Benefits: Quickly assess a student's specific reading difficultie
Ages 1st through 8th grades
Admin Time 5-10 minutes
Format Individually administered tasks
The Decoding–Encoding Screener for Dyslexia
(DESD) is a screening test that allows you to assess a student’s
specific reading difficulties in less than 10 minutes. The DESD consists
of three sections: Decoding, Encoding, and Letter Writing. The Decoding
section provides a norm-referenced measure of sight-word recognition
(Reading Standard Score). Additionally, qualitative indicators in the
Encoding section allow you to distinguish deficits in sight-word
recognition from deficits in phonetic analysis. The test identifies the
specific skills that a child brings to bear on the task of reading
words. This information makes it easier to detect and describe reading
problems and to refer students for appropriate educational therapy.
The DESD allows identification of children who are at
risk for dyslexia, so they can be referred without delay to special
services. The early screening and intervention made possible by the DESD
vastly improves the effectiveness of educational therapy and helps
minimize the secondary emotional problems dyslexia can create.
Standardized on a sample of 678 students in grades 1 through 8, the DESD
can be administered and scored in 5 to 10 minutes.
BY JOHN R. GRIFFIN, OD, MSED, HOWARD N. WALTON, OD, MS, AND GARTH N. CHRISTENSON, OD, MSED