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Dyslexia Association Singapore

Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) introduces dyslexia screening software to identify dyslexics who are at risk

Mrs Soh suspected her child was dyslexic and hence, sent her child for the free computerised screening test conducted by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS).She was relieved to know that her child is not at risk of dyslexia.

In the past, parents would need to send their child for a 3 to 4 hour long full psychological assessment which costs $500 to $600 to ascertain if he/she is dyslexic. This hefty sum intimidated parents and deprived their dyslexic child proper intervention.

From May 2009, DAS has been using the LUCID software as a screening tool for dyslexia for children of 4 to 15 years of age. With LUCID, it takes about 15mins to conclude if the child is at risk of dyslexia. If the screening concludes that the child is at risk, it is still not too late for the child to undergo a full psychological assessment. This would be a great saving for parents of non-dyslexic children from the fees of undergoing the full assessment. This would also spare the parent and child the turmoil of the whole process of denial, embarrassment, resulting in delaying to seek the appropriate professional advice.

DAS has been conducting free computerised screening test for more than 10 primary schools since May’09 till Jun’10. There were more than 400 students screened and approximately 150 students were at high risk of dyslexia. They were hence recommended to go for the full psychological assessment. DAS would continue to conduct computerised screening at various schools using LUCID. DAS Associate Psychologists, Ms Veronica Ng and Ms Lim Boon Hong are very satisfied with the LUCID software. Apart from the computerised screening aspect, the psychologists could also use the opportunity to understand a child’s background, the environmental factors as well as their exam results as considerations if the child is at high risk of dyslexia.

The screening is conducted in English.A child who is not proficient in the English language might have a lower score. Hence, we will seek to understand their language background. However, if a Primary 4 student obtained a lower score, we will recommend a full psychological assessment. This is because a Primary 4 student would have 4 years of exposure to the English language and should have a reasonable proficiency towards the language to handle LUCID screening questions.

Based on the selected size of 127 screening results attained out of 400 local students, the accuracy of LUCID is considered high. The LUCID screening is able to identify those at risk of dyslexia and is suitable to be used in Singapore.

They emphasized that LUCID aids awareness towards dyslexia but is not a substitute for the full psychological assessment.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence but there is a discrepancy between a child’s reading ability and actual reading age. Dyslexia is mostly detected during a child’s pre-school and Primary 1 age when they encounter difficulties in learning. Some would have delayed speech developments, difficulties with remembering alphabets, etc. There is also a possibility that dyslexia is hereditary is high. Dyslexia is a neurological condition and is not an illness and would not be curable. It could be overcome with professional intervention.Globally, about 5% to 10% of students are dyslexic. According to an estimate by DAS, there are about 4% of dyslexics in the local student population which is approximately 29,000 students. The current student enrolment in DAS is however at 1,700.

Veronica and Boon Hong think that there are still students locally who are not aware of their dyslexia and hence, not receiving any form of intervention. “The later the intervention, the more struggles the child will face and the more difficulties faced while overcoming it. The DAS hopes that the LUCID software would be able to identify more dyslexics and provide the appropriate professional intervention as soon. For more details, please visit their website

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