Online Reading Tutor has released a free Dyslexia Screener App.

Try our free Dyslexia Screener App today to find out in under 10 minutes if you or your child is at risk of having reading disability. You may  click on one of the following links:

The App assesses the student’s ability to decode letter patterns or nonsense words. Letter patterns or nonsense words (sometimes referred to as pretend words or pseudo words) are made-up words which allows for dyslexics to improve their decoding skills.   Non-impaired readers can read psuedo words because of their very good phonological decoding ability.   Some examples of some nonsense words are za, az, tulp, blit, rejune, and byrcal.  Non-impaired readers can sound out these kinds of words because they can decode the sounds. According to Dr. Sally Shaywitz, “The best ability to read nonsense words is the best measure of phonological decoding skill in children.  The reader literally has to penetrate the sound structure of the word and sound it out, phoneme by phoneme; there is no other way.” (Overcoming Dyslexia, Dr. Shaywitz, 2003, p. 133-134)  These nonsense words have not been seen before or memorized.  Dyslexics cannot hide behind nonsense words, guessing and hoping they are right.  They either have the decoding skills necessary for decoding or they do not.

Online Reading Tutor's Dyslexia Screener App.

Online Reading Tutor’s Dyslexia Screener App.

Not only are nonsense words used in diagnosing dyslexia, they are also effective in teaching dyslexics to read. We use nonsense words to eliminate guessing; there is no way to accurately decode nonsense words if you have to guess.  If a student cannot guess the word, they have to use their decoding skills. This forces the student to focus on sounding words out from left to right.  Using nonsense words helps wire the  rear left side of the dyslexic brain and dramatically improves  their phonological decoding.

The App assesses dysphonetic, phonological and mirror image generalization reading disabilities which are the major causes of dyslexia.

Teaching students to decode pseudo words or nonsense words is one of the reasons our software is so effective at improving reading fluency. We teach fluent or automatic decoding skills using  seven different types of nonsense words:

  1. cv/vc  examples : ze, ba, da, ux  ( c = consonant, v = vowel)

  2. cvc examples: zip , piz, pux, bax

  3. cvcv examples: zune, pupe, dode, bode

  4. cvcc examples: zemp, bilt, rult, vish,

  5. ccvc examples:  zlit, plon, druf, clep

  6. cvvc group 1 examples: zeen, beaz, heek, toam,

  7. cvvc group 2 examples: zaut, coip, foud, gooz

The student learns to automatically decode these letter patterns in both our visual match and auditory-visual match decoding lessons. We explain to our students that the key to rapidly and automatically decoding multisyllabic words is to know these pseudo words. Words like homogenous, surreptitious, and automaticity  are all made up of pseudo nonsense words. When decoding becomes automatic, comprehension soars.

Try our free Dyslexia Screener App today to find out in under 10 minutes if you or your child is at risk of having reading disability: