When is it too early to worry that your child is struggling with reading? Actually, it’s never too early. The best time to catch struggling readers is in kindergarten and first grade according to NIH research. First-grade reading achievement strongly predicts 11th-grade reading achievement (Cunningham and Stanovich 1997), and students who receive the right intervention in kindergarten and first grade, learn the same skills four times faster than a child who is not given help until fourth grade. The longer help is delayed, the harder it is for the child to catch up.

What are the signs a child is struggling with pre-reading and early reading skills in kindergarten and first grade?

  • Kindergarten
    • Trouble learning and remembering letter names
    • Trouble learning and retrieving letter sounds
    • Trouble learning to read sightwords
    • Trouble pronouncing long words
    • Trouble spelling their last name
    • Rubs their eyes while doing literacy activities
    • Refuses to do literacy activities
  • First Grade
    • Cannot rhyme
    • Handwriting is much worse than their peers
    • Has trouble sounding our words or refuses to sound out words
    • Continued trouble with sight words (both reading and spelling)
    • Rubs their eyes while doing literacy activities
    • Refuses to do literacy activities
    • Their inventive spelling is very poor
    • They cannot identify the vowel sound in short, three letter words like dog, pot, wish.

If your child is showing these symptoms in Kindergarten, First Grade or beyond. Dig deeper and follow your gut. Seek a dyslexia screen or evaluation. It will save your child years of struggle.

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