Results from National reading tests show that more than 20 % of the Norwegian children face challenges in learning to read. Many go on to have problems beyond the early stages and show the characteristics of ‘dyslexia’, which is known to compromise reading and spelling throughout the life span. It is well known that these children typically are identified late, when interventions are less likely to be effective.
Based on the findings from two ongoing studies at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and international research, a quick, evidence-based screening tool has been developed. The screener determines whether a child is experiencing difficulty in areas known to be affected in dyslexia in preschool years, and identifies at-risk children in primary school. Preliminary analyses show that the screening protocol meets the standards for reliability and validity and thus has good psychometric properties.
For too long have teachers in Norway identified students with dyslexia by chance. By screening the entire class with a norm-referenced protocol, students at risk will be identified independent of the teacher's personal attitude, beliefs, and knowledge.
‘Literate screening test for children’ is designed to be easy to administer, time and cost effective, and has the potential to be a useful and valid tool for identifying Norwegian pre-schoolers (from age 4 ½ years) and primary school children at risk for dyslexia and who thus need to be referred to a full assessment by an expert. At present, there are no screening tools for this age group.
Combining the research findings (i.e., from ‘The Tromsø Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia’ and a parallel normative study, respectively) with the facilitation by digital technologies, Literate AS aims to provide a digital solution of the screening test.
The goal of the present project is to launch a ‘Release Candidate’, that is, a fully developed product and nearly ready to be made available to the public.