Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a quick fix solution for Dyslexia?

There is no quick fix or silver bullet for dyslexia. It can take from 1 to 3 years to get a dyslexic child reading and spelling at grade level, depending upon their level of severity, the frequency of their remediation, and other issues.

How do parents know if their child's reading delay is a real problem or simply a "developmental lag?" How long should parents wait before seeking help in their child is struggling with reading?

Beware of the developmental lag excuse for several reasons. First, I have listened to parent after parent tell me about feeling there was a problem early on, yet being persuaded to discount their intuition and wait to seek help for their child. Later, when they learned time is of the essence in developing reading skills, the parents regretted the lost months or years.

Second, research shows that the crucial window of opportunity to deliver help is during the first couple of years of school. So if your child is having trouble learning to read, the best approach is to take immediate action. Knowing how soon to act is easy if you know the conclusions of recent research.

Reading researchers say the ideal window of opportunity for addressing reading difficulties is during kindergarten and first grade. The National Institutes of Health state that 95 percent of poor readers can be brought up to grade level if they receive effective help early.

While it is still possible to help an older child with reading, those beyond third grade require much more intensive help. The longer you wait to get help for a child with reading difficulties, the harder it will be for that child to catch up. If help is given in fourth grade (rather than in late kindergarten), it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount.

Can Children With Reading Problems Overcome Their Difficulties?

Yes, but only if they are identified early and provided with systematic, explicit, and intensive instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension strategies.

Can Early identification, coupled with comprehensive early reading interventions, can reduce the percentage of children reading below the basic level? Are Certain Early Intervention Approaches More Effective Than Others?

Yes. The National Reading Panel found that intervention programs that provided systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, repeated reading to improve fluency, and direct instruction in vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies were significantly more effective than approaches that were less explicit.

Will Proper Reading Instruction Reduce the Need for Special Education?

At least 20 million school-age children suffer from reading failure, but only a small fraction of these children receive special education services.

By putting in place well designed, evidence-based early identification screenings and early intervention programs, the number of children suffering from reading failure would be reduced by at least two-thirds the current national average of 38% to less than 6%.