School Psychology Spring Series

Reading and Writing Process


Session Dates

Wednesday April 13, 2016 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Becoming an effective reader is critical for academic success. Our understanding of the reading brain has exploded in the last five years. Along with advancing knowledge of how the brain reads, the field of reading assessment has also evolved. In addition to assessing word reading, fluency and comprehension, understanding and assessing the numerous cognitive processes associated with skilled and fluent reading, allows for more targeted intervention. Act 69 of 2014, the Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program became effective on June 26, 2014, resulting in the Pennsylvania Department of Education establishing a three-year dyslexia screening and early literacy intervention pilot program in 8 school districts throughout the state. This pilot program is designed to provide evidence-based early screening and multi-tier support systems, using evidence-based intervention services in early reading and early literacy for students with potential risk factors for early reading deficiencies and dyslexia. This series is designed for school psychologists and other specialists in these pilot districts but is open to those in non-participating districts. When a student in a pilot district fails to respond to intervention, psychologists and SLP’s conducting evaluations will be expected to provide in depth analysis of the skill and processing deficits that underlie a students’ non-responsiveness to the high quality, individualized and direct, multisensory instruction in reading that has been provided. This series of three one hour workshops will provide a foundational overview of the research and best practices in reading assessment. Understanding dyslexia and its subtypes and distinguishing dyslexia from other disorders of written language will be covered as well as selection of assessments to aid in differential diagnosis of reading difficulties. Case studies and sample evaluations will be presented as will guidelines For selecting interventions. This series is at the introductory level and other more comprehensive workshops will follow. Each session contains instructional content delivered through narrated presentations and online resource materials, which will be identified at the end of each session, to help the audience to understand background information to support their overall understanding of information in this topic area.


  • Demonstrate a foundational understanding of neuropsychological current research in the area of reading, especially early literacy.
  • Demonstrate how deficits in processing skills can adversely impact the development of reading and writing skills.
  • Identify appropriate assessment tools to evaluate students who have not responded successfully to evidence based, multi-sensory direct instruction in reading.
  • Describe how to assess cognitive processes related to reading and writing and select assessments based on presenting problems.
  • Identify individual student strengths and weaknesses in reading.
  • Describe how goals and interventions can be presented to parents and educators that are specific to meet individual student needs.

Target Audience

This training is intended for school psychologists working with school-aged children, however, all other disciplines are welcome to participate in this training, including but not limited to, speech/language therapist, reading specialists, early education teachers, administrators, and parents. Individuals participating in this series are recommended to view all three sessions in order to have a complete understanding of the information presented.

Topics Covered: Literacy

Event Info

Event Type:




Event Contact:


Sonya Barksdale


Audrey Kappel