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Your Child Struggles with Reading – Finding the Right Resources

Wed. 01/24/2018

You Are Not Alone

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities , learning and attention issues are more common than many people think, affecting up to 1 in 5 children. Students with learning differences — brain-based difficulties in reading and math — are the largest group, with dyslexia the most common. An estimate of students who have dyslexia is approximately 10 percent of the general student population.

Intervene Early

If your child struggles to read, it’s vital to find out why as early as possible. Unfortunately many parents are often unaware or encouraged to wait and see. Parents are frequently told their child is a late bloomer and will probably catch up.  Despite best efforts by both teachers and parents to provide short term solutions, testing is often suggested after the problem has become much bigger.  Sometimes what started as concerns about academic skills, later include emotional and social concerns.

Get Tested

If you suspect that your child is having difficulty particularly in reading, formal testing – sooner rather than later is highly recommended.  The evaluation process functions to help identify, diagnose and offer recommendations for next steps.  The student, his/her family and a team of professionals work together to determine what can be done to help. When done properly with the help of highly trained professionals, the results provide an essential roadmap to help parents and educators better meet the child’s/student’s needs.

A Quick Note on Labels

Some parents are resistant to labeling their child, should a specific diagnosis be warranted.  However many experts will agree that when a parent (and child) understands their learning strengths and weakness which often are best described with an accompanying label (or diagnosis), a specific plan of action can then be developed – a plan that can make all the difference.  When your child understands their learning profile, they also understand they are simply different, not alone and certainly not stupid.

What’s Next

Once you have a roadmap, the next step is finding the appropriate resources. If your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia, identifying those resources can be uniquely challenging.  Depending on the specific learning profile of your child, you may be considering advocating for an IEP (Individual Education Program) in a public school, tapping your current school for additional services, changing schools, adding tutoring to your child’s school routine and/or enrolling in an intense summer academic program. Regardless of the option(s) you are considering, ask the following:

  • Do teachers receive specialized training
  • What is the social and emotional climate
  • Are students working in small groups and are they grouped in similar levels
  • Are evidence based programs in use i.e. backed by scientific research
  • How is progress documented
  • What are the graduation rates
  • Are students aware of their learning profile and are they being taught to self-advocate
  • Talk to as many people as you can about the school, tutor, camp, etc., don’t be afraid to talk to parents and graduates.

No One Size Fits All

There is no one perfect solution and even within a solution, each child’s learning must be personalized to meet their specific needs.  Align each student’s strength’s, interests and needs with evidence based instruction and academic success follows. Tailor the learning environment to support students with different learning profiles and healthy social and emotional skills develop. Help students build awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and they learn the importance of advocating on their own behalf.

The Summit School serves bright students with dyslexia and other learning differences in grades 1-8. Teachers maximize students’ strengths and support areas of weakness. Summit empowers students and prepares them for success in high school and beyond.  For more information about the Summit School, click here.  In addition to a day school, Summit offers through its Summit Resource Center diagnostic testing services, individual tutoring, summer programs, consultations and free workshops and seminars. For more information on the Summit Resource Center, click here or contact Nancy Rhodes at , x147.