Q – Should I be concerned about my child's reading difficulties? Does this mean that my child has a learning disability?
A – Children take different paths while learning to read. For some children, learning to read seems effortless while others struggle. Children develop differently, but there is a typical or usual path of development. Many students struggle with learning at some point during their development, but most will catch up with little extra practice and/or individual attention. However, as a parent, you are right to be concerned if your child appears to be having difficulties, especially if s/he seems frustrated.
The ability to read is a fundamental skill for success in life. Most children who become poor readers experience early and continuing difficulties in learning how to accurately, or identify printed words. These students may have problems with sounding out unfamiliar words, and with developing a sight vocabulary of words, which they are able to read fluently and automatically.
If you are concerned, you should begin by observing your child for signs of struggles with reading and talk to his/her school teacher. As a special education attorney, I can assist parents by requesting to the school that the student be assessed to determine whether s/he qualify for special education services in order for the student to fully benefit from the general curriculum.
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