Friday, September 30, 2011

When Reading Problems Start

At the end of second grade, we knew my boy had a lot of social and other

challenges in front of him. But academically, his second grade IEP team 

he was doing fine.

Then at the beginning of third grade his teacher said he was reading

barely at first grade level in his comprehension. We spent the year struggling

with this development.  Be alert to the possibility that your child with autism
who reads the words so well may not understand the sense as he or she does
the sound. Make sure your child's teachers engage with your child's reading.
Here is an excerpt from "Reading and Other Learning Disabilities" blog
by  Dr. Gary G. Brannigan and Howard Margolis about the importance of
an early response.

It’s September. Your child is starting to struggle with reading. How long should you wait to get help? Should you wait until November, December, January? After all, his teacher needs a chance to help him. Will it pass if you just show patience and encourage him to do better?
Our Response
Usually, it won’t pass, so don’t wait. Make a formal request to the school to evaluate his reading and related needs and to provide whatever services he needs to become a successful reader. A good evaluation, supported by quality resources, should help your child and his teacher.
Our Reasoning
  • “More than 88 percent of children who have difficulty reading at the end of first grade display similar difficulties at the end of fourth grade” (Juel, 1988; in Leipzig, 2001).
  • “Longitudinal studies show that, of the youngsters who are identified as having reading problems in the third grade, approximately 74% remain reading disabled through the ninth grade. This appears to be true even when special education has been provided. It should be made clear, however, that interventions applied after a child has failed in reading for two or three years may not be effective for several reasons, including the student’s declining motivation and impaired self-concept” (Lyon, 1996, p. 66).
  • “Three-quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school” (Shaywitz et al., 1997; in Leipzig, 2001).
  • “Educators and researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade. Students who fail to reach this critical milestone often falter in the later grades and drop out before earning a high school diploma. Now, researchers have confirmed this link…. Results of a longitudinal study of nearly 4,000 students find that those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers…. While these struggling readers account for about a third of the students, they represent more than three fifths of those who eventually drop out or fail to graduate on time” (Hernandez, 2011, p. 3).
For more of this post and others on reading disabilities, as well information on the book by Dr. 
Brannigan and Dr. Margolis, Reading Disabilities please click on the link below

My thanks to Dr. Brannigan and Dr. Margolis for sharing their expertise.

-Spectrum  Mom