Our online evaluation is designed to determine the cause of a person’s language-literacy difficulties and to recommend the most appropriate treatment methods, accommodations and assistive technologies, based on the individual’s needs. We use science-based methods to arrive at a differential diagnosis.
We have worked hard to make this high-value evaluation both affordable and accessible (online).
Our online language-literacy processing evaluations are conducted by qualified and experienced clinical educators.
The evaluation takes about 90 minutes and is done in an interactive, private and secure web-conference using procedures that have been shown by research to produce equivalent results to evaluations conducted across a tabletop in a physical facility.
Following the evaluation the clinical educator provides a detailed written report and schedules a 30-minute interpretive conference to review the results and recommendations with the client and/or family. This interpretive conference is provided at no extra cost.
Our testing protocol was developed based on the National Institutes of Health research, current best practices and the American Telemedicine Association’s Practice Guidelines for Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health (2009).
You can see more details and view sample reports here: Lexercise Full Evaluations.
What is a language-literacy processing evaluation? How is it different from other evaluations?
The purpose of a Lexercise language-literacy evaluation is to answer these questions:
Is there a significant reading and/or writing disability? If so:
- What is the nature of the difficulty?
- What science-backed intervention methods are indicated?
The evaluation protocol we use was developed from research funded largely by the United States National Institutes of Health, and it focuses on the neurolinguistic skills that are known to underpin skilled reading and writing. Our evaluation protocol allows us to make a differential diagnosis that pinpoints the cause of the difficulty, using a model of reading acquisition that is now accepted by nearly all reading scientists (Seidenberg, 2017). We use the Word Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) diagnostic coding.
In contrast, the purpose of a psycho-educational evaluation, typically done through public schools in the United States, is to qualify children for tax-supported, special education services (e.g., an IEP). The typical psycho-educational evaluation includes a complete IQ test and a series of achievement tests in school subjects like reading and math. A “discrepancy” (significant difference) between the child’s IQ and achievement tests is one of the ways a child is “qualified” for tax-supported public school services. (The other is Response-to-Intervention or R-t-I.) The use of an IQ-achievement discrepancy for diagnosing reading disorders like dyslexia is not supported by research and is not recommended by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (See: NIH-funded study finds dyslexia not tied to IQ) Most psycho-educational evaluations are not designed to pin-point the cause of the difficulty. A differential diagnosis is not the purpose of a psycho-educational evaluation because most reading interventions done through public schools are group-based, one-size-fits-all approaches and are not differentiated based on diagnosis. Based on the Department of Education’s own research, public school intervention for struggling readers is not effective and may even have negative effects (Balu, et al., 2015).
Lexercise’s Online Language-literacy Processing Evaluation
The testing protocol is based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health and includes a series of short tests that are relatively quick to administer, have good statistical reliability and can be used or adapted for clients ages 5 and older. There are two evaluation protocols, one for children and adolescents (ages 5 -18) and one for adults (age 19 and older).
This evaluation allows the clinical educator to determine what type of intervention is needed and at what level to begin intervention, as well as what customizations, assistive technologies and/or accommodations are likely to be necessary to help the student progress academically.
Guided by the Simple View of Reading, a language-literacy evaluation is designed to determine if there are listening comprehension issues (e.g. vocabulary and sentence and/or discourse processing deficits) and/or if there are decoding and/or spelling issues (e.g., phonological awareness, phonological memory, lexical access, rapid naming deficits and/or letter-sound association deficits). The skills include:
- awareness & memory for speech sounds (i.e., phonological awareness and memory)
- awareness & memory for the association of speech sounds with letter symbols
- naming fluency for well-known objects or symbols (e.g., rapid naming of pictures and/or alpha-numeric symbols)
- awareness & memory for letter symbols in syllable contexts
- comprehension for listening and for reading
- spelling accuracy and error patterns
- handwriting accuracy and speed
- written expression
The Lexercise evaluation protocol is consistent with the standards of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and with the Joint Technical Report of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Ophthalmology and Council on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists summarized here: “Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision”.
- Balu, R., et al. (2015) Evaluation of Response to Intervention Practices for Elementary School Reading, United States Institute for Education Sciences.
- Berninger, V., Rury Smith, D. and O’Donnell, L. (2008). Research-Supported Assessment-Intervention Links for Reading and Writing. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and Reading Rockets Partnership.
- Gilman, B. J., Lovecky, D. V., Kearney, K., Peters, D. B., Wasserman, J. D., Silverman, L. K., …Rimm, S. B. (2013). Critical issues in the identification of gifted students with co-existing disabilities: The twice-exceptional. SAGE Open 3: doi: 10.1177/2158244013505855
- Handler, S.M. et al. (2011). Joint Technical Report: Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision. Pediatrics Vol. 127 No. 3, pp. e818 -e856.
- NIH-funded study finds dyslexia not tied to IQ. NIH News and Events (2011)
- Seidenberg, M. (2017). Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t and What Can Be Done About It. New York: Basic Books.