What Every Parent Should Know About Reading Difficulty…

What Every Parent Should Know About Reading Difficulty . . .

By Foundations Tutoring of Pleasanton

“Is my child lazy?”  “Does my child just need to try harder?”  “Is my child a late bloomer?”

These are just a few of the questions many parents have when they see their child struggling to read.  They wonder why their bright, capable child isn’t reading as well as his or her classmates. The parents do everything the teacher requests.  They spend more and more time reading aloud to their child.  They coax their child to read aloud to them. They make special trips to the library and buy books at the book fair or store.  They spend hours trying to help their child memorize sight words (flashcards) and complete homework assignments.  Yet, it is not enough.  Reading difficulties persist despite caring parents and dedicated teachers.

Typically, these students who receive the same type of reading and spelling instruction over and over again never make enough progress to close the gap between where they are and where they need to be. That is, at-risk readers rarely catch up to grade level without access to a different approach to learning to read – a proven intervention program that is more systematic, more explicit, and multi-sensory. This is not a rare situation.  In fact, about 20% of us do need to be taught in this way in order to reach our reading potential.

Through decades of research by the National Institute of Health and Human Development (NIHHD), we now know that children will not outgrow reading difficulties. In fact, the NIHHD research tells us that it takes FOUR times as much assistance to improve a child’s reading skills if offered in 4th grade rather than mid-kindergarten.  The five year old who can’t quite learn his letters becomes the six year old who can’t sound out words, and later becomes the 14-year old who reads slowly and inaccurately– often needing hours to complete his or her homework. Don’t get me wrong, it is never too late to help your child.  Getting help in 4th grade is of course better than 9th grade or beyond, and even an adult who has struggled his entire life with the reading process will find great value in receiving, for the first time, instruction that works for the way his brain processes information.

The good news is that there are very effective programs out there, and we can identify children at risk of reading failure with over 90% accuracy, as early as five and one half years of age.  Your child can be successful if you: 1) find an intervention that is proven to work, such as Barton, Wilson, or Slingerland, 2) find a tutor who is very experienced using a proven program, and 3) make sure your child receives frequent progress monitoring using standardized testing.

Please don’t wait.  Have your child assessed.  Figure out if there is a problem as early as you can.  Your child is counting on you.


To learn more about Foundations Tutoring of Pleasanton,
Visit www.foundationstutoring.org
Call 925-425-0652
Email infor@foundationstutoring.org