- Seeing Stars
- Read 180
- Reading Rocket …
Have you ever wondered why there are so many reading programs?
Perhaps you suspect your child has trouble reading and would like to optimize the help you get through your child’s school?
Maybe the school has informed you they would like to initiate testing because the teacher suspects your child is reading significantly below grade level and would benefit from support?
Or maybe your child has begun reading remediation, whether privately or through the school, and after 3 + months of intervention it doesn’t look like your child is decoding successfully?
The challenge is two-fold.
1) There are so many reading programs, each employing a different approach to learning how to read. How are you to know which program would be best for your child?
2) Can you successfully advocate for your child to get the program they need or do you need to pursue private intervention?
A school’s job is to teach specific skills and content. Schools focus on whether a student qualifies for services by measuring if they are sufficiently below grade level academically to warrant support services.
You can understand that we also need to know if the underlying physiological functions necessary are intact to allow for learning to occur. Although many of these test may be dismissed by schools as being “medical”, this does not mean there is no need for such testing. Their response is only meant to explain why they may be absolving themselves of the responsibility of providing this testing .
Early Intervention (EI) looks at developmental milestones. Their perspective is solely functional and based on observations. Their goal is to teach children how to function in the course of their daily activities. They too will not provide what is considered to be medical testing and often their providers do not treat. They are very clear about the fact that they do not offer diagnoses. If a provider or parent suspects that a child is on the autism spectrum, may have a sensory processing disorder, a feeding disorder, or any other diagnostic label, the parent will be advised to go to a clinical setting for a diagnostic evaluation. Because EI looks at developmental milestones, not academic ones, it can make it easier to access services. This is different from schools, which focus on academic milestones and may deny services if there’s no academic gap, even if there is a developmental one.
The medical perspective is to identify what is a treatable physical condition. We call this process diagnosis. the diagnosis is then followed up with treatment. Treatments may include medication, surgery, a corrective device, etc. For physiological function issues that are not directly treatable your doctor may refer to an allied healthcare provider. Included as allied healthcare are: Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, audiologists, and optometrists. Insurance may consider their work “treatment”. These treatments can be a combination of an assistive device and/or specialized teaching known as “therapy”.
With this division of responsibility and confusion between treating and teaching there is much that falls through the cracks.
A deficit can occur in more than one function, requiring multiple specialist. But how do you know which ones?
Additionally, with so many specialties it can be overwhelming, time consuming and costly to go for so many different evaluations.
This overwhelm can be exacerbated by not having one person overseeing the whole process and deciding on a hierarchy of priority.
A provider that crosses the divide between the academic and the medical.
There are some professionals who fall in this category. That is the idea behind a developmental pediatrician and a developmental optometrist. This paradigm gave birth to the developmental audiologist model, someone who has the necessary background to check development as it relates to the medical side of things and can inform you how this will impact your child’s academic, social and daily functional performance.
This more supportive level of service is precisely why Hearing Kids opened.
We help you identify what is preventing your child from reading easily. And do so in a single visit, no need to run to multiple different professionals for a diagnosis.
We do this by assessing how well the necessary physiological functions of the body serve your child. What this includes is specific to specific skills.
For reading out loud this includes:
- auditory acuity and processing,
- visual acuity and processing,
- oral motor skills
You need the ears and the brain to work together properly, and the eyes and the brain to work together properly, and the ears and the eyes to work together, and comprehension to take place. As a fluent reader you do all this quickly enough, in the right sequence and remember what you read – just for the decoding portion of reading…
Informed Brings You 3/4 of the Way There
You now can identify which reading program is best suited for your child. Furthermore, you will know which ones to avoid precisely because it requires your child tap into the very skill that is the cause of your child’s learning struggle. So before you invest in a reading program optimize your ROI by matching your child’s needs to what the reading program offers.
Additionally, with this information, you know which professionals you need on your team.
To optimize advocating for your child we are happy to provide consultations on navigating the IEP process successfully.