.
And because Federal guidance endorses the use of the term Dyslexia during Special Education evaluations, eligibility determinations, and IEP documents when students meet the criteria as outlined in the most widely accepted definition of Dyslexia, we can say things like...
"Based on our evaluation results, the team agrees that the student is demonstrating characteristics of Dyslexia."
"The student meets the criteria for Dyslexia based upon the evaluations that were conducted."
"When considering the student's scores against the most widely accepted definition of Dyslexia, the Team can conclude that the student meets criteria for Dyslexia."
Happy & Healthy Teaching!
9/17/2022 0 Comments
What are the signs of Dyslexia?
The indicators of Dyslexia can be easy to identify when you know what to look for in a student! But remember...
these are just a guide!
Each individual student has a unique profile, and testing is required to determine a reading disability.
Happy and Healthy Teaching!
10/23/2021 0 Comments
Intervention Instruction for Dyslexia
What do you do when a student struggles to read?
A reader who struggles to recognize and understand the letters and sounds in words is a candidate for intervention instruction. When a reader spends too much time trying to recognize letters and then recalling their corresponding, more time is spent on decoding the words than on understanding a text.
Since the English language is an alphabetic language, a student must be able to efficiently link sounds to the letters that represent the sounds in text. So when students struggle to do this with automaticity, they struggle to learn to read..
Research shows that for students with learning difficulties, learning is hard. These students do not benefit from more of the same, whether that be instruction or curriculum.
What these students do benefit from is expert teaching. The more difficulties students demonstrate when learning to read, the more systematic and direct the instruction should be.
What is structured literacy? And how does it support students with reading disabilities?
The term ‘Science of Reading’ refers to a comprehensive body of reading research on how we learn to read. This research has been in the making for over twenty years and includes scientific knowledge, spanning across many languages, and incorporating the work of experts from relevant domains, ranging from the field of education and literacy to psychology and neurology, and more. This body of research has helped us to debunk older methods purported as effective reading instruction. Such methods were based upon tradition and observational data, no evidence as experts assert as being best practice.
The Science of Reading is a conclusive, empirically supported research that offers knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of how students learn to read, the skills that are required for efficient reading, how they work together, and which parts of the brain are responsible for reading development.
From this research, teachers have an evidence-based best practice approach for teaching foundational literacy skills called Structured Literacy. Structured Literacy emphasizes a purposeful, direct, systematic, and explicit reading and language arts instructional framework for instructing students to decipher words in prints and to focus on the goal of reading, which is to learn, enjoy, and comprehend text, through individualized instruction, informed by deliberate assessment.
10/9/2021 2 Comments
Universal Dyslexia Screeners
Are there more students with dyslexia now than there were previously?
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States. Dyslexia impacts one in five students, or about 20% of our student population.
Experts say that there are not more people with Dyslexia than in previous times; however, there are more students with Dyslexia being appropriately identified.
The National Institute of Health has found dyslexia is identifiable from age 5.5 years with 92% accuracy. And The International Dyslexia Association recommends screening every student for Dyslexia.
Stats and recommendations like those are partly why many states have introduced Dyslexia laws. These laws include the requirement of public school districts to administer Dyslexia screenings to all students.
Currently, Dyslexia screenings are required in 43 U.S. states as of March 2019, according to the National Center on Improving Literacy. Other reasons for this change are due to our increased knowledge of learning disabilities and the science of reading instruction.
But what are Dyslexia screeners?
There are students with dyslexia in nearly every classroom. About 20 percent of the United States’ population is affected by dyslexia. This means that in your classroom one out of every five students has a language-based learning disability.
Dyslexia is a highly prevalent disability.
So when dyslexia comes to the classroom, what can a teacher do to help?