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Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen™


Overview: Quick, evidence-based screening tool that identifies students who are at risk for dyslexia.

Age Range: Grades K-2

Administration: Online

Scoring Options: Q-global™ and universal screening application

Publication Date: 2016


Product Details

Easily and efficiently screen individuals or groups for dyslexia

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen is an efficient, reliable, and user-friendly dyslexia screening tool for K‐2 students who may be at risk for dyslexia. Created by Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a global leader in dyslexia, it emphasizes phonological, linguistic, and academic performance based on teacher observations, all in just a couple of minutes per student—as opposed to other measures which take up precious instructional time.

Features and benefits of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen:

  • Quickly and easily identifies dyslexia risk
  • Developed specifically for young students
  • Administration takes less than 5 minutes per student
  • Allows screening of individuals or groups
  • Easy to use, teacher-friendly rating scale
  • Digital administration, scoring, and reporting via Q-global or via the Universal Screening application

Qualification Requirements

A Qualification Level B is required to purchase and interpret the results of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen via Pearson's Q-global system. To explain the results properly, the professional must have successfully completed formal coursework in assessment and understand the risks of mislabeling or making educational decisions about students on the basis of limited and imperfect data. More details on the specific Qualification Level B requirements can be found here. Training is available for Level B users on the appropriate use of this screener.

Additionally, the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen forms may be administered by teachers with a range of educational backgrounds, provided that they have taught the student referred for screening and have familiarity with the student's language and academic skill levels. Training and administration support is available for these non-Level B administrators.

Educational institutions or organizations may purchase the universal screening application for mass screening efforts. This application is intended for the large-scale use of the screener and a Level B user will take responsibility for appropriate preparation of the teachers as needed and use of the results.

Scoring & Reporting Platforms

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen is available using Q-global, Pearson's secure web-based scoring and reporting application that is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. Additional information regarding Q-global technical requirements can be found at Screener Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are found in the About the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen.pdf in the Q-global Resource Library.

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen also is available using Pearson's new secure universal screening platform that is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. Additional information regarding technical requirements for this universal screening platform can be found on the System Requirements tab on this page. 

Content & Administration

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen is a digital-only product for administration, scoring, and reporting.

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen offers three forms:

  • Form 0 is for teachers of students ages 5:0 through 6:11, typically in kindergarten, and consists of 10 items.
  • Form 1 is for teachers of students ages 6:0 through 7:11, typically in Grade 1, and consists of 12 items.
  • Form 2 is for teachers of students ages 7:0 through 8:11, typically in Grade 2, and consists of 10 items.

A teacher completing Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen is expected to rate statements regarding a student's language and academic behaviors based on how frequently he or she demonstrates each behavior.

The results of these ratings generate individual and group reports:

  • Individual Reports include student's standard demographic information, risk level, and an interpretive statement.
  • Group Reports include all students' risk levels listed by examinee ID or Last Name. Q-global and the Universal Screening application have different levels of flexibility in the group reporting options; the Universal Screening application has much more robust aggregation/disaggregation tools.

The results of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen for a particular student include a simple classification of At Risk for Dyslexia or Not At Risk for Dyslexia. This classification makes it easy for professionals to interpret and communicate results.

In addition, a 1-page document entitled, "Strategies for Families and/or Caregivers" is available for students who are classified as "At Risk for Dyslexia." This page is intended to be sent home to support families as they work on language-based skills, whether oral or written, critical for reading success. This page may be copied and distributed as needed.

Psychometric Information

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen was normed as part of the Connecticut Longitudinal Study that Dr. Shaywitz began in 1983. Dr. Shaywitz continues to follow 80% of the individuals included in the Connecticut Longitudinal Study. As explained in an article by Ferrer et al. (2015), the purpose of the Connecticut Longitudinal Study was to determine if cognitive and academic differences are evident between students with dyslexia and their typically developing peers as early as first grade and if so, whether the trajectory of these differences increases or decreases from Grades 1 through 12. The sample of students was followed prospectively and longitudinally from school entry into early adulthood for the purpose of studying the development of reading, learning, and attention (Ferrer et al., 2007; Ferrer et al., 2010; Ferrer et al., 2015; Shaywitz et al., 1995; Shaywitz, Fletcher, Holahan, & Shaywitz, 1992; Shaywitz et al., 1999; Shaywitz, Shaywitz, Fletcher, & Escobar, 1990). Results indicated that the achievement gap between students with and without dyslexia is evident in first grade and persists into adolescence, providing a strong impetus for identifying young children at risk for dyslexia and beginning intervention programs as early as possible (Ferrer et al., 2015).

In addition to the original and ongoing data collection by the author, Pearson completed an additional national validation studies for each form to corroborate and provide further supporting evidence to the author's data set. Detailed information about the reliability and validity of the screener can be found in the test manual.

Q-Global Technical Requirements

The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen is available using Q-global, Pearson's secure web-based scoring and reporting platform that is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. Additional information regarding Q-global technical requirements can be found at Screener Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are found in the About the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen.pdf in the Q-global Resource Library.

Universal Screening System Technical Requirements

Operating Systems

  • Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10 (XP or Higher Recommended)
  • MAC OS X Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion (Leopard or Higher
  • Recommended)
  • Android 4.4 and above
  • iOS 7 and above (Safari)

Internet Browsers

  • Internet Explorer 9 or above
  • Google Chrome (Any Version)
  • Safari 7 and above

Note: Browser support subject to change from this document if browser's manufacturer drops support for said version.
An Internet Connection

  • A high-speed Internet connection is recommended. 512 MB of memory (RAM)
  • 1 GB of memory or more is recommended.
  • Cookies and JavaScript Enabled Additional Notes

District network should allow for all e-mails from the domain to be delivered.


The screener is scored automatically once the items have been completed by the teacher and submitted. Results appears immediately and can be printed, saved, and/or shared with others. The results of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen for a particular student include a simple classification of At Risk for Dyslexia or Not At Risk for Dyslexia. This classification makes it easy for professionals to interpret and communicate results.

Q-global sample reports

Universal Screening application sample reports

  • Coming Soon!



  • Set-up, Administration, and Reporting of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

    Take a step-by-step walk through Pearson's Q-global system for the use of this new dyslexia screening tool by Dr. Sally Shaywitz.

    Watch the video.


Upcoming Webinars

  • Educational Practice in Dyslexia: Professional Roles and Knowledge Gaps

    Presenter: Tina Eichstadt and Adam Scheller


    Five webinars about dyslexia held in 2016-2017 were attended by 6,591 SLPs, psychologists, and special educators. Webinar data offered insights into practitioners' perspectives on dyslexia training needs and role clarification in practice settings. Presenters will discuss results, which suggests gaps between best practices in dyslexia and reports from individuals engaging in clinical practice.

    Learner Outcomes

    After the completion of the webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. List the two areas of dyslexia training practitioners request most often.

    2. Describe the knowledge gap identified by practitioners using scores for assessment and progress monitoring.

    3. Identify the role(s) practitioners currently play in inter-professional practice regarding dyslexia.

    Time-ordered Agenda

    1:00 to 1:05 pm - Introduction and overview

    1:05 to 1:30 pm - Practitioner roles in dyslexia

    1:30 to 1:55 pm - Practitioner knowledge and skills

    1:55 to 2:00 pm - Conclusions and Wrap Up

    This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area.)

    Date: Feb 07, 2018  Time: 01:00 PM EST  Register Now


Pre-recorded Webinars

  • A Model for Dyslexia Screening: The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

    Presenter: Adam Scheller, PhD

    This webinar will provide an overview of the content, development and psychometric information for the new Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen. We will also cover how to administer, score and interpret the results of the screener.

    Date: Sep 07, 2017

    pdf PDF: A Model for Dyslexia Screening: The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

    link Video: A Model for Dyslexia Screening: The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

  • Prime Time to Screen--PLS-5 & CELF-5 Screening Tests and Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

    Presenter: Adam Scheller, PhD

    Back-to-school is an ideal time for screening! Obtain important information about how screening helps identify children and adolescents at-risk for a disorder, as well as screening benefits and limitations. Specifics about screening tools available for children from birth through age 21 such as age ranges, content, understanding screening results, and next steps will be presented.  

    Date: Aug 17, 2017

    pdf PDF: Prime Time to Screen--PLS-5 & CELF-5 Screening Tests and Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

    link Video: Prime Time to Screen--PLS-5 & CELF-5 Screening Tests and Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen

  • Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen™

    Presenter: Adam Scheller, PhD

    This product overview webinar will focus on the content, development and psychometric information for the new Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen. We will also cover how to administer, score and interpret the results of the screener.

    Date: Oct 20, 2016

    pdf PDF: Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen™

    link Video: Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen™

  • Dyslexia Screening with Dr. Sally Shaywitz

    Presenter: Sally E. Shaywitz, MD

    Dr. Shaywitz will make comments about her work and research at the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and the new evidence-based dyslexia screener that will publish this fall. Participants will be able to ask questions via chat which will inform future training sessions and FAQ responses. The new Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen is an efficient, reliable, and user-friendly Dyslexia screening tool for K-1 students who may be at risk for having Dyslexia. It emphasizes phonological, linguistic, and academic performance based on teacher observations, all in just a couple of minutes per student.  

    Date: Sep 09, 2016

    link Audio: Dyslexia Screening with Dr. Sally Shaywitz

  • A Model for Dyslexia Screening

    Presenter: Adam Scheller, PhD

    Dyslexia screening can benefit from an assessment model that combines what we know to be true about the features of dyslexia with what we know about the various factors relating to dyslexia. This presentation will outline a hybrid model for assessment to be used for dyslexia screening.

    Date: Aug 25, 2016

    pdf PDF: A Model for Dyslexia Screening

    link Video: A Model for Dyslexia Screening




Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.

Technical Questions

  • How do I choose which system to use for the screener--Q-global or the universal screening application?

    If you are already a Q-global user and want to screen a single student or a small group of students, Q-global is your best choice. If, however, you are planning to screen a percentage of students across a grade or literally screen every student in the grade, then you want to choose the universal screening application, which will give you both mass screening capabilities--including administrator dashboards, teacher progress indicators, and rostering support--and robust and flexible reporting tools for aggregated and disaggregated reporting across the district.

  • Did you change the form names of grades K and 1? When I purchase the screener, I thought Kindergarten was Form 1 and Grade 1 was Form 2.

    Yes. As we started to add grades, it was clear that the naming strategy was going to be confusing as went up into the grades. So, with the Fall 2017 release of Grade 2, we are adjusting the form names to the following: Form 0=Kindergarten, Form 1=Grade 1, Form 2=Grade 2. So much easier to remember!

  • Why didn't you just name the forms as the actual grade level (e.g., The Kindergarten Form)?

    Great question. Around the world, each grade and the expectations of student performance vary. As we publish the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen in other countries, we needed to give each country the flexibility to assign the appropriate grade level to each form, based on the local education system and the local research on the screener.

  • I have purchased and administered the screener with the old form names. How will my previous administration reports look now with the new form name changes?

    The form name updates will be retroactive, so all the form names from your previous administrations will be updated in Q-global. If you have printed reports, those will still be old numbering, of course, but every completed administration in the system will be updated when we release Grade 2, so all your data will be aligned in the system to avoid confusion when printing reports and communicating with colleagues and parents or caregivers.

Content Questions

  • Are the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen results valid for children who are young or
    old for grade?

    The results for children who are considered "out of level" are not necessarily invalid and may be interpreted by qualified practitioners. If a child's age is outside the typical age range associated with his or her grade level, Q-global alerts the user by providing a message window entitled, "Invalid Assessment Record(s)." The error message indicates the age levels typically associated with the form and advises the use of caution when interpreting results.

  • Why can't teachers purchase the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen directly?

    Schools and school districts are able to purchase this tool, as is our typical process. For individual purchases, users must be Level B qualified. Some teachers may be Level B qualified, some may not.

    Dr. Shaywitz and Pearson agree that classroom teachers are those professionals closest to the student academically. They are the best responders to academic performance related to reading for this screener. When Dr. Shaywitz developed the screener based on her long-standing data set, she specifically crafted the items for teachers. She wanted the best evidence to come from teachers who can respond to questions about student performance in the classroom environment.

    Administering a screening program includes identifying appropriate students to screen, whether a universal student population or a subset of students, and ensuring that the screening program is administered with fidelity. Those who administer screening programs also must train examiners appropriately, interpret results correctly within the limits of the scope of the screening tool, and disseminate results appropriately to various stakeholder groups. Those professionals who are trained in appropriate and ethical management of assessment tools are called, in Pearson terms, Level B qualified users. There are multiple scenarios in which a professional may be Level B qualified. Please refer to our user qualifications page on our website. Both Dr. Shaywitz and Pearson are committed to our ethical responsibility that tools we publish are used appropriately, on behalf of students and their families.

    Recommendations about what to do next following screening require a collaborative approach between professionals from different disciplines and often across general and special education perspectives.

  • What is the classification accuracy (e.g., sensitivity and specificity) of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen?

    Table 3.4 from the test manual below shows two supporting data sets; the first from Dr. Shaywitz's Connecticut Longitudinal Study data set, and the second from a national validation study completed by Pearson.

  • Can you comment on the perceived age of the original norm sample and the sample size of the national validation study?

    The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen utilizes a cut score norm, which provides a reference point for each form to divide the data set into two groups: At Risk for Dyslexia and Not At Risk for Dyslexia. The teacher ratings must exceed the cut score in order to classify a student as At Risk for Dyslexia.

    Unlike traditional normative samples that must be sufficiently large and representative of the population to establish a normal distribution of scores, a cut score norm only requires a representative sample of the two target groups: in this case, students who are At Risk for Dyslexia and Not At Risk for Dyslexia. The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen cut scores are based on a sample of 414 schoolchildren who participated in the Connecticut Longitudinal Study that began in 1983 and continues to the present day. In contrast to traditional normative samples that are collected within one year or less, the Shaywitz normative sample has been followed over three decades from school entry into early adulthood. The longitudinal research design has allowed Dr. Shaywitz to detect measurable changes in reading performance and risk classification over the course of each student’s academic career, strengthening the reliability and validity of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen risk classification in the early grades.

    To confirm that the cut scores remain valid and reliable across samples, 115 children between the ages of 5 and 7 participated in a national validity study in April through July 2016. For the kindergarten and grade 1 forms, 115 students (i.e., 50+ at each grade) offered the statistical power needed for the psychometric analysis of the data set. The results of this national validity study indicated that the reliability coefficients and clinical sensitivity and specificity results were similar to those derived from the Connecticut Longitudinal Study. These findings support the use of the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen for identifying children with dyslexia and suggest that the teacher ratings that indicate risk for dyslexia remain consistent over time.

  • I take issue with the statement that dyslexia is a language-based disorder. Experts I’ve read define dyslexia as word level reading difficulties but average or better than average language skills. Word reading skills, reading fluency and reading comprehension are substantially below the student's language comprehension skills. If language is strong, how can dyslexia be a language-based disorder?

    The issue of strengths and weaknesses in a profile of dyslexia is such an important topic! The evidence is clear that reading is primarily a language-based effort, as opposed to a purely cognitive/metacognitive effort, for example. The tasks of word-level decoding and reading comprehension (i.e., tasks of written language) require a number of linguistic skills to accomplish--knowledge of sounds, letters, and words/word parts, which are all part of the linguistic code and together carry the meaning needed for comprehension. A recent article by Hugh Catts and colleagues describes students with dyslexia who have strong *oral (*i.e., semantic or phonological) language skills (seen as a "protective factor") and students with dyslexia who have weak *oral *language skills (seen as a "risk factor"). An example of low oral language skills might be students who receive preschool speech-language services for oral language skill development and then ended up being diagnosed with dyslexia once into elementary school. They may not have average or better oral language skills at the time of the dyslexia diagnosis. In fact, their risk for dyslexia could have been predicted much sooner--not just with oral language performance, but along with other factors in a hybrid model--than a typical 3rd grade dyslexia assessment. So while dyslexia is indeed a language-based disorder, the profile of language skills among those with dyslexia is not homogeneous.

    Here's a link to the Catts, et al abstract, if you are interested:

  • Why don't you include family history and/or RAN (rapid automatic naming) in the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen?

    Certainly, individuals with dyslexia often have family members with similar (but not always) struggles in reading, writing, and/or spelling related to dyslexia. Further, many individuals, through an assessment process, show lower than average performance on one or more RAN tasks.

    That said, the data set behind the screener did not provide the evidence strength needed to include items related to these two areas in the screener itself. In addition, family history may not always be available and therefore makes it difficult to require in a screening process.

  • Can't teachers skew the results by selecting the frequency that will automatically yield an at-risk rating, making this not a valid indicator of risk for dyslexia?

    Unfortunately, any professional making erroneous or inaccurate ratings to positively or negatively influence the outcome of an assessment is nothing new in the world of testing. This would be an ethical violation in the use of tests and test content under a professional code of ethics.

    Beyond the psychometric and research evidence, the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen items were developed based on direct teacher feedback and support to create the clearest and easiest way possible to rate student performance. Supporting Teacher Guides further illustrate the use of the item's content. The validity and reliability data are accurate and defensible. All assessments, including all rating scales like this screener, have a margin of error factored into the responses of those who complete the forms.

    Further, administrators of a screening program can provide a check and balance. Prevalence data from the literature and our own research have confirmed that up to 20% of a typical school classroom could be flagged as "at risk" for dyslexia. If a class percentage of risk status is higher than that, it may require follow-up to understand why the risk status was higher. This is a powerful use of the group report, if it is needed.

    Finally, the power of this tool is in its ability to function as a mass triage system--you cast a wide net and gather students who may be at risk. The value is in the combination of speed and breadth for finding students at younger grades faster than is typical in the world of education to date. Certainly, a few students who are flagged as "at risk" will end up not having dyslexia upon further assessment. They may need something else, or nothing beyond excellent Tier 1/general education instruction. This is just step 1 of the overall "find and serve those with dyslexia" effort.

  • Regarding the Connecticut Longitudinal Study, did the teachers in the study actually have training on Dyslexia?

    The Connecticut Longitudinal Study focused on a cohort of hundreds of children, not teachers. The study followed, and continues to follow, this cohort of children into adulthood. The study, as part of its protocol, gathered data from teachers who may or may not have had specific training on dyslexia--it simply asked questions of teachers of these children in the cohort about the nature of each child's academic and classroom performance, which any teacher can do once they have time in the classroom to observe a student's work. In addition, each year a full assessment battery was also given to each child in the cohort.

    The Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen items were derived from an empirical analysis of teacher response data and assessment scores over time. Then, the screeners' items were field tested by a range of classroom teachers, who also had a wide spectrum of knowledge regarding dyslexia--no formal dyslexia training was provided by the study over the years nor during the field testing of the items. In fact, the items were designed to be completed by teachers who had very little or no understanding of dyslexia. While training in dyslexia is not required or necessary for a teacher to complete the screener, Dr. Shaywitz and Pearson clearly advocate for the training of all teachers in the science of dyslexia.

Pricing & Ordering

Order Components

Q-global® Web-based Administration, Scoring and Reporting
  • Manuals



  • Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen Q-global Digital Manual
  • Administration Materials



  • Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen Q-global Individual Administration & Report
Online / Computer Administration
  • Additional Materials



  • Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen Universal Screen Administration & Reports (500 minimum)

    Access to online universal screening system and all embedded scoring and reporting. Manual is included in the system.

  • Dyslexia Training - Virtual 1 Hour
  • Dyslexia Training - Onsite 1/2 Day
  • Dyslexia Training - Onsite 1 Day
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