Reading / Writing Evaluation and Intervention

Comprehensive Evaluations with an Individualized Approach

For the school aged child, reading and writing skills are directly related to language! Children take information in through listening and reading. They share information through speaking and writing.

  • Does your child have difficulty sounding out words when he or she is reading?
  • Does your child have difficulty understanding what he or she has just read?
  • Does your child struggle to spell words that he or she just practiced the week before?

Reading Evaluation – Decoding:

A reading and spelling evaluation may be able to pinpoint the problem. Reading evaluations focus on the child’s ability to accurately “decode” or sound out words, read irregular spelling patterns, read fluently, and comprehend what they have read. Any description of a child’s reading ability must include consideration of the efficiency and accuracy of decoding. Word analysis skills, which form the initial foundation for sophisticated reading, need to be evaluated during oral reading. To assess these skills, observations are made about the ease and accuracy at which children decipher the phonology of an unfamiliar word. A number of specific questions should be asked when evaluating a child’s word analysis skills. First, how effectively is the child focusing on the details of the word? Second, are there certain letters or letter combinations that have not been mastered? Third, are there problems blending the sounds in the right sequence to form words? Fourth, what is the rate and efficiency of the word analysis? Both silent and oral reading abilities should be evaluated. All children need to read well to succeed in school, and without adequate decoding skills, children will struggle throughout school.

Reading Comprehension Evaluation:

An evaluation of reading comprehension is a complex undertaking. First of all, comprehension requirements change drastically as children age and reach the more advanced grades so that increasingly sophisticated measures must be employed. Second, comprehension is impacted by so many variables that it is difficult to measure each in a relatively pure form. Attention, memory, language ability, background knowledge, organizational skills, higher cognition, and ease of decoding all influence understanding. Reading comprehension is generally tested by having children read a paragraph and then answer questions. The accuracy of responses is taken as an indication of competency. The questions may relate to specific vocabulary in the passage, structure, literal meaning, main ideas, and supporting details, author’s point of view and stylistic techniques. The goal is to identify the reason for the child’s challenges in understanding what they have read, so that they do not have to re-read to gain meaning from what they have decoded.

Spelling Evaluation:

Comprehensive spelling evaluations are offered through Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists to identify any spelling difficulties your child may have. This type of evaluation will test a child’s ability to spell a variety of letter and vowel patterns in simple and complex syllables in addition to the complex spelling patterns and intricacies involved in spelling multisyllable words. Our spelling evaluations are appropriate for children who are just beginning to spell phonetically to children who are able to spell phonetically but cannot create “mental images” of specific spelling patterns. Phonetic spellers are able to isolate the individual sounds in a word and match those to sounds to their letter symbols. A child’s ability to spell must go beyond this level, though. Since there are many spelling patterns that match individual sounds, a child must create “mental images” of a word to decide which spelling pattern is appropriate. Our goal at Pediatric Speech an Language Specialists is to provide targeted strategies for all children with spelling difficulties that can be generalized to the classroom and beyond.

Reading Intervention:

Our reading intervention treatment programs offer students opportunities to improve individual skills and learn strategies to succeed academically. Individualized reading instruction using the Wilson Reading System™, LiPS®, Lindamood Bell® Seeing Stars®, Spell Links To Reading and Writing® and Visualizing and Verbalizing® are provided by a our reading specialists. Treatment may focus on the following:

  • Automaticity in word attack (letter/sound correspondence, phonological analysis, concepts of print)
  • Reading fluency
  • Increasing naming speed and word recognition
  • Reading comprehension and reading to learn
  • Emphasis on gaining metacognitive tools that will give children command over printed language and change their perception of themselves as readers
  • Treatment plans will draw from research based reading programs, computer based technologies and PSLS’s designed methodologies

Our resources include:

  • Lindamood Bell® LiPS®
  • Lindamood Bell® Seeing Stars®
  • Wilson Reading System™
  • Fast ForWord® Reading Series
  • Scientific Learning Corporation’s Reading Assistant
  • Lindamood Bell® Visualizing and Verbalizing®
  • And many more

Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists is NOT Lindamood-Bell® learning Processes nor is it affiliated with, certified, endorsed, licensed, monitored, or sponsored by Lindamood-Bell®, Nanci Bell or Phyllis Lindamood. Lindamood-Bell® – an international organization creating and implementing unique instructional methods and programs for quality intervention to advance language and literacy skills – in no way endorses or monitors the services provided by Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists

Spelling Intervention

Research has shown that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge — such as the relationships between letters and sounds. “Spelling and reading build and rely on the same mental representation of a word. Knowing the spelling of a word makes the representation of it sturdy and accessible for fluent reading” (Catherine Snow et al).

Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists uses SPELL-Links , a speech-to-print word study approach to leverage the brain’s innate, biological wiring and organization for oral language. Unlike traditional phonics and word study programs which begin with the written letter and teach students to match the letter to a sound, with SPELL-Links students first learn how to attend to the sound structure of spoken English words and then how to connect and combine sounds, letter patterns, and meanings to read and spell words. This is exactly how the brain works in good readers and writers!

The Writing Evaluation focuses on the child’s ability to express their thoughts and ideas in writing. It may evaluate the child’s ability to retell a story with a topic and sequence of events. The child’s language skills are evaluated for grammar, syntax, organization, and vocabulary use. Written expression is also reviewed for spelling, punctuation and form.

Writing Intervention

Step Up to Writing, SQ Write, and Six Traits For Writing are just a few of the written language intervention programs we use.

Writing is such an important part of school and beyond! A solid foundation should be laid to ensure children are successful when given the challenging writing assignments of elementary, middle, and high school. Unfortunately, writing can be a difficult or unpleasant task for many children. These children are required to write complete sentences, comprehensive paragraphs, interesting narratives, and detailed multi-paragraph essays as early as first grade!

If your child struggles with writing, Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists can help. PSLS offers writing intervention especially designed to meet the writing needs of elementary, middle, and high school children.

Step Up to Writing is a multisensory approach to writing for all ages. Children learn expository and narrative writing strategies that makes writing attainable for all students. The “How To” strategies in partnership with graphic organizers, rubrics and prompts demystify the writing process for all students at all achievement levels. Early primary grade students learn the importance of organization in thinking, speaking and writing sentences. Students in grades 1-2 produce well-written descriptive expository sentences and single paragraphs, as well as personal and story narratives. Upper and secondary students develop coherent expository essays, reports, and narrative stories. Since reading and writing are inseparable, and many skills transfer from one domain to the other, we embed reading comprehension, literary analysis, and vocabulary development in the training.

Also increasing the effectiveness of the Step Up To Writing strategies is the alignment of these strategies with local and state level standards. All text structures including personal narrative, persuasive, descriptive, response to literature, and others are aligned with each set of grade level standards.

SQ Write is a comprehensive curriculum that applies an executive function approach to teaching and learning how to write effectively. The executive function skills that are learned and practiced using SQ Write become a part of their repertoire. SQ Write teaches students how to use metacognitive strategies such as self-questioning, whole-to-part analysis, verbal mediation and rehearsal. Students learn to self-question to generate ideas, answer self-questions to fill in a Thought Organizer and rehearse the answers aloud, converting them into complete sentences. SQ Write employs a simple yet powerful process that can be used in all tiers of instruction to help elementary and middle-school students become self-reliant writers who create high-quality writing products.

Six Traits Writing Intervention uses the frame work for 6 writing traits to help children learn the attributes of good writing. The goals is for the writer to understand what a good piece of writing should include. The six traits encouraged are as follows:

  • Ideas: This is the clear and concentrated content material which will provide the details
  • Voice: Creating a subject matter which is lively and engaging to the target readers
  • Word Choice: Deciding on the correct phrases or words in order to communicate the information, idea or emotion
  • Sentence Fluency: The sentences should be crystal clear, to the point and of varying lengths
  • Conventions: The correct utilization of punctuation, spelling and grammar
  • Presentation: the last addition which makes the final written piece memorable to the reader