Special Needs

At-Risk/Low Achieving/Learning/Disability/Learning Difficulty/Dyslexia Screening Tool

By Bonnie Terry, M.Ed.

Published by Bonnie Terry Learning • 238 Poet Smith Drive, Auburn, CA.  95603 • 530-888-7160 • $37.00 Available at


By Linda Foster

Bonnie Terry, M.Ed., BCET has been an educator, learning disability specialist, and educational therapist since 1973. She is a popular national and international speaker and is also one of the top experts in the country in helping identify students with learning disabilities/learning difficulties. At-Risk/Low Achieving/Learning Disability/Learning Difficulty/Dyslexia Screening Tool is an assessment tool designed to provide a better understanding of specific learning problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia and learning disabilities that students may encounter. Ms. Terry notes in the book that “…even the most dedicated and devoted teachers and parents often misinterpret a learning difficulty or a learning disability as a behavioral problem.” The Screening Tool explains how learning challenges impact the learning process. 

Before any screening takes place, it is important to understand the different types of learning disabilities and difficulties that might be encountered and Bonnie Terry offers a clearly written and easily understood overview of these potential problems. She discusses the difference between a learning disability, dyslexia and learning difficulties and then provides information on the types of learning disabilities, dyslexia and learning difficulties. Without proper diagnosis, a student might spend his/her school years struggling with schoolwork and feeling inadequate. Lacking the confidence to succeed often causes students to ignore instructions and become disruptive. This scenario can occur in classroom or homeschool settings causing frustration not only for the student, but, also, for the teacher/parent. Screening Tool is an excellent guide to assessing

Screening Tool includes two assessments: A pre-screening tool and checklists of the various processing difficulties that might be encountered. The Pre-Screening Tool consists of a checklist of possible symptoms of learning difficulties, dyslexia, or learning problems and then offers checklists of symptoms that might occur at different developmental stages. In the scoring section, it is noted that it is not unusual for students to exhibit one or more of the symptoms at one time or another and this is not a cause for alarm. Exhibiting three or more of the symptoms, though, over a period of time may signal a learning difficulty or learning disability.

The next section of Screening Tool provides information on what to do if a potential learning difficulty or learning disability has been determined. Overviews of visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic processing are given and checklists of behaviors including nine subgroups in each area are provided. A Summary (scoring) section for each group is included as is an analysis of the impact of each of the processing difficulties in the classroom. These valuable Impact sections offer teachers and parents insight into the cause and effect of learning difficulties and learning disabilities on student abilities or behavior in the classroom or the homeschool setting.

In addition to providing screening tools, this resource offers valuable sections entitled “Guidelines for Choosing Resources to Address Learning Difficulties” and “More In-Depth Testing”. Both of these sections are designed to offer students and parents alternative resources to assess and manage specific types of learning difficulties and learning disabilities.

At-Risk/Low Achieving/Learning Disability/Learning Difficulty/Dyslexia Screening Tool is a concise and comprehensive guide that defines various forms of learning difficulties and learning disabilities and provides clearly written tools for assessment. While it is primarily geared for classroom use, it is also adaptable for use in the homeschool setting. 

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