Skills to Screen for in
First & Second Grade
Predictive of Dyslexia

Phonological Awareness

 

Poor phonological awareness for the sound structure of spoken words is a strong early indicator of dyslexia risk. Phonological skills such as rhyming, blending and segmenting tasks correlate with reading outcomes in later grades (Scarborough, Dobrich & Hager, 1991). *If these skills have been previously screened for, repeated administration is not necessary. 

 

Rapid Automatized Naming 

 

Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) refers to the automaticity with which a child can retrieve the names of a set of serially presented symbols such as objects, colors, letters, or numbers. RAN parallels the cognitive and neural demands of fluent reading, and is a strong early predictor of later reading fluency (Schatschneider, Fletcher, Francis, Carlson, & Foorman, 2004). The predictive power of RAN also varies depending on what stimuli are used (e.g., numbers, pictures, or letters), with colors and objects being stronger predictors in earlier grades (Norton & Wolf, 2012). *If these skills have been previously screened for, repeated administration is not necessary. 

Family History

 

Due to the hereditary nature of dyslexia, family history is one of the strongest risk factors for developing dyslexia (Gaab & Ozernov-Palchik, 2016). Familial studies suggest that dyslexia occurs in up to 68% of identical twins and up to 40–60% of individuals who have a first-degree relative with dyslexia (See Resources for more information). Assessments should include questions regarding the family's known history of dyslexia, struggles with reading or academic failure. *If family history has been previously screened for, repeated administration is not necessary. 

Predictive of Comprehension Challenges

Oral Language Ability 

 

Slow language development as indicated by delayed onset of talking, short mean length of utterances, lower complexity of syllables produced, and poor receptive or expressive vocabulary, has been

associated with poor literacy outcomes 

(Flax, Realpe-Bonilla, Roesler, Choudhury & Benasich, 2009; Lyytinen, Eklund, Lyytinen, 2005). An important distinction has been made between receptive and expressive language development. While most late-talkers with typical receptive language will develop typical literacy skills, children with language delay in both expressive and receptive realms are more likely to experience persistent language and reading difficulties (Rescorla & Roberts, 2002; Scarborough, & Dobrich, 1990). *If these skills have been previously screened for, repeated administration is not necessary. 

Oral Reading Fluency  

 

Oral Reading Fluency refers to students' ability to read passages with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, indicating that they comprehend the text. By the second half of first-grade, students' rate of oral reading fluency has been shown to be the strongest predictor of current and later (3rd grade) reading comprehension (Kim, Petscher, Schatschneider, & Foorman, 2010; Petscher, & Kim, 2011). 

Nonsense Word Reading/Decoding

 

Nonsense word reading represents the isolated ability of students to apply their decoding skills to sound out phonetically regular words that carry no meaning (e.g. dord, churm, flep). Students' ability to decode reflects the degree to which they understand the underlying sound-symbol correspondences and can phonetically recode the skills of the alphabetic principle. Accordingly, nonsense word reading is strongly related to oral reading fluency which in turn predicts comprehension (Fien,Baker, Smolkowski, Smith, Kame'enui & Beck, 2008Good et al., 2003; Rouse & Fantuzzo, 2006)

Oral Reading Fluency  

 

Oral Reading Fluency refers to students' ability to read passages with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, indicating that they comprehend the text. By the second half of first-grade, students' rate of oral reading fluency has been shown to be the strongest predictor of current and later (3rd grade) reading comprehension (Kim, Petscher, Schatschneider, & Foorman, 2010; Petscher, & Kim, 2011).