I am very confused by my daughter’s test scores. She has had the Differential Ability Scales and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test done at school and yesterday she had the CTOPP and the GORT done by a reading specialist. I am not sure if she has dyslexia or not, but something is going on.

The school testing showed average intelligence, high oral language and comprehension, average decoding and low reading comprehension, visual processing and rapid naming scores.

She got high scores on the CTOPP (98% for phonological awareness, 75% on phonological memory and 50% on rapid naming). But, on the GORT, I can't remember all the scores but they all ranged from 5th to 15th percentile, with the highest score being comprehension. The reading specialist said she believed it was dyslexia based on the discrepancies between the phonological awareness and the rapid naming (even though that score was still average).

I am thinking of doing one-on-one tutoring with a Barton tutor for her. Do you think this sort of program would benefit my daughter with these scores?
Dr. Pierson's Response: 
I cannot diagnose whether or not she has dyslexia, but this profile could be indicative of dyslexia. We indeed have a profile of dyslexia that includes good phonemic awareness skills, but poor rapid automatic naming (RAN) skills. Poor RAN skills affect reading fluency (as does poor word retrieval); poor reading fluency skills can also affect reading comprehension.

When making a diagnosis, we look at a pattern of strengths and weaknesses and we look for poor reading skills that are not in line with what we would predict based on the child's receptive language skills (or potential). It seems that there is quite a difference between your daughter's skills based on the scores you report and you report that she has good spoken language comprehension. So, she could be dyslexic. (Historically, we have considered a difference of -1 standard deviation to be clinically significant and scores that fall below the 10th percentile to be in the disordered range.) The good news is that if her phonemic awareness skills are intact, her outcomes are better than if those skills were poor. Naming speed has been associated with a variety of reading skills, and in particular, it has been found to be closely related to sight word recognition, reading rate, and orthographic skill (i.e., understanding and facility with letter patterns and spelling rules). A kiddo with RAN difficulties typically will learn to read, but is slow and tends to be a slow reader throughout life. So, it is important that these kids have an accommodation of additional time for reading, spelling, and writing tasks.

It's difficult to say, but I am not sure that the Barton Program is what she needs, quite honestly, if indeed, her phonemic awareness skills and letter-sound skills are intact. You didn't say how old she is -- if she is young and does not have sound-letter(s) correspondence knowledge, then maybe yes. I've no information about her spelling skills. She may have good phonemic awareness skills, but have difficulty with orthography (spelling knowledge and rules), and the Barton program may help address this area.If she is older and can decode, she may benefit strategies to recall/remember what she has read, strategies to handle increased amounts of text, and instruction focusing on morphological roots, prefixes, and suffixes. I am not familiar enough with the Barton program in total to know how these other areas are addressed.

Here are some links that might be helpful:
These pieces were all written for professionals who have background knowledge on the topics, so if something doesn't makes sense, please ask.

If indeed her primary problem is reading fluency & comprehension, then you might want to look at Maryanne Wolf's RAVE-O program.

I hope this helps you get moving in the right direction. Let me know if you have other questions.