Dyslexia Warning Signs App

APP TESTER NEEDED: Dyslexia Warning Signs

Dyslexia Warning Signs app is a simple app designed for professionals that have no experience or knowledge with dyslexia, but who are professionals that parents come to for help. This app is currently in its testing phase and that is where I need your help. I am looking for parents who would be willing to download this free app on their iPad, take the questionnaire, and give me their feedback on the experience. Feedback should be emailed to apps@levelupdyslexia.com. I need feedback on look/feel, usability, information provided, and additional features that would be helpful. Thank you again for your help and support.

Download app on your iPad here. It’s free.

California Dyslexia Bill AB1369 Goes to Senate

AB1369 the CA dyslexia bill goes to the sent

AB1369 the CA dyslexia bill goes to the sent

The California dyslexia bill, AB1369, passed the CA house of representatives this week. It will now go the the Senate. It is on it’s way to the Senate rules committee and expected to go to Senate floor at the end of August.

The current bill adds the description of “phonological processing” as an aspect that qualification can utilize. It states that the state superintendent will develop program guidelines for dyslexia that are evidence-based for school year 2017-2018 and this guide will be available online. The bill currently reads as follows:

SECTION 1.

Section 56334 is added to the Education Code, to read:

56334.
 The state board shall include “phonological processing” in the description of basic psychological processes in Section 3030 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

SEC. 2.

Section 56335 is added to the Education Code, to read:

56335.
 (a) The Superintendent shall develop program guidelines for dyslexia to be used to assist regular education teachers, special education teachers, and parents to identify and assess pupils with dyslexia, and to plan, provide, evaluate, and improve educational services to pupils with dyslexia. For purposes of this section, “educational services” means an evidence-based, multisensory, direct, explicit, structured, and sequential approach to instructing pupils who have dyslexia.(b) The program guidelines shall include, but shall not be limited to, characteristics typical of pupils with dyslexia and strategies for their remediation, as well as information to assist educators in distinguishing between characteristics of dyslexia and characteristics of normal growth and development.(c) In developing program guidelines pursuant to subdivision (a), the Superintendent shall consult with teachers, school administrators, other educational professionals, medical professionals, parents, and other professionals involved in the identification and education of pupils with dyslexia.(d) The Superintendent shall complete the program guidelines in time for use no later than the beginning of the 2017–18 academic year.(e) The Superintendent shall disseminate the program guidelines through the department’s Internet Web site and provide technical assistance regarding their use and implementation to parents, teachers, school administrators, and faculty members in teacher training programs of institutions of higher education.
The screening of dyslexia and teacher training was removed following pressure from the CTA to kill the whole bill. The opposition from SELPA currently is that it will cost more money to identify students with phonological processing issues. While it is true that there will be more costs in assessments, in the long run, it will cost less, because students can get remediation early which will take much less time. CSBA also opposed the bill. After amendments were made, CTA changed their position to neutral, neither opposing nor supporting.
Parents have asked what they can do. I would guide you to Decoding Dyslexia for legislative updates. Parents can sign up for email updates and learn how they can have their voices heard. In addition, we need to educate those agencies that are opposing this bill. It will not be long before another bill is submitted to bring back screening and mandatory teacher education. We would like these agencies on our side. The best position is for members of these groups: CTA, SELPA administrators and CSBA to write to their organization headquarters asking for them to support dyslexia, screening and teacher training. Although outside parents can do this, it would be more effective to have their own members to advocate within their own organization.
I am grateful that all three votes to this point have been unanimous. With over 5500 letters from parents, teachers, administrators and politicians in support of this bill, capital hill is hearing the roar of families who are asking for support their their loved one with dyslexia. I will share more information as the legislative process continues and grows organically.

Why the DIBELS is not a Complete Screening for Dyslexia

DIBELS

DIBELS

Screening for dyslexia should include several measures. It should screen for rapid naming, phonemic awareness and sound to letter correspondence at it’s minimum. Family history of learning to read can be a significant factor as well.

Phonemic awareness is a major problem with those with dyslexia. This is the idea of knowing what a particular letter, or set of letters, called graphemes sounds like. Much of the literacy tasks, book, shows that you see on the market focus on initial sound literacy. A “cat” starts with the sound /k/. The problem is that many dyslexic students struggle with middle and last sound phonemic awareness. This is why it is so difficult for them to rhyme. Phonemic awareness includes many other tasks such as phoneme isolation, phoneme segmentation, and phoneme deletion.

Rapid naming is the ability to state the name of an object quickly. It is a necessary school for reading and fluency of reading. Although the DIBELS screens for the accuracy of reading, rapid naming is a critical skills used in this task.

The question is brought before us. If the only screening tool is the DIBELS, who is getting left out? The DIBELS is a well normed test. It screens for nonsense words in first grade, but is not normed beyond 1st grade. There needs to be a more robust screening. We need screening that would involve phonemic awareness that involves isolation, deletion beyond just segmentation.

Moreso, we need to not just do screening but to look at the data and what it is telling us about what intervention needs to be put into place. Data without action is useless.

I’m providing a great article from Dr. Wolf which further explains these two concepts.

Does My Child Have Dyslexia?

Reading a picture book

Reading a picture book

“Does my child have dyslexia?” is a common question for parents who’s children are struggling in reading. Some parents have never heard of dyslexia. Some people have heard of dyslexia, “isn’t that seeing backwards?”  Children with dyslexia often have written difficulties associated with letter reversals, but that does not mean that a child reads backwards. Below is a list of things that can be seen in children struggling with dyslexia, that is beyond writing reversals.

Guesses at a word: Children may see the beginning letter is a b and guess any word that starts with b. In the beginning of their reading journey the guessed word does not make sense to the context – bat, ball, bag, bear when the word is bicycle. As they get more savvy, the guessed word could fit the context – boat, bat mobile, hot air balloon, or any other vehicle that goes. A child who is guessing is not decoding words.

Unable to Rhyme: Early reader books and many picture books are written to rhyme. Stop before the second rhyming word and ask the child to guess what word is next. They have to think of a rhyming word that fits the context. The cat in the ____. Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder where you ____. Up above the sky so high, like a diamond in the _____. Inability to rhyme is very common for children with dyslexia. They can often struggle with the end sounds of a word, which is what rhyming is all about.

Inability to read a word more than once correctly. A dyslexic reader reads inconsistently. When they are beginning, not tired, they do better, but after a couple pages (or paragraphs…or even sentences) they get tired and aren’t able to use their coping strategies as well. A student may be able to read a word on one page (or line) but on the next page (or sentence) they cannot, as if it is a foreign word they have never encountered before. There can be a few reasons for the this. It’s possible that at the first encounter of the word they guessed correctly and the second they guessed incorrectly. Another possibility is that they decoded the word properly the first time, but when needing to decode it a second time they have become tired from decoding all the words in between (and before encountering that first word).

Little words are skipped or stumping. Prepositions don’t contain content, such as for, that, with.  The reader is just skimming to the next important word to give context to what they are reading. Prepositions seem insignificant to them, especially if they are an irregular word that can’t be decoded such as “of.”

Blending strain. A reader may be able to sound each sound out, but not retain in working memory their sounds to blend all the words together. If the reader sounds out a blend, they may not see “pl” blends and sounds out each letter separately. This makes for a more exhaustive reading experience.  Another blending error that is common is to use a sound from the previous word into the current word. So if the phrase is “wild frog,” they might say “wild dog.”

Loving pictures in books. Looking at pictures in a picture book gives clues to the story. It is why picture books exist. Most dyslexic children prefer picture books and as they get older will gravitate to graphic novels and comics. It may also due to the fact that they are typically right brained processors as well. You may find that when you turn a page, they put their hands on the page over the words in order to look at the pictures. This could be unintentional or intentional. One may also find that even though all the words are read by the adult, the child insists on continuing to review the picture prior to turning the page. They are reading the story by picture and most likely be able to tell you the story without ever reading a single words.

There are so many other signs, but I find these to be huge in the initial phase of learning to read.

If you want more information about dyslexia or want your child to be screened for dyslexia, contact Lisa.