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.
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