SAN FRANCISCO, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lexercise, a company that provides professionally-managed, online dyslexia treatment, today introduced a free online test, The Lexercise Screener, that allows parents or clinicians to screen children ages six and up for dyslexia, no matter where they live. The Screener takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete and uses common words and nonsense syllables to identify children who are at risk for dyslexia (www.lexercise.com/screener).
"Parents often notice that their child is struggling to read," says Sandie Barrie Blackley, a North Carolina-based Speech-Language Pathologist and co-founder of Lexercise. "They turn to their educational institution for help, but most public schools are not set up to diagnose or help children with language-learning disorders such as dyslexia. Parents can spend up to two or three years looking for a diagnosis and finding treatment for their child. During this time, their child is falling behind in school."
The Lexercise Screener empowers parents to determine whether their child may be dyslexic and allows them to get their child early evaluation and treatment rather than waiting for schools to recognize there may be a problem, which can take years or might not happen at all. It addresses a significant and previously unmet need for millions of parents searching for answers to better understand why their child might be struggling to read.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, it is estimated that up to 20 percent of the U.S. school population has dyslexia. Dyslexics have an inherited neurological difference, resulting in language, perceptual, processing, and attention/concentration differences. Yet, only 5 percent of individuals with dyslexia are ever properly diagnosed and given appropriate help, which means 85 percent of adult illiterates are dyslexic. This lack of literacy limits their ability to become successful, productive adults, find jobs, or function independently within their communities.
Speech-language pathologists such as Blackley regularly see such children in their clinics and private practices, which is what inspired her to create Lexercise.com with Chad Myers, a technology professional.
"Children with language-learning disorders need a clinician who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and a treatment plan," Blackley adds. "The Screener helps parents see whether or not their child might be dyslexic and gives the parents a next step, somewhere to turn."
The first such tool available to parents, The Lexercise Screener tests single-word recognition, one of the most critical components of the ability to read. Blackley and her team converted the widely-recognized San Diego Quick Assessment, a test of grade-level reading, into a digital test and combined it with the Z-Screener, a test of simple nonsense syllables, created by Blackley.
As an authority on intervention for dyslexia and leading researcher, Dr. Linda Lombardino at the University of Florida recommends Lexercise as a treatment tool in her forthcoming book entitled 'Assessing and Differentiating Reading & Writing Disorders: Multidimensional Model' and is currently conducting further research on the Lexercise Screener tool.
"The Lexercise Screener is the first of its kind," said Dr. Linda Lombardino, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology from University of Florida. "For many decades, Orton-Gillingham (OG) methods have been used to provide intensive multisensory phonics-based instruction to children who have dyslexia. But until now, clinicians have not had easy access to an OG-based screening instrument. The Lexercise Screener assesses students' initial skills and monitors their progress in intervention within an OG scope and sequence. In simple terms, the Lexercise Screener allows parents to get their child early evaluation and treatment rather than waiting for the child's school to catch the problem."
If The Lexercise Screener indicates that a child is dyslexic, then the Lexercise.com site offers parents a step-by-step treatment solution which begins with finding the right clinician in their area. Lexercise then offers clinician-managed dyslexia treatment that includes online games and in-clinic tools.
Lexercise offers clinician-managed dyslexia treatment that includes online games and in-clinic tools. These research-based, neuro-linguistic treatment exercises are customized for the child by his or her clinician. The child practices online daily when convenient. Practice is supervised and adjusted by the clinician to optimize progress.
Research shows that daily, structured practice is the most important component of dyslexia treatment. Lexercise combines this curriculum with all the other essential elements for successful dyslexia treatment.