Leora a 10-year-old fourth grader has been struggling since kindergarten.

Every year the parents have raised their concerns with the teachers.  The answers are variations on a theme.

Act I:  In first grade it was, “She’s still young and it’s probably developmental.”

Act II:  In second grade, “She’s getting ‘Fundations’ (a reading program for young children)  in class and we’ll have the speech teacher see her ”  (Leave aside the point that she was only getting  Fundations twice weekly for about 20 minutes in a small group and Leora was fully articulate with no speech issues.)

Act III: Third grade, “ We see her as a little distractible and only a neurologist can evaluate ADHD and dyslexia, so we think you should see one.”  (Keeping in mind that neurologists do not evaluate learning problems like dyslexia.)

Act IV: In fourth grade, “We have her on a three-tiered system, where we will decide whether to have the child evaluated.  If she qualifies then she would get “push in” (as opposed to “pull out”) services.  (This would take a minimum of six months with the frequent result that the child does not qualify.)

To offer the parents something (they were quite desperate), I perform a screening with Leora that took about 45 minutes.

This is what I said to Leora’s parents:

“Leora can barely read at the second grade level.  She has significant issues with reading rate, accuracy and fluency.  She needs a lot of help.  Your instincts since kindergarten were right on the money.”

Rolling up their sleeves, the parents contacted a tutor who knew how to implement research supported reading (spelling and writing interventions) and got down to business.

Leora loved the tutor and formed a great bond with her and by all reports  is making nice progress.

Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D.  2022, www.shutdownlearner.com.

To Contact Dr. Richard Selznick for advice, consultation or other information, email rselznick615@gmail.com.

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