Validation of Unsupervised Computer-Based Screening for Reading Disability in Greek Elementary Grades 3 and 4

Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal 6(1), 45-69, 2008

Athanassios Protopapas,1 Christos Skaloumbakas,2 & Persefoni Bali1
1 Institute for Language & Speech Processing / Athena, Greece
2 Athens Medical Pedagogical Center, Greece

After reviewing past efforts related to computer-based reading disability (RD) assessment, we present a fully automated screening battery that evaluates critical skills relevant for RD diagnosis designed for unsupervised application in the Greek educational system. Psychometric validation in 301 children, 8-10 years old (grades 3 and 4; including 288 from the general school population and 13 from a clinical sample), indicated that computer-based screening can detect children likely to be diagnosed with RD (with 80-86% correct classification), using a linear discriminant function derived from measures taken without supervision within a 30- minute “computer game” interaction. We conclude that automated screening solutions constitute a feasible option in the context of a shortage of expert personnel.