From the moment they're born, our kids send us signals about whether reading may be difficult for them — in the way they speak, the way they listen, the way they respond to us. It's our job as parents to watch for warning signs from when a child is small all the way through elementary school.
Not all children learn to read at the same time, of course. But there are certain milestones that can give you an idea of how well your child is doing compared to others his or her age. If you suspect a problem, you'll want to talk to your child's teacher and consider having your child tested for hearing problems, learning disabilities, or any number of things that might be affecting his or her abilities.
You can request that a public school assess your child (if they do so, there is no charge). Or you can pay a licensed professional in private practice to do so. You'll discover more information in the Finding Help section.
The assessment process can be overwhelming and confusing. The resources here will help you arm yourself with good information so you know what to expect when your child is getting tested or screened.
Featured Video: Getting Your Child Evaluated
Especially for Parents
Learn what questions to ask about Response to Intervention (RTI), an approach to helping struggling learners that is gaining momentum in schools across the country. This article from the National Association of School Psychologists tells you the most important features of the process, key terms, and RTI's relationship to special education evaluation.
"Get Ready to Read" is a fast, free, research-based, and easy-to-use screening tool. It consists of 20 questions that parents and caregivers can ask a four-year-old to see if he or she is on track for learning how to read.