If Your Child Struggles
Learning to read is difficult, so it’s not surprising that many children struggle. The good news is that with early help and the right instruction, many reading problems can be prevented and most children can be taught to read. Trust your instincts and be persistent in finding help. The earlier the better.
Why is learning to read so hard?
Humans are born to speak. Our brains are biologically wired to acquire oral language just by being exposed to it.
Most people must be taught to read, though. Because reading and the alphabet were invented, our brains aren’t ready wired for the complex task. Readers have to build the neurocircuitry that allows them to effortlessly decode words and make meaning.
Nearly 40% of children may find this challenging, regardless of their intelligence. For some, this means their brains are wired differently. Whatever the cause, skilled reading instruction is the solution. The earlier your child gets help, the better. Children who don’t learn to read well by the end of third grade will have a hard time catching up.
As a parent, you know your child best
So, trust your instincts if you think s/he is having trouble!
- Learn the Signs of a Reading Difficulty
- Partner with your child’s teacher(s) to have your child tested in school. Screenings can signal difficulties as early as Kindergarten or PreK.
- Learn about Signs of Dyslexia at Different Ages.
- Insist upon early identification of your child’s problems—catching them before they fail.
- Request an independent Comprehensive Reading Evaluation to dig deeper. It will determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses in order to provide the most appropriate instructional support.
- Determine whether your child’s school offers evidence-based literacy instruction—which leads to higher achievement for children of all abilities.
- A Structured Literacy approach to instruction is essential for students with SLD/Dyslexia and benefits all children.
- Learn What to Do if Your Child’s School isn’t Teaching Reading Right?
- Don’t go it alone! Become informed and get support by partnering with organizations that can help.
- Understanding Your Child’s Trouble With Reading is key.
Advocating for your Child’s Needs
As a parent, you need to:
- Understand your child’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
- Educate yourself about Helping Struggling Readers.
- Require that your child receive proven interventions.
- Partner with your child’s teachers to support and monitor your child’s progress.
- Request technological supports.
- Learn more about Advocating for a Child with Dyslexia in the Public Education System.
Special Education Law
The state of Connecticut has been a leader in crafting legislation supporting the identification and instruction of students with SLD/Dyslexia and requiring their instructors to have appropriate knowledge and practice.
Dyslexia Legislation Interactive Map created by The International Dyslexia Association allows you to to track the status of dyslexia legislation in your state.
Wrightslaw offers accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit peer-to-peer network of attorneys, advocates, parents and professionals dedicated to protecting and enforcing legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families.