Ms. Robillard further testified that Ryan began the specialized reading program at level 2 and had completed level 5 at the end of June 2010. She noted that his progress mastering the levels was typical of the other students she teaches. Ms. Robillard, however, was quite surprised at the progress Ryan showed on the Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding (WADE). Ms. Robillard administered the WADE in January 2009, just prior to Ryan entering the Wilson Reading program and then re-administered the WADE one year later in January 2010.
Ms. Robillard was most impressed with Ryan’s ability to read nonsense words. The testing revealed a 52% increase in his ability to read nonsense words over this one year period. Ryan’s score increased from 20% to 72%, which Ms. Robillard characterized as an “incredible amount of progress”.
Ms. Robillard also tested Ryan’s word attack and letter-word identification skills. On testing in December 2008 Ryan scored at the 3.1 grade level in word attack and the 4.0 grade level in letter-word identification. These scores significantly increased when Ryan was retested in January 2010, approximately one year later. Ryan’s grade equivalent on the word attack subtest increased to the 6.9 grade level, almost a four grade level increase. His score on the letter-word identification test similarly increased. On that retest, Ryan scored at the 5.3 grade level, more than a one grade level increase.
Other Medford staff working with Ryan also testified that he was making progress and was able to access the curriculum with his special education supports. Ms. Finn, the supervisor of speech and language services, testified on behalf of Ms. Kelly, Ryan’s speech and language provider.20 She testified that Ms. Kelly was working with Ryan to increase his vocabulary, improve his grammar and syntax and augment his language comprehension. They also were working on his writing skills, including his ability to use multiple meaning words and idioms.
Ms. Finn testified that Ms. Kelly reported to her that Ryan had made considerable progress. This progress was further reflected in the testing completed by Dr. Seligsohn in January of 2010.21 Ms. Finn testified that on the formulated sentences subtest of the CELF-IV Ryan received a score placing him in the 50th percentile, as compared to the 2008 testing completed by Dr. Castelo when he received a score placing him in the 2nd percentile. Ms. Finn testified that according to the authors of the CELF-IV, the formulated sentences subtest is the most indicative of a language disorder. Ms. Finn noted that Ryan scored in the 50th percentile in the understanding paragraphs subtest and in the 75th percentile in the following directions subtest. Finally, Ms. Finn testified that Ryan scored within normal limits both times he was given the OWLS test which tells her that Ryan can perform within normal limits in writing skills. Overall, Ms. Finn testified
20 Ms. Kelly was not present at the Hearing due to vacation.
21 At the time of Dr.Seligsohn’s testing, Ryan had been receiving speech and language services with Ms. Kelly for approximately one year.