Case Study 8-Year-Old With Dyslexia Case Study

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For this reason, it is critical to ascertain the causes of word reading difficulties in order to identify these problems and provide appropriate instruction as early as possible. (Allor, 2002, p. 47)

Spear-Swerling & Sternberg note that the fundamental reason that children need to be screened for difficulties in pre-reading skills is that once the child is supposed to, by grade level be able to perform certain tasks it may be in part to late to help them regain pre-reading interest and ability. (Spear-Swerling & Sternberg, 1996, p. 122) (Santi, Menchetti & Edwards discuss the importance of early assessment as it is confounded by the new trend in education for outcome accountability, as not only do children need to have early skills developed, later children may benefit or be penalized for performance of previous students. (2004, p. 189)

Mccray, Vaughn & Neal stress that reading is so crucial to the ability of the child to progress academically that there is almost no more necessary point of instruction. (2001, p. 17) Oral instructions are an aspect of learning but without independent reading the child will be lost in a maze of confusing text. Another point that is very well made by reading experts Bradley and Bryant is that learning is a cumulative process, and therefore once a person learns phonemic awareness, alphabet recognition and eventually goes on to learn to read the breadth of their phonological skills can widen almost exponentially, through a lifetime. (1991, p. 37) Santi, Menchetti & Edwards state that; "Teachers need to focus on ways to reinforce positive academic behaviors while explicitly correcting inaccurate responses in a supportive manner. Lessons with this type of feedback will increase students' reading level while maintaining their motivation and desire to learn." (2004, p. 189)

Detailed Intervention Goals and Intervention Procedures

The goal of this intervention will be to redirect Jeffrey's interest for phonemic awareness skills. Once this goal has been assessed as effective the intervention will have a goal of allowing Jeffery to transition to harder tasks, such as those he performed poorly on in the Weschler Individual Achievement Test II which included a profound remedial level of connecting word to sound in written form and linking word parts, in written form. The intervention procedures will stress the use of word part coding tools, then move forward to word part connection tools first in an oral application (to address the connectivity problem in Jeffrey's comfort zone) and will then move to flash card connectivity exercises and finally to written connectivity exercises. The goal for the second stage was to address coding at a recognition level with age appropriate words, i.e. single, then double then three part words using phoneme cores as apposed to syllables. The goal for the third intervention level was to allow Jeffery to begin to connect these recognitions to the written form response. The overall goal of the intervention is to bring Jeffery's reading and writing skills to grade level.

Description of and Response to Intervention Application

As was to be expected Jeffery did very well on the preliminary intervention tasks where most interpretation in the oral form was offered and Jeffrey responded orally. These tasks set the stage for Jeffrey's move forward toward the comprehension and written form works. His initial response was good as was expected but he struggled early in transition from the first stage to the second stage and then again even more profoundly in the third stage, though the goal of reading and writing at grade level was not met work will continue in summer school.

Post Intervention Assessment

Both the Yopp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation and the Weschler Individual Achievement Test II were repeated post intervention and results were promising. On the Yopp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation Jeffery scored beyond grade level and his improvement on the Weschler Individual Achievement Test II was marked, with a greater than 50% improvement. The post assessment application of the Weschler Individual Achievement Test II indicated further need for intervention only in those areas where Jeffrey struggled, i.e. with some segmentation coding connection comprehension and with many written tasks.


This work reflects heavily on the research and learning I have done as a student in education as it fundamentally supports in application the theories I have studied and the broader research I did to build my assessment and intervention strategies for Jeffery. The application of intervention proved more challenging than I expected but it gave me significant insight into the need to assess and intervene with children with Dyslexia not only in the classroom, where they are at serious risk of "zoning out" and being missed as in need. It was also significantly enlightening to better understand the way this tendency interplays with core pre-reading skills and how missing this link is fundamental and must be the basis for early intervention.


Adams, M.J. (1994). 1 Phonics and Beginning Reading Instruction. In Reading, Language, and Literacy: Instruction for the Twenty-First Century, Lehr, F. & Osborn, J. (Eds.) (pp. 3-19). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Allor, J.H. (2002). The Relationships of Phonemic Awareness and Rapid Naming to Reading Development. Learning Disability Quarterly, 25(1), 47.

Ashmore, R.A., Farrier, M.J., Paulson, L.H., & Chu, X. (2003). The Effects of Phonemic Awareness Drills on Phonological Awareness and Word Reading Performance in a Later Learned Alphabetic Script. Reading Improvement, 40(1), 33.

Bradley, L., & Bryant, P. (1991). 3 Phonological Skills Before and After Learning to Read. In Phonological Processes in Literacy: A Tribute to Isabelle Y. Liberman, Brady, S.A. & Shankweiler, D.P. (Eds.) (pp. 37-44). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1997). Explicit Instruction in Decoding Benefits Children High in Phonemic Awareness and Alphabet Knowledge. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1(1), 85-98.

Kamii, C., & Manning, M. (2002). Phonemic Awareness and Beginning Reading and Writing. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 17(1), 38.

Lancy, D.F. (Ed.). (1994). Children's Emergent Literacy: From Research to Practice. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Los Angeles County Office of Education: Teams Educational Resources (ND) Yopp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation. At:

Mccray, A.D., Vaughn, S., & Neal, L.V. (2001). Not All Students Learn to Read by Third Grade: Middle School Students Speak out about Their Reading Disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 35(1), 17.

Rayner, K., & Pollatsek, A. (1989). The Psychology of Reading. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Santi, K.L., Menchetti, B.M., & Edwards, B.J. (2004). A Comparison of Eight Kindergarten Phonemic Awareness Programs Based on Empirically Validated Instructional Principles. Remedial and Special Education, 25(3), 189.

Spear-Swerling, L., & Sternberg, R.J. (1996). Off Track: When Poor Readers Become "Learning Disabled." Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Villaume, S.K., & Brabham, E.G. (2003). Phonics Instruction: Beyond the Debate. The Reading Teacher, 56(5), 478.

Yopp, H.K., & Yopp, R.H. (2000). Supporting Phonemic Awareness Development in the Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 54(2), 130.

Appendix 1 Yopp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation

Yopp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation

Directions for Administering

1. Have one test sheet for each child in the class.

2. Assess children individually in a quiet place.

3. Keep the assessment playful and game-like.

4. Explain the game to the child exactly as the directions specify.

5. Model for the child what he or she needs to do with each of the practice words. Have them break apart each word with you.

Children are given the following directions upon administration of the test:

Today we're going to play a word game. I'm going to say a word and I want you to break the word apart. You are going to say the word slowly, and then tell me each sound in the word in order. For example, if I say "old," you should say "oooo-llll-d" (The teacher says the sound, not the letters.) Let's try a few words together.

The practice items are ride, go, and man. The teacher should help the child with each sample item - segmenting the item for the child if necessary and encouraging the child to repeat the segmented words. Then the child is given the 22 item test. If the child responds correctly, the teacher says, "That's right." If the child gives an incorrect response, he or she is corrected. The teacher provides the appropriate response. The teacher circles the numbers of all correct answers.

If the child breaks a word apart incorrectly, the teacher gives the correct answer:

Child Says

You say

Uses onset and rime

Repeats word

Stretches word out

Spells letters in word

Says first and last sounds

Says another word

Says a sentence

/d / - / og / dog d - o - g

"d" - "o" - "g"

/d / - / g / bark

I don't know








The child's score is the number of items correctly segmented into all constituent phonemes. No partial credit is given. For instance, if a child says "/c/-/at/" instead of "/c/-/a/-/t/," the response may be noted on the blank line following the…

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