Let’s Go Learn is proud to announce a groundbreaking online digital screener for dyslexia as our contribution to accelerating progress for struggling readers impacted by the COVID pandemic. According to Martinelli of the Child Mind Institute, “It is estimated that as many as one in five kids has dyslexia and that 80 to 90 percent of kids with learning disorders have it.”
Proficiency in reading is a key indicator of success in school, college, and career, and the pandemic has severely harmed the progress of struggling readers. Children who struggle to read and never become proficient may experience the negative consequences for a lifetime. The University of Michigan has found, “In fact, of people with reading difficulties, 70-80% are likely to have some form of dyslexia”.
When Richard Capone, CEO and founder of Let’s Go Learn, looked at the negative impacts of COVID on struggling readers, he decided to develop the first stand-alone digital dyslexia screener: “If children can’t read, then they are essentially locked out of their future. Our goal is to make reading proficiency equitable and accessible for every child. It can absolutely change the trajectory of a child’s life.”
Ben Bernanke in his article “What’s the Impact?” perfectly sums up the potential tragedy: “Academic, emotional and social issues abound for children who are poor readers. Low achievement in reading is also the common denominator in school discipline, attendance and dropout problems, and juvenile crime.”
What does a dyslexia screening test involve?
Early diagnosis of dyslexia and a specially designed program to address a student’s individual gaps combine to provide an effective solution for struggling readers. According to Reading Rockets, a national public media literacy initiative, “Children with dyslexia often have poor phonological skills, resulting in difficulties with decoding, reading fluency, and spelling. Dyslexia can also impact reading comprehension and writing.” DORA DS is a scientifically based diagnostic that finds an individual’s gaps and creates an easy-to-read data report to help teachers and parents understand and address those gaps.
Phonemic awareness is one of 5 diagnostics Let’s Go Learn uses to easily create a valid and reliable screener for legally compliant district dyslexia screening.
Kyle Redford of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity laments in his article “Kids Can’t Wait” that he waited to help his struggling readers until he got their tests back.
Many teachers recognize this scenario: knowing that a child struggling with reading needs support but not having the data to determine how to help.
DORA DS takes only 15 minutes to gather individual data on uppercase letter identification, rapid naming, sight words, phonemic awareness, and phonics. Teachers can use the easy-to-read data reports to design supportive activities or use Let’s Go Learn’s Reading/ELA Edge to remediate student learning gaps. Every student deserves access to reading proficiency, and Let’s Go Learn’s digital diagnosis and data can mean the difference between achievement and never-ending struggle.
Margy Hillman is an experienced educator and writer who develops learning experiences and products that engage the brain and trigger creative and critical thinking. As part of the Let’s Go Learn team, she studies the education environment and learning research, trends, and strategies, documenting the role of Let’s Go Learn products in transforming learning loss into learning gain. She has a BA in English and an MA in American Studies and K-12 and adult teaching credentials. In addition to her work with K-12 teachers and learners, she is an adjunct professor at National University in Strategic Communications.