How Does the Lexercise Dyslexia Test Work?

The Lexercise Dyslexia Test combines two separate assessments to pinpoint a child’s ability to read words. One of them is the San Diego Quick Assessment (SDQA); the other is the Z Screener. This post will explain how the two tests help identify dyslexia in children.

There are many factors that contribute to how well a child comprehends and applies what he or she reads. While no single “test” can adequately capture that whole, complex picture, the San Diego Quick Assessment in combination with the Z-Screener has proven successful.

First, the SDQA is a list of words categorized by grade level. The creators, Margaret La Pray and Ramon Ross, explained “The graded word list has two uses:

  1. to determine a reading level
  2. to detect errors in word analysis

One can use the test information to group students for corrective practice or select appropriate reading materials for those students. The list is remarkably accurate when used for these purposes.”

Research has confirmed that the SDQA provides a fairly accurate estimate of a child’s ability to read grade-level material. The SDQA is good for its intended purpose: as a first-step screening procedure. It is not a substitute for a comprehensive reading assessment, which should be done by a qualified professional. While the SDQA can raise a “red flag” and it may hint at what is causing the child’s difficulty, it cannot fully explain what is causing the child’s reading problems.

Second, the Z-Screener portion uses mostly one-syllable nonsense words that all have “short” vowel sounds. The focus is on decoding the vowel and the following consonant or consonants. It is the “rime” (i.e., vowel) segment that is most difficult for most dyslexics. Thus, the Z-Screener can be useful in describing the decoding patterns common in dyslexia but missed in reading assessments that use only real words that bright dyslexics can memorize as whole units.

The Lexercise Screener scoring is extremely conservative. For example, a 2nd grader will pass it even if they miss as many as one out of every ten words. The screener will discontinue once the child misses 5 words in one level. Kindergarteners and 1st graders should be reading at 50% or higher on the Z-screener portion while 2nd graders and above should score a 90% or higher. Anything lower than these benchmarks indicate a need for dyslexia therapy.

With its combination of the extensively-researched results of the SDQA with the results of the Z Screener, The Lexercise Screener is a powerful and tested online tool that allows the parent, teacher, and/or pediatrician to determine if the child needs Structured Literacy therapy. It’s convenient, fast, and free.

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Marie Lunney

Marie struggled with reading, writing and spelling as a child and knows the frustrations of finding and receiving language therapy. She has since overcome her childhood struggles and recently graduated Cum Laude from Elon University with a BS/BA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Marie is enthusiastic about helping families find convenient, personalized and effective language therapy.