Collective screening tools for early identification of dyslexia

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Current response to intervention models (RTIs) favor a three-tier system. In general, Tier 1 consists of evidence-based, effective reading instruction in the classroom and universal screening of all students at the beginning of the grade level to identify children for early intervention. Non-responders to Tier 1 receive small-group tutoring in Tier 2. Non-responders to Tier 2 are given still more intensive, individual intervention in Tier 3. Limited time, personnel and financial resources derail RTI's implementation in Brazilian schools because this approach involves procedures that require extra time and extra personnel in all three tiers, including screening tools which normally consist of tasks administered individually. We explored the accuracy of collectively and easily administered screening tools for the early identification of second graders at risk for dyslexia in a two-stage screening model. A first-stage universal screening based on collectively administered curriculum-based measurements was used in 45 7 years old early Portuguese readers from 4 second-grade classrooms at the beginning of the school year and identified an at-risk group of 13 academic low-achievers. Collectively administered tasks based on phonological judgments by matching figures and figures to spoken words [alternative tools for educators (ATE)] and a comprehensive cognitive-linguistic battery of collective and individual assessments were both administered to all children and constituted the second-stage screening. Low-achievement on ATE tasks and on collectively administered writing tasks (scores at the 25th percentile) showed good sensitivity (true positives) and specificity (true negatives) to poor literacy status defined as scores =1 SD below the mean on literacy abilities at the end of fifth grade. These results provide implications for the use of a collectively administered screening tool for the early identification of children at risk for dyslexia in a classroom setting.




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Frontiers in Psychology, v. 6, n. JAN, 2015.

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