From pre-school to fourth grade, my son struggled with reading, writing and spelling.  I never knew what to ask at teacher’s conferences.  After years of research, and working with many kids who struggle with reading, these are the questions a parent needs to ask so you can get to the heart of why your child struggles with reading. The answers to these questions will point you to the programs and solutions that will help them become a better reader.

  1. How well does my child know their letter sounds?
  2. Can my child decode and sound-out unknown words?
  3. How well does my child read non-sense words?
  4. How well does my child identify vowel sounds in the middle of words?
  5. Is my child on track with learning their sight words?
  6. Is my child an accurate reader or do they guess at words, skip the small common sight words while reading, but still comprehend the paragraph?
  7. Is my child progressing as well as the majority of his/her classmates?
  8. Does my child struggle with reading comprehension or vocabulary?
  9. Why is my child struggling with reading comprehension and vocabulary?
  10. How are you addressing the above problems?
  11. Does this school screen for dyslexia?

If your child is struggling in the above areas, don’t accept the following answers that are commonly given:

  1. They will grow out of it.
  2. Some kids struggle but get it later.
  3. It’s too early to worry.
  4. Dyslexia is an old-fashioned diagnosis.

Research proves that the earlier a child receives intervention for reading problems the less time they spend receiving help to overcome it.

If your child is struggling with reading, writing or spelling:

  1. Don’t wait!
  2. Seek answers as to why they are struggling. Investigate if it is dyslexia. 80% of children who struggle with reading have undiagnosed dyslexia. It is the most common reason a child will struggle with reading.
  3. Dyslexia and ADHD share 16 symptoms in common. Dyslexia can often look like inattention, and 66% of the time, kids with ADHD have another learning disorder besides ADHD.
  4. Take a free dyslexia screening quiz (free dyslexia screener)
  5. If they show more than 10 symptoms on the screener, have them evaluated for dyslexia.
  6. Seek private tutoring. US schools, at this time, do not adequately remediate dyslexia.
  7. If your child struggles with decoding and shows the warning signs of dyslexia, look for tutoring centers or private tutors that have certified Orton-Gillingham staff and training, and use the program consistently and with fidelity (as designed).
  8. Many students can obtain grade-level reading with two years of private tutoring with an Orton-Gillingham program delivered with fidelity. Most schools cannot deliver these results, and few chain tutoring centers use an Orton-Gillingham method. Seek out the correct method for your child.

If you have questions after reading this article, feel free to contact the author!  Have dyslexia questions – click here!

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