Fundamental Questions

May 04, 2018

In contrast with kids who travel on a smoother road, on this site and in our books we are concerned with kids riding a rougher road.  These kids have a tough ride for all kinds of reasons.

Here are some fundamental questions that can (and should) be asked of the kids on a rough ride, depending on the child’s age and stage?

  • How are the child decoding skills? Regardless of age and stage, this is an essential question to consider
  • When presented with challenging words that don’t show up in the text all that often (think of words such as “porcupine,” “financial,” “institute”), can he/she read them smoothly and effortlessly?
  • When given a passage roughly in the grade level of the child and asked to do a “cold read,” how does it sound?   Is it smooth and fluent or not?
  • How about understanding what is read? When the child reads different passages, how does he/she respond to factual questions? Inferential questions? Does he seem connected or disconnected to the material?
  • What about math? How does he/she manage basic calculations?  Word problems?  Does the child seem confused?Does the child work through his/her challenge or give up easily?
  • Do you think your child shows the ability to sustain his/her mental effort or does is he falling off track and giving up easily?
  • How does the child do when asked to follow sequences and basic directions?
  • How is the child’s word knowledge or word awareness?
  • How does the child manage different types of problems where solutions are not readily apparent?
  • How connected is the child when interacting with others? How about his social skills?

Even though I find people to be very concerned about questions of category, such as does my child have dyslexia or ADHD, from my point of view the fundamental questions are examples of ones I am always asking when conducting an assessment.

The fundamental questions (the above are not an exhaustive list by the way) are ones that guide you as to what your next steps should be, what action you might want to take, what skill to develop.

Takeaway Point

I encourage you to be less concerned about a diagnostic category and more concerned about specific questions that lead to an action to take.

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Not in the South Jersey area? For a free 15 Minute Consultation, contact Dr. Selznick: email – contact@drselz.com.

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