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Getting Your Child Evaluated

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

Top Articles

This is a checklist to help educators carry out the five recommendations made in the What Works Clearninghouse report Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades.
Early intervention works. Because it is also expensive, it's important to be able to identify the kids who are most at risk of reading failure. Thanks to a new generation of screening assessments, we can identify these students as early as kindergarten — and then invest in interventions for them.
There are over two dozen individually administered screening tools produced for the primary grades. Considering their subject matter and purpose, schools must decide which assessment best fits their needs. This article gives an overview of the screening tools and the kind of information they provide.
These six short video clips give you the chance to watch and learn effective classroom-based assessment strategies. The video clips are from the Reading Rockets PBS television series, Launching Young Readers.

Especially for Parents

Parents, does your child need to be evaluated for a learning disability? If so, read how to find the best professional, prepare for evaluation, and get the most information from the experience.
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.
If you think your child might have a learning disability, this article will help. Dr. Larry Silver tells parents the clues to look for in pre-school and elementary school children. Then the article talks about how to get a "psychoeducational evaluation" to find out for sure.
"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.
Teachers use a leveling system to determine your child's reading score. Learn about the three major leveling systems and how to understand the meaning behind the scores.
Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers
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Featured FAQs about helping struggling readers
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"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943