Is “Dyslexia” a Useful Label for Diagnostic and Treatment Purposes?

Last year I administered a comprehensive language and literacy reassessment to a bright 12-year adolescent with persistent reading deficits. When asked to discuss self, he readily offered, ‘I am dyslexic’, when describing some of his self attributes. This took me by surprise a few weeks later, as testing was way underway and I had the …

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How Language Affects Reading: Free Webinar for Parents and Professionals

Recently I had the pleasure of doing a webinar for the International Dyslexia Association, Florida Branch regarding the crucial role language plays in the acquisition of literacy skills. During the webinar, I reviewed the role of language in the acquisition of reading and explains why children with reading difficulties must be assessed for language deficits. …

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Quality Assessments for Students with Suspected/Confirmed “APD”

Today I would like to answer several questions on the subject of assessment of students with APD by providing further helpful information and links for parents and professionals seeking evidence-based assistance for students with suspected/confirmed “APD”. These are: How do we help students with “APD? What constitutes a good quality assessment for a student with …

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Help, My Child is Receiving All These Therapies But It’s NOT Helping

On a daily basis, I receive emails and messages from concerned parents and professionals, which read along these lines: “My child/student has been diagnosed with: dyslexia, ADHD, APD, etc., s/he has been receiving speech, OT, vision, biofeedback, music therapies, etc. but nothing seems to be working.” Up until now, I have been providing individualized responses …

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Why Are My Child’s Test Scores Dropping?

“I just don’t understand,” says a parent bewilderingly, “she’s receiving so many different therapies and tutoring every week, but her scores on educational, speech-language, and psychological tests just keep dropping!” I hear a variation of this comment far too frequently in both my private practice as well as an outpatient school in a hospital setting, …

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Why “good grades” do not automatically rule out “adverse educational impact”

As a speech-language pathologist (SLP) working with school-age children, I frequently assess students whose language and literacy abilities adversely impact their academic functioning.   For the parents of school-aged children with suspected language and literacy deficits as well as for the SLPs tasked with screening and evaluating them, the concept of ‘academic impact’ comes up …

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What Makes an Independent Speech-Language-Literacy Evaluation a GOOD Evaluation?

Previously, I wrote a blog post entitled: “Special Education Disputes and Comprehensive Language Testing: What Parents, Attorneys, and Advocates Need to Know“. In it, I used  4 very different scenarios to illustrate the importance of comprehensive language evaluations for children with subtle language and learning needs.  Today I would like to elaborate further on that post in order …

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Comprehensive Assessment of Elementary Aged Children with Subtle Language and Literacy Deficits

There are numerous posts on social media asking for testing suggestions for students who exhibit subtle language-based difficulties. Many of these children are typically referred for initial assessments or reassessments as part of advocate/attorney involved cases, while others are being assessed due to the parental insistence that something “is not quite right” with their language …

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Special Education Disputes and Comprehensive Language Testing: What Parents, Attorneys, and Advocates Need to Know

For years I have been performing comprehensive independent speech and language evaluations (IEEs). For those of you who may be hearing the term IEE for the first time, an Independent Educational Evaluation is “an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child in …

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