Article

SCREENING FOR DYSLEXIA

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Abstract

This paper aims to provide an overview and some insight into what is known about screening for dyslexia. Section I provides a brief overview of “what is dyslexia” and the importance of screening for dyslexia risk. In Section II of this paper, we discuss the neurological and behavioral aspects relevant to dyslexia as well as the emerging research in both areas. Section III provides a robust presentation of viewpoints and considerations for best practices in behavioral screening. Section IV provides a brief overview of key statistical considerations one should consider when evaluating a screener with a companion technical report provided in Appendix A. Section V concludes with a checklist to support teachers, school psychologists, and school-based assessment teams in evaluating and choosing universal screeners.

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... Different state laws specify different screening procedures, so implementation of screening for dyslexia varies from state to state (Petscher et al., 2019). However, there is relative consistency in the constructs that are measured based on state laws adopting a variation of the same definition of dyslexia-the consensus definition of dyslexia from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA; Lyon et al., 2003). ...
... The explosion in dyslexia-specific state legislation over the past decade has been accompanied by publications describing aspects of these laws (Petscher et al., 2019;Worthy et al., 2017;Worthy, Salmerón, et al., 2018;Worthy, Svrcek, et al., 2018;Youman & Mather, 2013. The need for these laws and their potential impact has been a point of discussion in these publications, but these publications have not reported new data. ...
... Dyslexia legislation is being implemented in all but a few states across the United States, and there has been considerable public discourse about the potential impact of these laws on education policy and practice (Petscher et al., 2019;Worthy et al., 2017;Worthy, Salmeron et al., 2018;Worthy, Svrcek et al., 2018;Youman & Mather, 2013. ...
Article
All but seven U.S. states have laws that govern some aspects of dyslexia screening, intervention, or teacher training in public schools. However, in the three states that mandate child-level reporting, data indicate lower than expected rates of dyslexia identification when compared with commonly accepted dyslexia prevalence rates. To better understand this apparent mismatch, this study explores factors that might predict the school-assigned identification of individuals with dyslexia. Deidentified data on 7,947 second-grade students in 126 schools from one U.S. state included a universal screening measure of literacy skills indicative of dyslexia (i.e., reading and spelling), school-assigned dyslexia classification, and demographic characteristics. As expected, behavioral characteristics of dyslexia from universal screening were associated with school-assigned dyslexia classification. However, dyslexia classification was less likely for minority students and individuals attending schools with a higher percentage of minority students. Students who showed behavioral characteristics of dyslexia and attended schools with a higher proportion of other students with similar poor literacy skills were more likely not to receive a school-assigned dyslexia classification. The findings suggest systematic demographic differences in whether a student is identified with dyslexia by schools even when using universal screening.
... Screening refers to a brief assessment that determines the risk of having or developing dyslexia, which can be undertaken at an early age before school entry. 75,77 Conversely, a formal diagnosis can only occur after reading instruction has begun and requires a more comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, which can be motivated by a previous screening result. 76 Although attention to both screening and diagnosis is vital in ensuring that the appropriate interventions are implemented for the child, screening for risk of dyslexia is possible earlier in the developmental time course than is diagnosis; thus, it represents an opportunity for expeditious early intervention. ...
... The ideal screener has been validated in a representative sample; has strong evidence for reliability, validity, and classification accuracy; has developmentally appropriate content given the age or grade level of the child; and has the capacity to measure both word recognition and linguistic comprehension. 77 A list of available dyslexia screening tools, along with an indication of their fulfillment of characteristics like those listed above, is presently available for practitioners to consult (see ref 86). An additional resource for practitioners is the What Works Clearinghouse, which is used to provide evidence-based evaluations on literacy screening products as they become available. ...
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Article
Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that renders children susceptible to poor health outcomes and many elements of socioeconomic difficulty. It is commonly undiagnosed until a child has repeatedly failed to learn to read in elementary school; this late diagnosis not only places the child at an academic disadvantage but also can be a precursor to psychiatric comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. Genetic and neuroimaging research have revealed that dyslexia is heritable and that it is undergirded by brain differences that are present even before reading instruction begins. Cognitive-behavioral research has revealed that there are early literacy skill deficits that represent red flags for dyslexia risk and can be measured at a preschool age. Altogether, this evidence points to dyslexia as a disorder that can be flagged by a pediatrician before school entry, during a period of heightened brain plasticity when interventions are more likely to be effective. In this review, we discuss the clinical implications of the most recent advances in dyslexia research, which converge to indicate that early identification and screening are crucial to the prevention or mitigation of adverse secondary consequences of dyslexia. We further highlight evidence-based and practical strategies for the implementation of early risk identification in pediatric practice so that physicians can be empowered in their ability to treat, educate, and advocate for their patients and families with dyslexia.
... Screening refers to a brief assessment that determines the risk of having or developing dyslexia, which can be undertaken at an early age before school entry. 75,77 Conversely, a formal diagnosis can only occur after reading instruction has begun and requires a more comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, which can be motivated by a previous screening result. 76 Although attention to both screening and diagnosis is vital in ensuring that the appropriate interventions are implemented for the child, screening for risk of dyslexia is possible earlier in the developmental time course than is diagnosis; thus, it represents an opportunity for expeditious early intervention. ...
... The ideal screener has been validated in a representative sample; has strong evidence for reliability, validity, and classification accuracy; has developmentally appropriate content given the age or grade level of the child; and has the capacity to measure both word recognition and linguistic comprehension. 77 A list of available dyslexia screening tools, along with an indication of their fulfillment of characteristics like those listed above, is presently available for practitioners to consult (see ref 86). An additional resource for practitioners is the What Works Clearinghouse, which is used to provide evidence-based evaluations on literacy screening products as they become available. ...
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Article
Dyslexia is a common learning disability that renders children susceptible to poor health outcomes and many elements of socioeconomic difficulty. It is commonly undiagnosed until a child has repeatedly failed to learn to read in elementary school; this late diagnosis not only puts the child at an academic disadvantage, but also can be a precursor to psychiatric comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. Genetic and neuroimaging research have demonstrated that dyslexia is heritable and that it is undergirded by brain differences that are present even before reading instruction begins. Cognitive-behavioral research has revealed that there are early literacy skill deficits that represent red flags for dyslexia risk and can be measured at a preschool age. Altogether, this evidence points to dyslexia as a disability that can be flagged by a pediatrician prior to school entry, during a period of heightened brain plasticity when interventions are more likely to be effective. In this review, we discuss the clinical implications of the most recent advances in dyslexia research, which converge to indicate that early identification and screening are crucial to the prevention or mitigation of adverse secondary consequences of dyslexia. We further highlight evidence-based and practical strategies for the implementation of early risk identification in pediatric practice so that physicians can be empowered in their ability to treat, educate, and advocate for their patients and families with dyslexia.
... Various factors can facilitate or impede implementation. These factors may be related to characteristics of the inner setting (e.g., resources, capacity, organisational structure, leadership and communication channels), characteristics of educators (e.g., buy-in, knowledge and training), characteristics of students (e.g., demographics, language, and views and perspectives), characteristics of the evidence-based programme itself (e.g., evidence quality, length and usability), characteristics of the outer setting (e.g., community networks and policy) and characteristics of the process (e.g., planning and evaluation) (Damschroder et al., 2009;Petscher et al., 2019;Woodward et al., 2021). ...
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Article
Developmental language disorder (DLD) and dyslexia are common but under‐identified conditions that affect children's ability to read and comprehend text. Universal screening is a promising solution for improving under‐identification of DLD and dyslexia; however, we lack evidence for how to effectively implement and sustain screening procedures in schools. In the current study, we solicited input from educators in the United States around perceived barriers and facilitators to the implementation of researcher‐developed screeners for DLD and dyslexia. Using thematic analysis, we identified barriers and facilitators within five domains: (1) features of the screeners, (2) preparation for screening procedures, (3) administration of the screeners, (4) demands on users and (5) screening results. We discuss these findings and ways we can continue improving our efforts to maximise the contextual fit and utility of screening practices in schools. What is already known about this topic DLD and dyslexia are common but under‐identified disorders. Universal screening can improve under‐identification of DLD and dyslexia. What this paper adds This paper presents useful information about contextual and process factors that may facilitate or hinder implementation of universal screening for DLD and dyslexia in schools. Implications for theory, policy or practice This paper is an important starting point in understanding what it takes to implement universal screening for DLD and dyslexia in schools. Our findings offer several suggestions of contextual and process factors that might influence the implementation trajectory. They also highlight the importance of leveraging educators' knowledge of routine practice to improve uptake of evidence‐based programmes for children with DLD and dyslexia.
... The impact of these poor outcomes and challenges are often compounded for vulnerable and underrepresented communities (Robinson, 2013;Rojas, 2018). Early identification through screening for dyslexia has been repeatedly supported in the literature as part of best practices to provide remediation and support to children who struggle learning to read (Petscher et al., 2019). Screening for dyslexia is important because without early intervention, cumulative lifelong problems can occur (Miciak & Fletcher, 2020). ...
Article
Dyslexia, the most common learning disability, is associated with poor academic, economic, vocational, and health outcomes. Disproportionately, dyslexia is undiagnosed and untreated in children who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) or who live in poverty. Early identification of and subsequent interventions for children at risk for dyslexia can effectively mitigate poor outcomes. While screening and interventions largely occur in schools, social workers across practice contexts have responsibilities to address dyslexia: identifying, referring, educating, and advocating. Social workers should address dyslexia to promote equity and improve quality of life and various outcomes across the life course. This article describes dyslexia, early screening, and interventions; dyslexia as a social justice issue; and social workers’ roles in addressing dyslexia.
... What is clear is that the question posed by Bowers (2020), as well as extreme proponents of phonics, is an artificial one that does not support progress in the science of teaching children to read. In the USA and UK, legislation is passed mandating certain approaches to reading instruction, and Educational Psychology Review even worse, prescribing specific commercial programs for children identified with dyslexia (Petscher et al. 2019). However, we would do well to ask the right questions about how to teach effectively the range of learners in our classrooms to read. ...
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Article
Bowers (Educational Psychology Review, 32, 681-705, 2020) reviewed 12 meta-analytic syntheses addressing the effects of phonics instruction, concluding that the evidence is weak to nonexistent in supporting the superiority of systematic phonics to alternative reading methods. We identify five issues that limit Bowers’ conclusions: (1) definition issues; (2) what is the right question?; (3) the assumption of “phonics first”; and (4) simplification of issues around systematic versus explicit phonics. We then go on to consider (5) empirical issues in the data from meta-analyses, where Bowers misconstrues the positive effects of explicit phonics instruction. We conclude that there is consistent evidence in support of explicitly teaching phonics as part of a comprehensive approach to reading instruction that should be differentiated to individual learner needs. The appropriate question to ask of a twenty-first century science of teaching is not the superiority of phonics versus alternative reading methods, including whole language and balanced literacy, but how best to combine different components of evidence-based reading instruction into an integrated and customized approach that addresses the learning needs of each child.
... See https://charts.intensiveintervention.org/ascreening. Also, the National Center for Improving Literacy has put forth a document concerning policy, emerging research, and best practice in screening for dyslexia (Petscher et al., 2019). ...
Preprint
Dyslexia is a significant developmental disorder that is associated with a host of negative consequences. Most states in the US have recently passed legislation requiring the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia in school settings. Whereas this legislation brings needed attention to children with dyslexia, diagnosis and treatment are often delayed until several years after school entry. By this time, reading problems and other negative consequences are well underway. In this paper, we argue for an alternative, prevention-based approach that focuses on the early identification of children at risk for dyslexia and the provision of instruction/intervention that is matched to their needs.
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Rapid automatized naming (RAN) has been shown to be a strong correlate of reading abilities. RAN also predicts future reading across different ages, ability levels, and languages, and is often used in literacy screening. Thus, understanding the specific relations between early RAN and later reading difficulties is important, particularly for screening. This systematic review and meta‐analysis (with N = 60 samples; k = 373 effect sizes; n = 10,513 participants), was the first to test the extent to which measures of RAN assessed before grade school predict future reading performance in English‐speaking children. We also tested whether characteristics of the RAN tasks, reading measures, or sample demographics moderate this relationship. We found that overall, kindergarten/preschool RAN is correlated with grade‐school reading at r = −.38, similar in magnitude to previous concurrent meta‐analyses that included various ages and languages. We found that alphanumeric RAN tasks were more strongly related to future reading than were non‐alphanumeric tasks, as well as that RAN significantly predicts all types of reading measures tested, but more strongly predicts real word than nonword reading. To assess the role of RAN’s unique predictive power, we also meta‐analyzed the semipartial correlations of early RAN with later reading when controlling for phonological awareness (PA); the result of rsp = −.25 demonstrates RAN’s significant, unique contribution beyond PA. These results support shared cognitive resource models in which the similarity between RAN and reading tasks accounts for their correlation. We provide practical guidelines for based on these data for early screening for reading difficulties and dyslexia. Rapid automatized naming (RAN) has been shown to be a strong correlate of reading abilities. RAN also predicts future reading across different ages, ability levels, and languages, and is often used in literacy screening. Thus, understanding the specific relations between early RAN and later reading difficulties is important, particularly for screening.
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Recent advocacy efforts and state policies have recognized the identification and support for students with dyslexia as a critical issue for schools. Current issues related to dyslexia identification include the lack of a universal definition for dyslexia and the possible confusion created by state legislation related to dyslexia. Tackling these issues in schools may include using current research to implement hybrid models of identification, evaluating and improving screening tools for dyslexia risk, and addressing data-based decision-making through response-to-intervention frameworks.
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Thesis
Children with dyslexia have difficulties learning how to read and write. They are often diagnosed after they fail in school, even though dyslexia is not related to general intelligence. In this thesis, we present an approach for earlier screening of dyslexia using a language-independent game in combination with machine learning models trained with the interaction data. By earlier, we mean before children learn how to read and write. To reach this goal, we designed the game content with knowl- edge of the analysis of word errors from people with dyslexia in different languages and the parameters reported to be related to dyslexia, such as auditory and visual perception. With our two de- signed games (MusVis and DGames), we collected data sets (313 and 137 participants) in different languages (mainly Spanish and German) and evaluated them with machine learning classifiers. For MusVis we mainly use content that refers to one single acoustic or visual indicator, while DGames content refers to generic content related to various indicators. Our method provides an accuracy of 0.74 for German and 0.69 for Spanish and F1-scores of 0.75 for German and 0.75 for Spanish in MusVis when Random Forest and Extra Trees are used. DGames was mainly evaluated with German and reached a peak accuracy of 0.67 and a peak F1-score of 0.74. Our results open the possibility of low-cost and early screening of dyslexia through the Web.
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This study assessed the effects of sampling breadth on technical features of word identification fluency (WIF), a tool for screening and monitoring the reading development of first graders. From a potential pool of 704 first-grade students, the authors measured both a representative sample (n = 284) and 2 other subgroups: those with low reading achievement (n = 202) and those with high/average achievement (n = 213). Data were collected weekly on broadly and narrowly sampled WIF lists for 15 weeks and on criterion measures in the fall and spring. Broad lists were developed by sampling words from 500 high-frequency words, whereas narrow lists were created by sampling from the 133 words from Dolch preprimer, primer, and first-grade word lists. Overall, predictive validity for performance level, predictive validity for growth, and commonality analysis showed narrow sampling was better for screening the representative group and the high/average subgroup. Broad sampling was superior for screening the low-achieving subgroup and for progress monitoring across groups.
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This study examined the effects of passage and presentation order on progress monitoring assessments of oral reading fluency in 134 second grade students. The students were randomly assigned to read six one-minute passages in one of six fixed orders over a seven week period. The passages had been developed to be comparable based on readability formulas. Estimates of oral reading fluency varied across the six stories (67.9 to 93.9), but not as a function of presentation order. These passage effects altered the shape of growth trajectories and affected estimates of linear growth rates, but were shown to be removed when forms were equated. Explicit equating is essential to the development of equivalent forms, which can vary in difficulty despite high correlations across forms and apparent equivalence through readability indices.
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The present study employed data simulation techniques to investigate the 1-year stability of alternative classification schemes for identifying children with reading disabilities. Classification schemes investigated include low performance, unexpected low performance, dual-discrepancy, and a rudimentary form of constellation model of reading disabilities that included multiple criteria. Data from a previously published study were used to construct a growth model of reading development. The parameters estimated from this model were then used to construct three simulated data sets wherein the growth parameters were manipulated in one of three ways: a stable-growth pattern, a mastery learning pattern, and a fan-spread pattern. Results indicated that overall the constellation model provided the most stable classifications across all conditions of the simulation, and that classification schemes were most stable in the fan-spread condition and were the least stable under the mastery learning growth pattern. These results also demonstrate the utility of data simulations in reading research.
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Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a heritable condition characterized by persistent difficulties in learning to read. White matter alterations in left-lateralized language areas, particularly in the arcuate fasciculus (AF), have been observed in DD, and diffusion properties within the AF correlate with (pre-)reading skills as early as kindergarten. However, it is unclear how early these alterations can be observed. We investigated white matter structure in 14 infants with (FHD+; ages 6.6-17.6 months) and 18 without (FHD-; ages 5.1-17.6 months) familial risk for DD. Diffusion scans were acquired during natural sleep, and early language skills were assessed. Tractography for bilateral AF was reconstructed using manual and automated methods, allowing for independent validation of results. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was calculated at multiple nodes along the tracts for more precise localization of group differences. The analyses revealed significantly lower FA in the left AF for FHD+ compared with FHD- infants, particularly in the central portion of the tract. Moreover, expressive language positively correlated with FA across groups. Our results demonstrate that atypical brain development associated with DD is already present within the first 18 months of life, suggesting that the deficits associated with DD may result from altered structural connectivity in left-hemispheric regions.
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A pretest methodology for predicting the performance of measures in a confirmatory factor analysis is presented. A pretest item-sort task draws on the concept of substantive validity, and two indices of substantive validity in a theory-testing context are proposed: the proportion of substantive agreement, Psa, and the substantive-validity coefficient, csv. The utility of this method is empirically illustrated with a postdictive study of impulsivity measures. Results from two pretest samples of 20 respondents provided significant support for the use of substantive-validity coefficient values to discriminate measures that would be retained in a subsequent confirmatory factor analysis from those that would not. In addition, significant evidence was found for the reproducibility of each substantive-validity index across the two samples. Issues to be considered when using the pretest methodology and some benefits of assessing the substantive validity of measures for construct definitions and delineation of content domains are discussed.
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Lack of psychometric equivalence of oral reading fluency (ORF) passages used within a grade for screening and progress monitoring has recently become an issue with calls for the use of equating methods to ensure equivalence. To investigate the nature of the nonequivalence and to guide the choice of equating method to correct for nonequivalence, the authors fit linear and nonlinear confirmatory factor analytic measurement models to Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) second-grade ORF passages routinely used for spring testing. They found evidence of nonlinear relations among passage scores that indicated equipercentile equating would be the best choice of equating method compared with mean or linear equating. The standard error of equating (SEE) with a sample of 600 participants was acceptable and less then two correct words per minute for equated scores from 0 to 150, which covers 95% and the useful range of scores. Consistent with the small SEE, the equating table also successfully removed all form differences in an independent sample of second graders. Given the widespread adoption of DIBELS in thousands of schools serving millions of students, equating all passages within a grade would substantially improve the quality of the tool and dramatically lower the assessment burden on school personnel.
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The purpose of the study was to compare the use of a Computer Adaptive Test and Curriculum-Based Measurement in the assessment of mathematics. This study also investigated the degree to which slope or rate of change predicted student outcomes on the annual state assessment of mathematics above and beyond scores of single point screening assessments (i.e., the computer adaptive test or the CBM assessment just before the administration of the state assessment). Repeated measurement of mathematics once per month across a 7-month period using a Computer Adaptive Test (STAR-Math) and Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM, AIMSweb Math Computation, AIMSweb Math Concepts/Applications) was collected for a maximum total of 250 third, fourth, and fifth grade students. Results showed STAR-Math in all 3 grades and AIMSweb Math Concepts/Applications in the third and fifth grades had primarily linear growth patterns in mathematics. AIMSweb Math Computation in all grades and AIMSweb Math Concepts/Applications in Grade 4 had decelerating positive trends. Predictive validity evidence showed the strongest relationships were between STAR-Math and outcomes for third and fourth grade students. The blockwise multiple regression by grade revealed that slopes accounted for only a very small proportion of additional variance above and beyond what was explained by the scores obtained on a single point of assessment just prior to the administration of the state assessment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
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Developmental dyslexia (DD) is highly heritable and previous studies observed reduced cortical volume, white matter integrity, and functional alterations in left posterior brain regions in individuals with DD. The primary sulcal pattern has been hypothesized to relate to optimal organization and connections of cortical functional areas. It is determined during prenatal development and may reflect early, genetically influenced, brain development. We characterize the sulcal pattern using graph-based pattern analysis and investigate whether sulcal patterns in parieto-temporal and occipito-temporal regions are atypical in elementary school-age children with DD and pre-readers/beginning readers (preschoolers/kindergarteners) with a familial risk (elementary school-age children: n [males/females], age range = 17/11, 84-155 months; preschoolers/kindergarteners: 16/15, 59-84 months). The pattern of sulcal basin area in left parieto-temporal and occipito-temporal regions was significantly atypical (more sulcal basins of smaller size) in children with DD and further correlated with reduced reading performance on single- and nonword reading measures. A significantly atypical sulcal area pattern was also confirmed in younger preschoolers/kindergarteners with a familial risk of DD. Our results provide further support for atypical early brain development in DD and suggest that DD may originate from altered organization or connections of cortical areas in the left posterior regions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
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Abstract Although curriculum based measures of oral reading (CBM-R) have strong technical adequacy, there is still a reason to believe that student performance may be influenced by factors of the testing situation, such as errors examiners make in administering and scoring the test. This study examined the construct-irrelevant variance introduced by examiners using a cross-classified multilevel model. We sought to determine the extent of variance in student CBM-R scores attributable to examiners and, if present, the extent to which it was moderated by students' grade level and English learner (EL) status. Fit indices indicated that a cross-classified random effects model (CCREM) best fits the data with measures nested within students, students nested within schools, and examiners crossing schools. Intraclass correlations of the CCREM revealed that roughly 16% of the variance in student CBM-R scores was associated between examiners. The remaining variance was associated with the measurement level, 3.59%; between students, 75.23%; and between schools, 5.21%. Results were moderated by grade level but not by EL status. The discussion addresses the implications of this error for low-stakes and high-stakes decisions about students, teacher evaluation systems, and hypothesis testing in reading intervention research.
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Response-to-intervention (RTI) models incorporate a screening process to identify students who appear to be at risk for learning disabilities (LDs). The purpose of this position article is to incorporate what is known about screening into a flexible, yet comprehensive screening system to help school psychologists and other school administrators in establishing school-specific screening procedures. The authors begin by discussing past. research on screening for reading disabilities (RDs) within the RTI framework. Then, they propose a four-step screening system advocating a short screener (Step I), progress monitoring (Step 2), follow-up testing (Step 3), and ongoing revision of procedures and cut scores (Step 4). Their goal is to improve screening within RTI systems with practical procedures to permit schools to implement state-of-the-art screening batteries that accurately and efficiently distinguish students who are at high risk for RD.
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Review of current federal and state standards indicates little consensus or empirical justification regarding appropriate goals, often referred to as benchmarks, for preschool letter-name learning. The present study investigated the diagnostic efficiency of various letter-naming benchmarks using a longitudinal database of 371 children who attended publicly funded preschools. Children's uppercase and lowercase letter-naming abilities were assessed at the end of preschool, and their literacy achievement on 3 standardized measures was assessed at the end of 1st grade. Diagnostic indices (sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive power) were generated to examine the extent to which attainment of various preschool letter-naming benchmarks was associated with later risk for literacy difficulties. Results indicated generally high negative predictive power for benchmarks requiring children to know 10 or more letter names by the end of preschool. Balancing across all diagnostic indices, optimal benchmarks of 18 uppercase and 15 lowercase letter names were identified. These findings are discussed in terms of educational implications, limitations, and future directions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study investigates aspects of validity reflected in a large and diverse sample of published measures used in educational and psychological testing contexts. The current edition of Mental Measurements Yearbook served as the data source for this study. The validity aspects investigated included perspective on validity represented, number and kinds of sources of validity evidence provided, overall evaluation of the favorability of the test, and whether these factors varied as a function of the type of test. Findings reveal that validity information is not routinely provided in terms of modern validity theory, some sources of validity evidence (e.g., consequential) are essentially ignored in validity reports, and the favorability of judgments about a test is more strongly related to the number of validity sources provided than to the perspective on validity taken or other factors. The article concludes with implications for extending and refining current validity theory and validation practice.
Article
Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a learning disability affecting 5–17% of children. Although researchers agree that DD is characterized by deficient phonological processing (PP), its cause is debated. It has been suggested that altered rapid auditory processing (RAP) may lead to deficient PP in DD and studies have shown deficient RAP in individuals with DD. Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) studies have implicated hypoactivations in left prefrontal brain regions during RAP in individuals with DD. When and how these neuronal alterations evolve remains unknown. In this article, we investigate functional networks during RAP in 28 children with (n = 14) and without (n = 14) a familial risk for DD before reading onset (mean: 5.6 years). Results reveal functional alterations in left-hemispheric prefrontal regions during RAP in prereading children at risk for DD, similar to findings in individuals with DD. Furthermore, activation during RAP in left prefrontal regions positively correlates with prereading measures of PP and with neuronal activation during PP in posterior dorsal and ventral brain areas. Our results suggest that neuronal differences during RAP predate reading instruction and thus are not due to experience-dependent brain changes resulting from DD itself and that there is a functional relationship between neuronal networks for RAP and PP within the prereading brain.
Article
Essential for an effective criterion-referenced testing program is a set of test items that are "valid" indicators of the objectives they have been designed to measure. Unfortunately, the complex matter of assessing item validity has received only limited attention from educational measurement specialists. One approach to the item validity question is through the collection and analysis of the judgments of content specialists. This paper (a) discusses several possible rating forms and statistical methods for the analysis of content specialists' data and (b) presents the results of item validation work with a group of science teachers. Results support the recommendation for expanded use of content specialists' ratings in the item validation process. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Response to intervention (RTI) models for identifying learning disabilities rely on the accurate identification of children who, without Tier 2 tutoring, would develop reading disability (RD). This study examined 2 questions concerning the use of 1st-grade data to predict future RD: (a) Does adding initial word identification fluency (WIF) and 5 weeks of WIF progress-monitoring data (WIF-Level and WIF-Slope) to a typical 1st-grade prediction battery improve RD prediction? and (b) Can classification tree analysis improve the prediction accuracy compared to logistic regression? Four classification models based on 206 1st-grade children followed through the end of 2nd grade were evaluated. A combination of initial WIF, WIF-Level, and WIF-Slope and classification tree analysis improved prediction sufficiently to recommend their use with RTI. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The traditional conception of validity divides it into three separate and substitutable types: content, criterion, and construct validities. This view is fragmented and incomplete, especially because it fails to take into account both evidence of the value implications of score meaning as a basis for action and the social consequences of score use. The new unified concept of validity interrelates these issues as fundamental aspects of a more comprehensive theory of construct validity that addresses both score meaning and social values in test interpretation and test use. That is, unified validity integrates considerations of content, criteria, and consequences into a construct framework for the empirical testing of rational hypotheses about score meaning and theoretically relevant relationships, including those of an applied and a scientific nature. Six distinguishable aspects of construct validity are highlighted as a means of addressing central issues implicit in the notion of validity as a unified concept. These are content, substantive, structural, generalizability, external, and consequential aspects of construct validity. In effect, these six aspects function as general validity criteria or standards for all educational and psychological measurement, including performance assessments, which are discussed in some detail because of their increasing emphasis in educational and employment settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
CIVIL rights legislation, the attendant actions of compliance agencies, and a few landmark court cases have provided the impetus for the extension of the application of content validity from academic achieve- ment testing to personnel testing in business and industry. Pressed by the legal requirement to demonstrate validity, and constrained by the limited applicability of traditional criterion-related methodologies, practitioners are more and more turning to content validity in search of solutions. Over time, criterion-related validity principles and strate- gies have evolved so that the term, "commonly accepted professional practice" has meaning. Such is not the case with content validity. The relative newness of the field, the proprietary nature of work done by professionals practicing in industry, to say nothing of the ever present legal overtones, have predictably militated against publication in the journals and formal discussion at professional meetings. There is a paucity of literature on content validity in employment testing, and much of what exists has eminated from civil service commissions. The selectipn of civil servants, with its eligibility lists and "pass-fail" con- cepts, has always been something of a special case with limited trans- ferability to industry. Given the current lack of consensus in profes- sional practice, practitioners will more and more face each other in adversary roles as expert witnesses for plaintiff and defendant. Until professionals reach some degree of concurrence regarding what con- stitutes acceptable evidence of content validity, there is a serious risk that the courts and the enforcement agencies will play the major determining role. Hopefully, this paper will modestly contribute to the improvement of this state of affairs (1) by helping sharpen the content ' A paper presented at Content Validity (1, a conference held at Bowling Green
Screening for early reading problems is a critical step in early intervention and prevention of later reading difficulties. Evaluative frameworks for determining the utility of a screening process are presented in the literature but have not been applied to many screening measures currently in use in numerous schools across the nation. In this study, the accuracy of several Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) subtests in predicting which students were at risk for reading failure in first grade was examined in a sample of 12,055 students in Florida. Findings indicate that the DIBELS Nonsense Word Fluency, Initial Sound Fluency, and Phoneme Segmentation Fluency measures show poor diagnostic utility in predicting end of Grade 1 reading performance. DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency in fall of Grade 1 had higher classification accuracy than other DIBELS measures, but when compared to the classification accuracy obtained by assuming that no student had a disability, suggests the need to reevaluate the use of classification accuracy as a way to evaluate screening measures without discussion of base rates. Additionally, when cut scores on the screening tools were set to capture 90 percent of all students at risk for reading problems, a high number of false positives were identified. Finally, different cut scores were needed for different subgroups, such as English Language Learners. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Article
This paper elaborates on the components of a working definition of developmental dyslexia. It follows the general format of a paper by Lyon published in Annals of Dyslexia in 1995, which elaborated on a working definition proposed in 1994 (Lyon, 1995). The current definition agreed on by the work group updates and expands on the working definition from 1994.
Article
Curriculum-based measurement of reading (CBM-R) is used to estimate oral reading fluency. Unlike many traditional published tests, CBM-R materials are often comprised of 20 to 30 alternate forms/passages. Historically, CBM-R assessment materials were sampled from curricular materials. Recent research has documented the potentially deleterious effects of poorly controlled alternate forms on CBM-R outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine alternate procedures for the selection of passages that comprise CBM-R passage-sets. The study examined four procedures for the evaluation and selection of passages, including random sampling, Spache readability formula, mean level of performance evaluation, and Euclidean Distance evaluation. The latter two procedures relied on field testing and evaluation of student performance. Each of eighty-eight students in second- and third-grade were administered 50 CBM-R passages. Generalizability and dependability studies were used to examine students' performance on these passages and evaluate CBM-R passage selection procedures. Results provide support for the use of field testing methods (i.e., calculating performance means and Euclidean Distances) for passage selection. Implications are discussed for future research and practice.
Article
Unlabelled: Evidence from neuroimaging studies, including our own, suggest that skilled word identification in reading is related to the functional integrity of two consolidated left hemisphere (LH) posterior systems: a dorsal (temporo-parietal) circuit and a ventral (occipito-temporal) circuit. This posterior system appears to be functionally disrupted in developmental dyslexia. Relative to nonimpaired readers, reading-disabled individuals demonstrate heightened reliance on both inferior frontal and right hemisphere posterior regions, presumably in compensation for the LH posterior difficulties. We propose a neurobiological account suggesting that for normally developing readers, the dorsal circuit predominates at first, and in conjunction with premotor systems, is associated with analytic processing necessary for learning to integrate orthographic with phonological and lexical semantic features of printed words. The ventral circuit constitutes a fast, late-developing, word form system, which underlies fluency in word recognition. Learning outcomes: As a result of this activity, (1) the participant will learn about a model of lexical processing involving specific cortical regions. (2) The participant will learn about evidence which supports the theory that two dorsal LH systems may be disrupted in developmental dyslexia. (3) The participant will learn that individuals with reading impairment may rely on other regions of the brain to compensate for the disruption of posterior function.
Article
Universal screening is a critical prerequisite to providing early school-based prevention and intervention services for students at risk for or with academic, behavioral, or emotional difficulties. Although use of academic and behavioral screening has become more prevalent, criteria for making informed decisions about appropriate screening tools are not readily available to those who work in educational settings. The purpose of this article is to (a) highlight several considerations about the appropriateness, technical adequacy, and usability of academic or behavioral screeners and (b) provide a general assessment of the current state of science pertaining to universal screening. The article concludes with considerations for policy and practice. The framework presented may be useful in guiding those interested in evaluating, selecting, and researching school-based universal screening assessments.
Article
The authors examined the implications of test differences for defining and diagnosing comprehension deficits using reading comprehension tests. They had 995 children complete the Gray Oral Reading Test-3, the Qualitative Reading Inventory-3, the Woodcock-Johnson Passage Comprehension-3, and the Peabody Individual Achievement Test and compared which children were identified by each test as being in the lowest 10%. Although a child who performs so poorly might be expected to do poorly on all tests, the authors found that the average overlap between tests in diagnosing comprehension difficulties was only 43%. Consistency in diagnosis was greater for younger children, when comprehension deficits are the result of weaker decoding skills, than for older children. Inconsistencies between tests were just as evident when identifying the top performers. The different children identified as having a comprehension deficit by each test were compared on four profile variables-word decoding skill, IQ, ADHD symptoms, and working memory skill-to understand the nature of the different deficits assessed by each test. Theoretical and practical implications of these test differences in defining and diagnosing comprehension deficits are discussed.
Article
Individuals with developmental dyslexia (DD) show a disruption in posterior left-hemispheric neural networks during phonological processing. Additionally, compensatory mechanisms in children and adults with DD have been located within frontal brain areas. However, it remains unclear when and how differences in posterior left-hemispheric networks manifest and whether compensatory mechanisms have already started to develop in the prereading brain. Here we investigate functional networks during phonological processing in 36 prereading children with a familial risk for DD (n = 18, average age = 66.50 mo) compared with age and IQ-matched controls (n = 18; average age = 65.61 mo). Functional neuroimaging results reveal reduced activation in prereading children with a family-history of DD (FHD(+)), compared with those without (FHD(-)), in bilateral occipitotemporal and left temporoparietal brain regions. This finding corresponds to previously identified hypoactivations in left hemispheric posterior brain regions for school-aged children and adults with a diagnosis of DD. Furthermore, left occipitotemporal and temporoparietal brain activity correlates positively with prereading skills in both groups. Our results suggest that differences in neural correlates of phonological processing in individuals with DD are not a result of reading failure, but are present before literacy acquisition starts. Additionally, no hyperactivation in frontal brain regions was observed, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms for reading failure are not yet present. Future longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether the identified differences may serve as neural premarkers for the early identification of children at risk for DD.
Article
A core assumption of response to instruction or intervention (RTI) models is the importance of measuring growth in achievement over time in response to effective instruction or intervention. Many RTI models actively monitor growth for identifying individuals who need different levels of intervention. A large-scale (N=23,438), two-year longitudinal study of first grade children was carried out to compare the predictive validity of measures of achievement status, growth in achievement, and their combination for predicting future reading achievement. The results indicate that under typical conditions, measures of growth do not make a contribution to prediction that is independent of measures of achievement status. These results question the validity of a core assumption of RTI models.