The Assessment Process
From the moment they're born, our kids send us signals about whether reading may be 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 (more information about this is in the Finding Help section).
The assessment process can be overwhelming and confusing. The articles below will help you arm yourself with good information so you know what to expect when your child is getting tested or screened.
By: Reading Rockets (2009)
"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.
By: American Federation of Teachers (2006)
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.
By: Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin and Alejandro Brice (2005)
How can you tell when a student has a language-learning disability and when he or she is merely in the normal process of acquiring a second language?
By: American Federation of Teachers (2004)
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.
By: Reading Rockets (2004)
These six short video clips give you the chance to watch and learn effective classroom-based assessment strategies. The video clips are from Reading Rockets' PBS television series Launching Young Readers.
By: Marianne S. Meyer (2003)
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.