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Tests & Assessments
Assessing Reading Difficulties and Disabilities

Question 6.

My child is a slow reader. Are there tests that measure fluency and comprehension?


Fluency (rate and accuracy) is essential for reading comprehension. If your child reads slowly, it will take her longer to complete assignments and she will remember less.

You can measure your child's ability to recognize real and nonsense words in a list format with accuracy and automaticity using the Test of Word Reading Efficiency, Second Edition (TOWRE-2).

The TOWRE-2 can help differentiate between different types of reading deficits and can be used to measure progress.

The Test of Silent Word Reading Fluency, Second Edition (TOSWRF-2) measures reading fluency. It is not designed to measure reading comprehension. This test is not appropriate for a child who has difficulty controlling his pencil.

The Gray Oral Reading Tests, Fifth Edition (GORT-5) measure reading fluency and comprehension. The child answers questions based on passages that he reads aloud. The GORT-5 measures oral reading rate, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. It also provides an Oral Reading Index, a combined measure of fluency and comprehension.

No reading test measures all reading skills. To understand what your child's test scores mean, you need to know what skills the test measured.

For a complete listing, see Table 6-1 Reading Tests and the Skills They Measure in Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments, 2nd Edition, page 60.

Legal Resource

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments, 2nd Edition Chapter 6 - Reading Assessments

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition


20 U.S.C.§ 1401(30)

20 U.S.C.§ 1414

20 U.S.C.§ 1414(b)(6)

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 97, FN 60.

IDEA Regulations

34 C.F.R. §300.301

34 C.F.R. §300.307

34 C.F.R. §300.309(a)(1)

Additional Resources

CHART: Tests that Measure Reading Skills in Nonverbal Children

CHART: Reading Tests and the Skills They Measure

Reading Tests: What They Measure...and Don't Measure

The Root of the Problem? Rock-Bottom Reading Skills?

Research Based Reading Programs and Reading Assessments

Ask the Evaluator: Teacher Resources for Dyslexia Screening.

"Dyslexia is Not a Learning Disability. What?"

"When the School Says Dyslexia is Not a Learning Disability...."

When Evaluation Shows a Disability, School Says Child is "Lazy"

Guidance Publication on Educating Students with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia

Reading at Wrightslaw

International Dyslexia Association - Dyslexia Assessment

State Special Education Regulations and Guidelines. You will find your specific state regulations at your State Department of Education website. Use the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities to locate your state site.

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