As we discussed last week ( the next few weeks will be primers in major categories of parental concern.

This week, in 400 words or less, we offer a primer on reading.

Here we go.

When you boil it all down, there are essentially two types of reading problems.

  • Type I: These children have trouble with reading rate, decoding, accuracy and fluency.  The vast majority of children referred for special education have Type I issues in mild, moderate or severe forms.  The more moderate and severe Type I children are likely to be diagnosed as having dyslexia, as they match the clinical definition of dyslexia (see
  • Type II: These children are entirely different from the above category.  They have no problems with decoding of words or reading fluency, but their capacity to understand what they read and to apply higher order reasoning is weak and spotty.

In my opinion, more important than a clinical diagnosis it is essential to know whether your child falls into one of these two categories.

Why is this  essential?

By knowing what category your child is in and how mild, moderate or severe the problem, then this drives what needs to be done (usually in the form of tutoring).

Good testing should help you get clear on the fundamental questions:

  • Does my child have a problem (“yes” or “no”).
  • If they have a problem is it a Type I or a Type II?
  • Is the problem mild, moderate or more severe?
  • What is the method proposed for remediation? (For struggling children, scattershot remediation will not be effective for either category.)

Takeaway Point

There you have it – a primer on what you need to know about reading in less than 400 words.

It really doesn’t need to get much more complicated than this.

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Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D.  2022,

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