In this feature we focus on Dyslexia Reading Tests, then the Lucid Reading Test example – as well as special educaiotnal needs throughout the feature.
Special Educational Needs (SEN teaching)
Children and parents have struggled to adjust to homeschooling. Now, some have to cope with returning to schools which will seem very different to those they left at the beginning of lockdown. One group of children, though, are facing challenges beyond those experienced by the majority.
Children with special educational needs (SEN) make up around 15% of all pupils in mainstream education. Developmental dyslexia is the most common condition in this group, estimated to affect between 10%-16% of the UK population. Autism is much rarer, affecting about 1.1%.
Our research suggests that children with these conditions might find it especially difficult to adapt to changes in their education. We need to recognise the extra challenges homeschooling and online learning have posed for many children – and take this into account as schools reopen.
Extra SEN challenges
Many people think of dyslexia as a language disorder, but it also affects the memory and people’s ability to verbalise ideas and to pay attention. Even in the best of learning environments, struggles in school are likely to lead to low self-esteem for dyslexic children.
Sounds can be magnified, for example, making it hard for a child working at the kitchen table to drag their attention away from the ticking of a clock or the dripping of a tap. Their experience of “not fitting in” also affects their self-esteem.
Another aspect of autism is concrete, black and white thinking. Some autistic children struggle with homework because they think school is for work and home is for play. Routine and predictability is crucial for these children.
In school, autistic and dyslexic children would often have specialist support in place to help them with these problems. Without this kind of support, problems with attention and self-esteem may make learning at home very difficult.
Educational and emotional support at home may be limited, further disadvantaging the child and reinforcing the parent’s own potential sense of inadequacy. Children with SEN are also more likely to come from poorer families, an additional layer of inequality.
SEN school attendance
Many autistic children, including those with a type of autism called pathological demand avoidance, are simply too anxious to attend school regularly.
Remote online education may offer children a greater opportunity for personalised learning at their own pace. For these reasons, many parents of SEN children choose to homeschool their children even under normal circumstances.
SEN emotional and social development
Experts suggest that emotional and social development should take precedence over school work. Some children may need special help with this. Autistic children, for instance, may need to be explicitly taught how to play appropriately, and may need adult assistance to make friends.
As such, the current advice, which recommends that children should stay in small groups, may be well suited to those with special educational needs. However, teachers will also need to actively adopt other strategies to foster social bonds between the child and their peers.
It will still be important for parents and teachers to collaborate closely to ensure as much consistency as possible. There are things that teachers and parents can do to help children deal with difficult emotions. Children might also be dealing with bereavement and new financial insecurity at home. The involvement of other child specialists, like psychologists and social workers, might therefore be beneficial.
To help build a sense of control, we need to do more to help children with special educational needs succeed in school, respecting their own pace and learning styles.
Dyslexia Reading Tests
GL Assessments distribute the Lucid test portfolio. The tests are used to screen and diagnose learners with specific learning difficulties. They are also very useful in identifying potential and understanding learners’ strengths and weaknesses.
Different Lucid Tests Results
The Lucid test portfolio consists of 9 separate tests.
Lucid Reading Test – Lucid Test Exact
Firstly, we consider the Lucid Test, called the Lucid Exact. This is a simple and time-efficient Access Arrangement screening for those between 11 and 24. The test is computer-based and takes between 30-40 minutes.
It assesses the following:
- Speeded word recognition
- Reading comprehension accuracy
- Reading comprehension speed
- Handwriting speed
- Typing speed
Second, we consider the Lucid Test, called the Lucid Rapid provides a quick and accurate indication of dyslexia. Since the test only takes 15 minutes, it can be used for children between the ages of 4 and 15.
The Lucid Rapid has 4 sub-tests:
- Phonological processing (4 – 15 years)
- Working memory (4 – 15 Years)
- Phonic decoding skills (8 – 15 years)
- Visual-verbal integration memory (4 – 7 years)
Thirdly, let’s consider the LADS Plus. This Lucid test provides a fast, accurate and objective identification of dyslexia in the general population over 15.
The CoPs is a child-friendly dyslexia screening that is suitable for children between 4 and 8 years. Teachers can use the CoPS to identify dyslexia and many other learning difficulties. Thus, the CoPs is a very widely used tool worldwide. It comprises of 9 tests, each presented as an attractive and fun game that takes about 5 minutes. Total administration time is 45 minutes.
The tests assess:
- Phonological awareness
- Phoneme discrimination
- Auditory short-term memory
- Visual short-term memory
- Visual and verbal sequencing
Lucid Reading Test – Lucid LASS
Now, let’s consider the Lucid Test, called the Lucid LASS. This Lucid test identifies dyslexic tendencies and other learning needs in children between 8 and 16. It is available in 2 versions. Firstly, for learners 8-11. Second, for those aged between 11 and 15 years of age.
- Firstly, visual memory
- Secondly, auditory-verbal memory
- Thirdly, phonic reading skills
- Fourthly,Phonological processing ability
- Fifth, single-word reading
- Next, sentence reading
- Then, spelling
- Finally, reasoning
Next, the Lucid Test called the Lucid Recall is an effective assessment of working memory. It can have many applications in the classroom but is most effective in identifying children who require intervention.
The Lucid Test Recall has 3 subtests. Firstly, the phonological loop – assessed by a word recall test.
Secondly, the visuospatial sketchpad – assessed by a pattern recall test.
Thirdly, the central executive function – assessed by a counting recall test
So we know this measures processing speed, but not working memory.
Next, the Lucid Test called the ViSS helps identify those who suffer from visual stress.
So, what is visual stress? Visual stress is also called ‘Meares-Irlen Syndrome’ or ‘Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome’ and it is the experience of unpleasant visual symptoms when reading.
In our opinion, these symptoms can vary greatly and include movement and colour in text, distortions of the print, illusions of shape, loss of print clarity and general visual irritation.
As this assessment is only 20 – 30 minutes long it can be very useful as a quick diagnostic. The results not only give a reliable indication of the existence and severity of visual stress but also identify who may benefit from colour overlays or tinted lenses to minimise the symptoms
Lucid Memory Booster
Next, Memory Booster is presented as an adventure game and is useful in developing learning strategies for children 4 – 11+. We believe this provides excellent practice of verbal and visual memory skills.
It takes about 30-40 minutes to complete and has 6 levels, increasing in difficulty. Each level teaches a different memory strategy. Worth knowing that the Lucid Memory Booster is also available for home use.
Lucid Comprehension Booster
Finally, the Lucid Comprehension Booster provides a fun way to increase reading and listening comprehension skills. It is aimed at learners between 7 and 24. In our opinion, comprehension is essential for success in any tests, whether they are SATs, 11+ Grammar or Private School entrance tests.
How to recognize and evaluate children with SEN?
Every individual goes through a phase of a child, or a young person and has their own requirement regarding education. Some have special educational needs that are met in mainstream conventional schools with a better classroom execution.
This is what quality first teaching means. It is very crucial to identify the special educational need of children and once it is identified making sure that it is met is the next imperative step to follow.
What are special educational needs?
- Children who face difficulties while learning or suffer from any disabilities which hamper or put them into the strenuous situation compared to other children of the same age.
- Children might require a special educational needs teacher to help their:
- Physical challenges
- Sensory difficulties
- Emotional support
- Behavioral support
- Speech or reading.
- Special educational needs are for those children who are facing difficulties with school work, understanding information, reading and/or writing..
How to identify whether children require an SEN teacher?
Teachers’ observation is also an advantage, taking their views and the learning assessment reports helps a lot. There are many national curriculum testing programs that also help in identifying the special need.
There are other ways as well to check if there is a special educational need for your child, such as telephonic tests, tests to observe if there is any problem specifically or difficulties in the individual’s movement.
If the child has left one school and has moved to other than collecting records and feedback from there is a good idea. Checking closely if the child can meet the individual targets and is able to perform well in differentiated learning activities.
Organizing activities where the involvement of several psychological senses at a time gives an excellent result. Keeping a proper tab on the progress and the accomplishments of the student as per the national individual target.
Scheduling and monitoring regular meetings with the pupil by analyzing the data maintained by the school management.
What to do if your child requires an SEN teacher
- The early years of the children are very crucial for their physical, psychological, cognitive, and social development.
- If the doctor has asked for a routine checkup schedule be alert that the doctor has observed any difficulty with your child and try to have a conversation with him/her to understand it more.
- In fact, you can directly visit your doctor or the health visitor and they will guide you with the next strides for extra care and improvements.
What parents should ask their SEN teacher?
While interacting with the class teacher or the headteacher of your child, ask about the performance of your child compared to children of a similar age. Ask if they think your child faces any difficulties or he/she has special educational needs.
Parents can also seek help from the parent partnership service available in their local authorities. They can go to child health services, social services, or any local voluntary organizations for seeking required assistance or guidance.
Typical special educational needs provision
The schools arrange systematic and evaluated motor programs; they give more time to the children with difficulties to complete the task. Giving rest breaks to children from time to time is also a part. Teachers arrange for the adaptive groupings.
The materials and activities conducted are specifically designed, keeping SEN in mind for children. The talk between the students and the teachers is in simplified form. Teachers often go for 1:1 support, depending on the need of the individual.
What if you’re unhappy with the school’s SEN provision
Then discuss this with their SEN teacher, the class teacher and your child.