I think my child struggles with reading. What should I do?
I think my child struggles with reading. What should I do?

I think my child struggles with reading. What should I do?

Share this article As students start returning to school, many will face the Herculean task of becoming proficient readers. Some will be first graders, some fourth graders, and so on. And many of them, as their parents and guardians suspect, will face enormous struggles. If you’re one of these parents or guardians who suspect that your child will struggle with reading, now is the time for action.

Action alone, however, will not be enough. It’s critical that you know what to request and what to avoid. This article focuses on one aspect of what’s critical: Getting a comprehensive reading evaluation. Do three things

If you see your child struggling with reading, stay calm and do three things :

> Learn all you can about reading difficulties and disabilities from trustworthy sources. Keep in mind that difficulties are less severe and less debilitating than disabilities.

Learn about Response to Intervention (RTI).

Make specific written requests, by both email and the USPS.

(To make this article easier to read, and because the terms reading difficulties and disabilities are somewhat murky, we’ll often refer to these students as struggling readers.)

Learn all you can. By learning all you can about reading problems and how to use state and federal education laws, rules, and regulations to help your child, the better you can help her.

Reputable, helpful resources abound. They include the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the International Literacy Association, the U.S. Department of Education, and the What Works Clearinghouse.

Having considerable knowledge about struggles with reading will help you make relevant, focused requests and will help you monitor your child’s progress.

Knowing the intent and the provisions of the laws and their rules and regulations will improve your child’s chances of getting the services she needs, especially if her school refuses to provide them. When dealing with reading struggles, knowledge is as important as air—you need it to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional success.

Ask about Response to Intervention (RTI). Although RTI is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA), it serves both students with and without reading disabilities.In part, RTI’s purpose is to prevent both learning disabilities and unnecessary referrals to special education. It does this by screening all young students for learning disabilities, such as reading disabilities, and instructing students at-risk for learning disabilities with scientifically based interventions targeted at remediating their difficulties.As such, RTI requires participating schools to frequently monitor the effects of such instruction on each student’s progress and, if progress is poor, to provide them with more intensive services, such as extra instruction, instruction in small groups, or individual […]

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