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Song of Joy Song of Joy is offline
 
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Can a Speech Language Pathologist Diagnose Dyslexia in Your State?
Old 11-04-2017, 10:31 AM
 
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I'm trying to get a student at our private school qualified for free books through Book Share, but we lack the "qualified individual" to designate that he has Dyslexia. We get a run-around when we refer to our local public school because, by law, they're supposed to assess specific deficits and address those, but we don't get a diagnosis of dyslexia. It is now called "Specific Learning Disability: With Reading Impairment" in our state.

We don't want to refer parents to the Neuro-psychologist for a $3,000 assessment, so we're searching for cheaper options.

Does your state allow a Speech/Language Therapist or Pathologist to make that diagnosis? Do you have any other ideas for a path to affordable diagnosis? The parents would most likely have to pay for services themselves.

Advise, please.


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Old 11-04-2017, 11:08 AM
 
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You don't need a dyslexia diagnosis. All you need is a diagnosis of print disability and lots of people are considered competent authorities. Here's a link: https://www.bookshare.org/cms/booksh...qualifications

Have the parents start with their pediatrician.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:16 AM
 
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Dyslexia can only be identified through a medical facility as it is considered a medical diagnosis. I assumed this was the same everywhere and not a state by state thing, but maybe I am wrong. No, an SLP couldn't make the diagnosis. Dyslexia is really not as specific as many people assume...it really just means the child has difficulties with decoding. If we see those difficulties at school, the child can qualify under specific learning disability and get reading services to help them with the decoding. A diagnosis wouldn't change the services that they get.

I have had a couple of parents over the years that really wanted the formal diagnosis. They felt that it would help their child as they got older to have a specific name for their difficulties with reading- something to help them understand it wasn't their fault. They felt "learning disability" was too generic. Those parents went to Children's. I know around here the waiting list is long, but I don't think it's as expensive as you mentioned.

I'm not sure what the Book Share program is, but are you sure they wouldn't just accept a specific learning disability label? I would imagine very few children actually have the dyslexia label. In my district, we're required to test children from local private schools if a disability is suspected.

Does the child not have access to books at home? I would just assume if parents are paying for private school tuition, a few dollars for more books wouldn't be a big deal for them. There are lots of cheap options for getting books as well. If the child truly has dyslexia, just getting them more books isn't going to be a huge help, IMO. It's more important to think about the instructional methods you're going to use with the child. Kids with dyslexia need very explicit and systematic phonics instruction with tons of repetition and multisensory practice.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:27 AM
 
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But through our educational testing, we can say that a child has a specific learning disability in reading.

Gets the kid services.

If parents want a specific label, they have to do it privately at their cost. Would not change our services.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:48 AM
 
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Thanks, SDT. I've seen that link, but didn't know if I qualified as the Reading Specialist since we're at a private school. I agree that the pediatrician is always a good place to start.

To clarify about Book Share: It's a federal program that offers free audio books to students who qualify. They have more than 500,000 titles which include text books. We can even request that a certain text book is added to their collection and I'm told they can usually comply with that request, even though it may take many months. Our MS and HS students with Dyslexia need this service to plow through their course readings.

Thanks, Dee. We can try the educational testing through our local public school again, but we are often frustrated by the process because they look at our student's standardized test scores, and other factors and don't see enough of a deficit to qualify for services, even though we're convinced there's a learning disability. It can be a real Catch 22. The testing can work with our very, very low students but it's super tough to get a diagnosis for a really intelligent student who has dyslexia.

All your ideas are helping. Any thoughts about the Speech Pathologist route?


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Old 11-04-2017, 12:23 PM
 
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Speech path here and we don't diagnose dyslexia.
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:44 PM
 
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An SLP is not a diag and cannot diagnose. We also don't recognize dyslexia...I believe the eligibility is SLD with dyslexic markers.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:22 AM
 
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No, a teacher is not a competent authority for Bookshare. A physician is. So, my students' physicians have often signed the papers for us in the past. Now we have someone in our assistive technology team who has been deemed a competent authority. Not sure how the district was able to do that.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:31 PM
 
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and I don't know what state you are in but Calif. has new laws regarding dyslexia. Our district psychologist ( the one assigned to our school ) has the authorization to diagnose dyslexia but she definitely shares the test results with her boss, who is an educational psychologist PHD at the county level, before qualifying. You are correct in assuming that they may not qualify. I referred a student that was a DNQ prior to this law but we are resubmitting it after the PHD psychologist confirmed it was dyslexia. From my experience medical professionals use the terms " visual learning disability" and shy away from the term dyslexia. I would still begin by sharing this info with his pediatrician and then go from there.
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No, no, no
Old 11-05-2017, 07:28 PM
 
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Haley, dyslexia is NOT just an issue with decoding. It has to do with parts of the brain and how it processes, which is why it has been a medical diagnosis. There are now ophthalmologists who can do testing and recommend further testing.

In recent years, the term dyslexia is being questioned because it runs a gamut (almost a spectrum) of areas that may be impacted and to differing degrees.

There is a great book written on dyslexia by a female physician, Dr. Shaywitz which may provide insight.


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Old 11-05-2017, 07:45 PM
 
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I read Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Shaywitz this summer after my new P said it "changed her outlook on reading" (I wanted to get some insight as to where she was coming from). It wasn't new information for me. The definition of dyslexia is: "Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge."

So yes, it's a problem with decoding. Many people assume that dyslexics see everything backwards or that letters on the page look jumbled up to them so they need some sort of super special/magic reading instruction that other kids struggling to read don't get/need. That's not the case. We use the same Orton-Gillingham based programs that Dr. Shaywitz recommends for any kids that have significant issues with decoding. Going to the hospital and getting an official dyslexia label wouldn't change their instruction at all or provide us with more insight as to what the child needs. Our Children's literally uses the exact same academic and cognitive tests we do at school, and in their report they always recommend the programs we're already using with the child. I have never once gotten any new information or recommendations that aren't already being carried out from a Children's report for a child that we've already identified as a student with a specific learning disability.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:59 PM
 
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As a special education teacher who is married to a man who is dyslexic, and have raised two dyslexic children, I totally disagree with your statement that it is just a problem with decoding.

As I stated above, people with dyslexia have a wide-range of issues and differing degrees and needs. Decoding is one issue (and yes, I am trained in Orton-Gillingham and Wilson), but it is not only a decoding issue, as I am sure you learned in reading Dr. Shaywitz's book and your numerous years of teaching students (of all ages) who are dyslexic in all academic areas.

From my educational and real-life experience, there can be directional issues, difficulties in problem solving and multi-step problems in math among numerous other issues. I can tell you that there are other issues that present from being dyslexic. No one dyslexic person is the same. One student I taught read perfectly when his book was turned upside down, but struggled when the book was held correctly.

I am so glad that you are aware of the needs, terminology, and educational programs, but dyslexia cannot be bottled into a simple "problems with decoding" and from an educational and personal experience, I felt it was necessary to point that out.

I am sure you have many years teaching students of all ages who are dyslexic. You, too, may have even raised children who are dyslexic and been given the ultimate first-hand reality of this complex identification.

I just didn't want you to misinform anyone without hands-on experience, that dyslexia is just a decoding issue when it is far much more complex.

Thanks for your passion and sharing your years of first-hand experience.

Last edited by noonespecial; 11-06-2017 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:27 PM
 
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I appreciate all the insights shared on this thread.

This summer our school formed a committee to meet the needs of students with dyslexia and I've been on a crash course of reading books like Overcoming Dyslexia by Shawitz, Dyslexic Advantage by the Eide's, and the Dyslexic Advantage magazine. Last month I attended the Central Texas Conference on Dyslexia, took an intensive intervention class called "Wired for Reading this summer and researched enough to provide professional development for our school.

We've decided on a 5 prong approach. 1) Diagnosis, 2) Intervention, 3) Accommodations, 4) Parent Support, 5) Student Support to include an Inspiration Buddy, help with Metacognition, training in self-advocacy, and discovering their strengths and passions.

The provision of audio books falls under the Accommodation strand and also should help the students with their self esteem.

We have discovered that some students with dyslexia fall into despair and think they are worthless and stupid because of their disability. We are searching for a path to full diagnosis, not just intervention, because then we can help them chart a direction to celebrate their many amazing abilities.
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