New Universal Screening Resource

The research teams at GaabLab at Boston Children’s Hospital and Gabrieli lab at MIT (thank you to Ola Ozernov-Palchik, Michelle Gonzalez, Lindsay Hillyer, Jeff Dieffenbach, John Gabrieli & Nadine Gaab) have provided a helpful summary of assessments/screeners for dyslexia risk and early literacy milestones that includes information by grade level, skills assessed and administration time… just to name a few features.  This summary is constantly being updated by the research teams as new assessments/screeners are identified.  

Use Caution

Prior to using the GaabLab/Gabrieli Lab resource, it is important to read the authors’ disclaimer. In addition to the disclaimer, please be aware that not all of the assessments/screeners listed meet the criteria of having been peer-reviewed/validated. If your assessment/screener shows on the list as not having been peer-reviewed/validated, you should consider choosing a different screener option.

For Universal Screening, "the general idea is not to diagnose dyslexia for children in preschool but to identify children at-risk to develop reading impairments (not just dyslexia). I often use an analogy from medicine for the argumentation: We are screening people for high cholesterol, which would be an increased risk to develop heart disease. We are not trying to diagnose people who present with high cholesterol as having heart disease. If someone has high cholesterol and therefore is at-risk to develop heart disease, we then provide ‘evidence-based response to screening’ which, in this case, would be prescribed exercise, dietary changes, and maybe medication. The goal here is to prevent heart disease and not to diagnose it earlier. It is hoped that fewer people then end up with a diagnosis of heart disease or, if they do, it will be less severe since they already changed their diet, started exercising, take medications, etc. We want to move from a deficit-model to a preventive model. It's the same with reading impairments. We want to identify preschoolers at-risk but not diagnose them with dyslexia in preschool. Then you put excellent ‘evidence-based response to screening’ in place so that their risk to develop dyslexia decreases OR if they develop reading problems, it will be less severe since they have already had remediation/intervention since preschool”.

Nadine Gaab, Phd

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine/Division of Developmental Medicine, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience