Dyslexia Assessment & Intervention
Our knowledgeable and experienced licensed psychologists assess students for characteristics of dyslexia. Recommendations for research based interventions can help your child improve their reading skills and grades and determine if your child may qualify for school dyslexia programs.
Dyslexia is a type of reading disorder that 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.
Studies show that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain than do non-dyslexics. Many people who are dyslexic are of average to above average intelligence.
Some common myths about dyslexia have been found to be untrue. Dyslexia is not characterized by mirror writing and is not more prevalent in boys than in girls. Interventions that stress eye training have not been found to be effective as dyslexia reflects a linguistic not visual deficit.
The first step in identifying a reading disorder is the assessment. Assessment of dyslexia involves integration of information from multiple sources including current assessment results, educational records, teacher reports and medical history. The student is assessed to determine the presence of the characteristics of dyslexia such as difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. Data is compiled into a report that can be used for documentation of dyslexia. Once the reading disorder has been identified, a plan to address the disorder is developed.
Research based interventions for dyslexia include the following:
Phonemic awareness instruction that enables students to detect, segment, blend, and manipulate sounds in spoken language
Graphophonemic knowledge (phonics) instruction that takes advantage of the letter-sound plan in which words that carry meaning are made of sounds, and sounds are written with letters in the right order (Students with this understanding can blend sounds associated with letters into words and can separate words into component sounds for spelling and writing.)
Language structure instruction that encompasses morphology (the study of meaningful units of language such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots), semantics (ways that language conveys meaning), syntax (sentence structure), and pragmatics (how to use language in a particular context)
Linguistic instruction directed toward proficiency and fluency with the patterns of language so that words and sentences are the carriers of meaning
Strategy-oriented instruction in the strategies students use for decoding, encoding, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension that students need to become independent readers