During my recent visit to Bramhall to see the Interactive Metronome in practice I also had the opportunity to try out the Lucid Adult Dyslexia Screening software which the centre uses to gain an objective assessment of the clients abilities. The software, from Lucid Research, is a way of quickly identifying adults who may have dyslexia. It is part of a range of software that Lucid produce aimed at detecting dyslexia at all stages of the eduction system. They even have a version that is targeted at children as young as four where as most dyslexia related tests cannot be used on under sevens.
The adult test consists of four stages. The first is a reasoning test where you have to identify the missing symbol. This is similar to questions found in many IQ tests. The second test is a word recognition test in which half-a-dozen words are placed randomly on the screen and you have to click on the only real, correctly spelt word. The third test focuses on word construction. Nonsense words are spoken by the computer’s speaker and you have to identify the three syllables, in the correct order, that make up that word from a palette of nine syllables. The final test is a short-term, auditory-loop test. The computer reads out two or more digits and then you have to type those digits in backwards. So if the computer says "3 8 4" you must enter "4 8 3".
Based on the combined scores Lucid assesses the probability of dyslexia summarised into four grades: High, Moderate, Borderline and Low. With the grading teachers can decide if its appropriate to involve educational psychologists and how to adapt their teaching to fit the child’s needs. The manual with the software [ PDF ] goes into some depth on how the tests were calibrated and the studies done to ensure the results have a high degree of reliability.
For my test results the software classified me as borderline risk of dyslexia. Looking at the individual scores my reasoning, word recognition and memory test were all very good. The one test I did poorly on was the word construction test. Here I scored five, where a score of one is very good and a score of nine is very poor. This suggestions that I still have relatively weak phonological skills which is common in dyslexics and what some academics consider all that dyslexia is.
This software is very good at producing a quick assessment, the whole process only takes about 20 minutes and it tests those abilities that are often weak in dyslexics. The software is well made but does have one or two minor quirks and its a shame that its aimed at schools and practitioners rather than parents. An online version of this software that was free, or even if it cost about £10 to use, would be a fantastic resource for everyone worried about dyslexia.
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