Northwest NEWS

January 14, 2002

Features

UW seeking children who read easily but struggle with spelling

The Learning Disabilities Center at the University of Washington is looking for 250 Seattle and Puget Sound Children in the 4th-9th grades to participate in a study of spelling disabilities.
   Although there is a growing public awareness of reading disabilities, awareness of spelling problems is low and children with this disability are not eligible for special education services in Washington, according to Virginia Berninger, a UW professor of educational psychology.
   Children will be screened to determine if they have a spelling disability. If they qualify, family members will take a battery of tests and the qualifying children will be eligible for a summer intervention focused on spelling and computer technology.
   Students (4th-9th grades) who have persistent handwriting problems also are being recruited for the study. For information, call Jennifer Thomson at (206) 616-6377.
   The Learning Disabilities Center also is looking for 100 Seattle-area first graders who are having problems learning to read for a free twice-weekly intervention program at the UW during winter and spring.
   Parents seeking more information about the reading study should contact Christina Johnson, research coordinator, at (206) 616-6376.