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My child’s school says that my child is very bright, but they want to hold him back because of his poor reading skills. I want him tested for a reading disability. What should I do?

Expert answer

Because your child is bright yet still struggles with reading, it can be challenging to offer the right support. You can refer to the following articles to see the characteristics that some children with learning disabilities exhibit:

If you recognize your child’s reading struggles in these articles, voice these specific concerns to professionals at his school and request that your child receive an educational evaluation. This evaluation is free and within your legal rights as a parent to request. This article will give you an overview of the evaluation process:

The article below has suggestions on how to be your child’s most effective and informed advocate for his educational needs:

Whether or not he is found eligible for special services, the evaluation will help determine your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and how he best learns. This should guide you in supporting your child academically and emotionally in the years to come.

Because your child is bright, he may currently be able to compensate for his learning difficulties. But as he gets older and the reading material in school gets more challenging, it may become increasingly difficult to compensate, and he may fall further behind as a result. But the earlier the cause of his reading weaknesses is determined and addressed, the better chance your child has of truly reaching his academic potential.

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