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Dyslexia testing

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My 6th grader is in public school currently.  I homeschooled her for K-2, 4, and the first half of grade 5.  For many reasons I suspect she may have dyslexia, but her school teacher disagrees with me and won’t request to have her evaluated.  There is no way we could afford to have her tested privately, nor do we have insurance.  Is the diagnosis really important, or should I just start working with her at home?  Her main issue is with spelling, but as she gets older I’m starting to see a bit of a deficit in reading as well.

Some of the things I have noticed through the years of homeschooling:  letter reversals till grade 5 at least, and I think even this year she really has to concentrate to get them correct.  Poor spelling, even simple words.  Today’s example was the word “idea”.  She spelled it idia.  Lately I’ve noticed a bit of a stutter when she reads out loud, kind of like she is tripping over words.  She has difficulty reading larger unfamiliar words.  There is also possibly dyslexia in the family, though never tested.  My father-in-law quite possibly has it, as well as my sister-in-law.  Neither of them finished school, and reading and spelling have always been difficult for them.

TIA for any advice 😊

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The diagnosis is important if you want her to have accommodations.  It is also potentially important if there is something else other than dyslexia that might be discovered.

You can probably make a formal demand for an evaluation via school even if her teacher doesn’t agree.  Or maybe next year a teacher would agree. The school may still legally be able to say no if they don’t see a problem.  Even if they test it might not tell you specifically if she has “dyslexia”.  

If you have Scottish Rite in your area I gather they can sometimes do free dyslexia evaluation. 

 

However, if it were me, I’d probably just work with her at home.  

Personally, I would prioritize reading over spelling. I pretty much gave up on spelling with my son. Reading well still seems very important to me—both decoding aspects and comprehension. Even if a text to speech program can be used comprehension will remain important.  IMO.  

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Are you in a public school? If so, you don't need a teacher's permission to request an evaluation. I would definitely do that as soon as you can. While you wait for the results, you can start working with her at home. 

I'm really intrigued by the High Noon reading program. Your daughter might be a better fit for level 2, or maybe part way through level 1. Some people on this board recommended it to me, and I'm going to order it this week 🙂 https://www.highnoonbooks.com/detailHNB.tpl?action=search&cart=15388331365529339&eqskudatarq=S8271-8&eqTitledatarq=High Noon Reading-Level 1&eqvendordatarq=ATP&bobby=[bobby]&bob=[bob]&TBL=[tbl]

I use the Wilson program. It's fairly cheap, and it teaches eeeevvvverrrything. Every little thing gets thoroughly explained and practiced. 

You can probably start doing something, using any program you choose - and then you'll find out how severe her deficits are, and change your plan if you need to. 

Teaching reading is fun 🙂 You can do it!

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3 hours ago, Pen said:

The diagnosis is important if you want her to have accommodations.  It is also potentially important if there is something else other than dyslexia that might be discovered.

You can probably make a formal demand for an evaluation via school even if her teacher doesn’t agree.  Or maybe next year a teacher would agree. The school may still legally be able to say no if they don’t see a problem.  Even if they test it might not tell you specifically if she has “dyslexia”.  

If you have Scottish Rite in your area I gather they can sometimes do free dyslexia evaluation. 

 

However, if it were me, I’d probably just work with her at home.  

Personally, I would prioritize reading over spelling. I pretty much gave up on spelling with my son. Reading well still seems very important to me—both decoding aspects and comprehension. Even if a text to speech program can be used comprehension will remain important.  IMO.  

Thanks for your advice!  I’m in Canada and fairly certain we do not have a Scottish Rite anywhere around here.  Do you have any recommendations on programs for working on reading?

2 hours ago, Mainer said:

Are you in a public school? If so, you don't need a teacher's permission to request an evaluation. I would definitely do that as soon as you can. While you wait for the results, you can start working with her at home. 

I'm really intrigued by the High Noon reading program. Your daughter might be a better fit for level 2, or maybe part way through level 1. Some people on this board recommended it to me, and I'm going to order it this week 🙂 https://www.highnoonbooks.com/detailHNB.tpl?action=search&cart=15388331365529339&eqskudatarq=S8271-8&eqTitledatarq=High Noon Reading-Level 1&eqvendordatarq=ATP&bobby=[bobby]&bob=[bob]&TBL=[tbl]

I use the Wilson program. It's fairly cheap, and it teaches eeeevvvverrrything. Every little thing gets thoroughly explained and practiced. 

You can probably start doing something, using any program you choose - and then you'll find out how severe her deficits are, and change your plan if you need to. 

Teaching reading is fun 🙂 You can do it!

She is in public school currently.  And we are in Canada, so I’m not sure if that is different.  We requested the evaluation through her teacher.  Her teacher went through some of her work with the resource teacher and neither of them saw the need for an evaluation.  From what I can tell, someone in the school has to make the recommendation for an evaluation.  So if they do not see the need for it, it doesn’t happen.  My husband is not too happy with the teacher, so he is pushing back.  We will see what happens.  Thank you for the recommendations for programs!  I will check those out.

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Oh, see in the US the parent has the legal right to make the request. Sorry. :(

If you can't get them to help, then what can you make happen? You might move on to what needs to happen and what you can do about it.

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13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Oh, see in the US the parent has the legal right to make the request. Sorry. 😞

If you can't get them to help, then what can you make happen? You might move on to what needs to happen and what you can do about it.

My husband is pushing, so I’m hoping it will happen, but I’m looking into what I can do to help her in the meantime.

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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

https://bartonreading.com/students/#ss  The Barton screening is free and will give you some useful info no matter what program you consider doing.

Can you pay a private SLP to run language testing? She may have narrative language deficits, vocabulary deficits, syntax issues, etc that would show up.

Thank you!  I was going to use the free tests at Lexercise and Dynaread.  I thought maybe showing the results to the teacher would make a difference.

I’ve heard that private testing can costs thousands of dollars, which is just not possible right now.

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Also go to https://mindwingconcepts.com/ and read. They have videos and tons you can learn for free. It was developed by an SLP working in a dyslexia school.

The TILLS is a newer literacy test hitting multiple areas.,SLP testing is usually half the price of psych and might be more informative to you. Your insurance might cover the SLP eval. And if not look at the TILLS subtests and realize the areas you need to be looking at. 

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

It's not a dyslexia test or a placement test but a screening tool for basic skills she'd need to succeed in ANY program. If you do it report back and people will help you decide how to proceed. 

The RISE is only $5. https://rise.serpmedia.org/

 

 

3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Also go to https://mindwingconcepts.com/ and read. They have videos and tons you can learn for free. It was developed by an SLP working in a dyslexia school.

The TILLS is a newer literacy test hitting multiple areas.,SLP testing is usually half the price of psych and might be more informative to you. Your insurance might cover the SLP eval. And if not look at the TILLS subtests and realize the areas you need to be looking at. 

Thank you so much!  This has been brewing in my mind for a LONG time, and I’m ready to just do something about it.

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We're in Canada also.  We ended up doing testing through a local university and it was $500.  Not sure if that's an option for you or not.  In our case, the testing itself didn't actually tell us anything we didn't already know, but I'm glad we had it done so that we have accommodations, if needed.  Creating a paper trail in elementary school AND in high school is important.  I've heard that the school system really starts to buck accommodations if they haven't been tested in elementary.  I imagine this varies from school to school, but we decided to make sure we had things in place now.  As our tester pointed out, even if she doesn't need many accommodations in school, having them in place ensures she gets them in university too - and seriously - being allowed extra time (for example) on a uni exam is a huge game changer!  

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Here's another article to show you the kinds of things you might be looking for and why. As Jess is saying, a psych eval tends to be superficial on language and more big picture (ADHD, other SLDs, etc.) and not get into the nitty gritties of what needs to happen. If you can find an SLP who specializes in literacy, they could run these more language-specific evals and actually give you an actionable plan of what needs to happen. Dyslexia is considered a language disability, so you may need to address more than decoding. https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/what-makes-an-independent-speech-language-literacy-evaluation-a-good-evaluation/

Edited by PeterPan

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4 hours ago, Jess4879 said:

We're in Canada also.  We ended up doing testing through a local university and it was $500.  Not sure if that's an option for you or not.  In our case, the testing itself didn't actually tell us anything we didn't already know, but I'm glad we had it done so that we have accommodations, if needed.  Creating a paper trail in elementary school AND in high school is important.  I've heard that the school system really starts to buck accommodations if they haven't been tested in elementary.  I imagine this varies from school to school, but we decided to make sure we had things in place now.  As our tester pointed out, even if she doesn't need many accommodations in school, having them in place ensures she gets them in university too - and seriously - being allowed extra time (for example) on a uni exam is a huge game changer!  

 

3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Here's another article to show you the kinds of things you might be looking for and why. As Jess is saying, a psych eval tends to be superficial on language and more big picture (ADHD, other SLDs, etc.) and not get into the nitty gritties of what needs to happen. If you can find an SLP who specializes in literacy, they could run these more language-specific evals and actually give you an actionable plan of what needs to happen. Dyslexia is considered a language disability, so you may need to address more than decoding. https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/what-makes-an-independent-speech-language-literacy-evaluation-a-good-evaluation/

You have all been so helpful in giving me some direction!  Thanks!  I will definitely look into those options and see what I can find around here.

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17 hours ago, featherhead said:

Thanks for your advice!  I’m in Canada and fairly certain we do not have a Scottish Rite anywhere around here.  Do you have any recommendations on programs for working on reading?

 

I used primarily HighNoon with my son as what finally worked for him.  He was a non-reader when I started, not merely a weak reader.  

I’ll check where Mainer linked it above and see if that goes to what we used.

If you search, I have written posts giving more detail on exactly how we used it.  

I also emphasized typing skills, starting with www.talkingfingers.com , which helped to some degree with reading and spelling also. When done with talking fingers, my son used Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum, which is largely games based. 

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19 hours ago, Mainer said:

 

Yes.  That’s it.  Level 1 is one syllable words.  Level 2 is 2 syllable words.

There are numerous high interest/ low level readers also.  

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Here is a phonemic awareness test, if she fails any of it, get Kilpatrick's book "Equipped for Reading Success" to start working on it.

https://jukebox.esc13.net/vgcdeveloper/TargetedResources/LAA_G2-3_TaRe_PAST.pdf

Book Excerpts:

https://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Professional Development/Webinars/Handouts/Excerpts from Equipped for Reading Success.pdf

Book to buy, good instructions, hundreds of phonemic awareness drills:

https://www.thereadingleague.org/shop/equipped-for-reading-success-2016-book-by-david-kilpatrick/

I would work through my syllables course, if focuses on multi-syllable words. You'll probably need to work through it several times, it will click better after any phonemic awareness is done.  If you give me the MWIA scores, take the MWIA 3 short, I'll have a better idea of how it might go.  The tests are at the end of my syllables page.

Also, how did you teach her to read? Did you use any sight words taught as wholes?

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

 

 

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13 minutes ago, ElizabethB said:

Here is a phonemic awareness test, if she fails any of it, get Kilpatrick's book "Equipped for Reading Success" to start working on it.

https://jukebox.esc13.net/vgcdeveloper/TargetedResources/LAA_G2-3_TaRe_PAST.pdf

Book Excerpts:

https://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Professional Development/Webinars/Handouts/Excerpts from Equipped for Reading Success.pdf

Book to buy, good instructions, hundreds of phonemic awareness drills:

https://www.thereadingleague.org/shop/equipped-for-reading-success-2016-book-by-david-kilpatrick/

I would work through my syllables course, if focuses on multi-syllable words. You'll probably need to work through it several times, it will click better after any phonemic awareness is done.  If you give me the MWIA scores, take the MWIA 3 short, I'll have a better idea of how it might go.  The tests are at the end of my syllables page.

Also, how did you teach her to read? Did you use any sight words taught as wholes?

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

 

 

Thanks for your help!  I will check out those resources.  I gave her the Barton screening, which she passed just fine.  We started with Explode the Code ABC, and 1 and 2, and then CLE Learning to Read, LA, and Reading through grade 2.

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The MA Rooney Foundation has free OG materials. The more advanced end should be looking at morphology (prefixes, suffixes, roots, word parts) to help her see the units and organization and patterns of language, which will help her spelling.

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1 hour ago, featherhead said:

Thanks for your help!  I will check out those resources.  I gave her the Barton screening, which she passed just fine.  We started with Explode the Code ABC, and 1 and 2, and then CLE Learning to Read, LA, and Reading through grade 2.

Those are all good methods, there is most likely some sort of underlying problem.  My syllables program is helpful for my students with underlying problems, but they usually need to work through it several times to be reading well, spelling usually lags.  

For someone who is a poor speller, I like Spelling Plus since it works on the most common 1,000 words, which account for 90% of any running text. You may need to add in extra repetition and a kinesthetic element for the words to stick.

https://www.amazon.com/Spelling-Plus-Words-toward-Success/dp/187947820X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545948927&sr=8-1&keywords=spelling+plus+by+susan+anthony

Edited by ElizabethB

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On 12/27/2018 at 2:00 PM, ElizabethB said:

Here is a phonemic awareness test, if she fails any of it, get Kilpatrick's book "Equipped for Reading Success" to start working on it.

https://jukebox.esc13.net/vgcdeveloper/TargetedResources/LAA_G2-3_TaRe_PAST.pdf

Book Excerpts:

https://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Professional Development/Webinars/Handouts/Excerpts from Equipped for Reading Success.pdf

Book to buy, good instructions, hundreds of phonemic awareness drills:

https://www.thereadingleague.org/shop/equipped-for-reading-success-2016-book-by-david-kilpatrick/

I would work through my syllables course, if focuses on multi-syllable words. You'll probably need to work through it several times, it will click better after any phonemic awareness is done.  If you give me the MWIA scores, take the MWIA 3 short, I'll have a better idea of how it might go.  The tests are at the end of my syllables page.

Also, how did you teach her to read? Did you use any sight words taught as wholes?

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

 

 

Ok, I gave her the PAST today.  She certainly did not score as well as she should have.  She did get 100% correct, but the automaticity was not there.  I gave the same test to my 2nd and 4th graders first, so I could practice giving the test, and without even looking at the scores, I could see the difference.  My 6th grader stumbled a lot more and I had to repeat questions a fair amount.  I looked at that book, but it is only sold in the US.  It would also work out to be around $80 Canadian.  I’m going to see if I can save up the money and have it shipped till the border.  Hopefully I can get someone to pick it up for me.  I read through some of the excerpt you shared and it looks like it would be an excellent resource.  I’m planning to give her the MWIA next, as long as she is agreeable 😏.

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Just finished the MWIA, and the nonsense words tests.  For the MWIA 3 short, both scores were the same, at 84 wpm, with one error each.  The nonsense words test she did 29 wpm with 64% accuracy.

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On 12/27/2018 at 3:31 PM, PeterPan said:

The MA Rooney Foundation has free OG materials. The more advanced end should be looking at morphology (prefixes, suffixes, roots, word parts) to help her see the units and organization and patterns of language, which will help her spelling.

Thanks! They have great prefix and suffix list/cards that I downloaded.

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On December 31, 2018 at 2:12 PM, featherhead said:

Ok, I gave her the PAST today.  She certainly did not score as well as she should have.  She did get 100% correct, but the automaticity was not there.  I gave the same test to my 2nd and 4th graders first, so I could practice giving the test, and without even looking at the scores, I could see the difference.  My 6th grader stumbled a lot more and I had to repeat questions a fair amount.  I looked at that book, but it is only sold in the US.  It would also work out to be around $80 Canadian.  I’m going to see if I can save up the money and have it shipped till the border.  Hopefully I can get someone to pick it up for me.  I read through some of the excerpt you shared and it looks like it would be an excellent resource.  I’m planning to give her the MWIA next, as long as she is agreeable 😏.

The reading league is in New York, and adding staff.  If you e-mail them, you could probably work something out. In the meantime, work on the lowest level she needs help with building it up slowly with letters, then blocks or candies or something to represent each sound.  

https://www.thereadingleague.org/shop/equipped-for-reading-success-2016-book-by-david-kilpatrick/

Edited by ElizabethB

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On December 31, 2018 at 4:18 PM, featherhead said:

Just finished the MWIA, and the nonsense words tests.  For the MWIA 3 short, both scores were the same, at 84 wpm, with one error each.  The nonsense words test she did 29 wpm with 64% accuracy.

You have done well preventing the guessing!!  Only people taught phonics well read both the same speed.  

I would work through my syllables program and do some nonsense words daily, a set for training daily where you go at a slower speed and correct errors, and a set for measuring weekly where you don't correct and track speed and accuracy.  I would also work through something for phonemic awareness, Spelfabet might have some good PDF resources.  I love her pom pom phonemes video.

https://www.spelfabet.com.au

You will eventually want Kilpatrick but there are some things from M A Rooney and Spelfabet that you can do while waiting.

Her workbooks and games might help. 

https://www.spelfabet.com.au/product-category/workbooks/

https://www.spelfabet.com.au/product-category/games/

 

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41 minutes ago, ElizabethB said:

You have done well preventing the guessing!!  Only people taught phonics well read both the same speed.  

I would work through my syllables program and do some nonsense words daily, a set for training daily where you go at a slower speed and correct errors, and a set for measuring weekly where you don't correct and track speed and accuracy.  I would also work through something for phonemic awareness, Spelfabet might have some good PDF resources.  I love her pom pom phonemes video.

https://www.spelfabet.com.au

You will eventually want Kilpatrick but there are some things from M A Rooney and Spelfabet that you can do while waiting.

Her workbooks and games might help. 

https://www.spelfabet.com.au/product-category/workbooks/

https://www.spelfabet.com.au/product-category/games/

 

You have been very helpful!  Thanks again!

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