Test identifies children's dyslexia risk

Researchers at Canterbury University have developed a test that can accurately predict how well a child will be reading by the end of their first year at school. 

Pro Vice-Chancellor Gail Gillon said researchers had devised a simple computer test which could "predict a child's end of first year reading success with 92 percent accuracy". The test could be used to identify pupils at risk of developing the language disorder dyslexia. 

At least 15 percent of the population have some reading difficulties and it's estimated that five percent of New Zealand children suffer from dyslexia, Gillon said.

''Significant scientific advancements in understanding dyslexia have been made in recent years. But despite new initiatives over the last decade to improve reading standards, the gap between high risk populations and good readers does not appear to be closing.

"It's important, therefore that educators scrutinise class programmes that may contribute towards successful reading outcomes for all children, particularly those that were currently under-achieving in literacy," Gillon said.

Professor Gillon would talk about dyslexia and learning at UC's What if Wednesday public lecture on campus this week.






The Press