Dyslexia Screening Test - Secondary (DST-S) - Read Review

"Cheap and Easy"

"These tests aim to save money, improve access to assessment and empower teachers by making dyslexia assessment available without the delay and expense involved in consulting a psychologist. As psychological assessments cost more than twice the price of one of these kits, this seems a good idea, provided the test is reliable and easy to use."

"The secondary version includes a test of "non-verbal" reasoning, based on identifying patterns in shapes, although the term "non-verbal" does not take account of the use of language in users' minds as they analyse patterns in the shapes."

"It is also a pity that the authors have relied on the psychologists' hackneyed test of remembering sequences of numbers (in this case, to be repeated backwards) as their only test of memory. This activity has nothing to do with the intellectual processes of reading."

"The authors say the tests should take roughly 30 minutes. As some need only one minute, this seems a reasonable goal once the tester knows the material thoroughly."

"Results have been standardised well and will reliably show if a particular score is out of line, either with those of most children of the same age or with a child's other scores."

"This can be useful, but to go on to say that a child is or is not dyslexic is a big step, and one the authors do not take. Instead, they say that a child is at mild, moderate or high risk "of dyslexia or other reading difficulties"."

"In fairness, most psychologists also shrink from an unequivocal diagnosis of dyslexia - they find the phrase "consistent with" very handy - but the terminology used here simply will not do."

"If a child is not at risk of reading difficulties, then why use the test? Not, I hope, to get 15 minutes' extra in exams."

- Literacy consultant, John Bald. TES Teacher Magazine, 17 March 2006

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