Methods for identifying students with reading challenges improving
- Current methods of identifying students with reading disabilities are often ineffective, but new cutting-edge methods of screening and identification can provide earlier identification and more support, eSchool News reports.
- In a recent webinar Rick Wagner, associate director for the Florida Center for Reading Research, discusses the latest methods for diagnosing dyslexia and similar issues and notes three reasons diagnosis is difficult: current screening tests are often inaccurate, screening takes place too late, and schools don’t always offer the right supports.
- Assistive technology, such as computer-based text-to-speech or professionally recorded audiobooks can help some students with reading problems sooner and more comprehensively.
With schools under more pressure to have students reading on grade-level by the end of 3rd grade, administrators need to ensure that students with learning disabilities are being properly identified and supported. For most children, learning to read comes fairly easily, but students who are struggling to read may need additional support and different approaches. These needs are not always clearly identified until too late.
Some reading specialists advocate universal screening of students in kindergarten and 1st grade so that earlier diagnosis can take place. School leaders need to stay abreast of current research about cutting-edge research to support students with reading disabilities, because current methods can sometimes produce false positives or miss students who should be receiving support services.
Teachers also need to be trained or reminded about ways to spot possible reading disabilities so they can refer students for assessment and potential issues can be dealt with as soon as possible. The sooner these issues are addressed, the better the outcomes for student and for schools.