Liz is worried about her son, Connor. He is nearing the end of first grade and still struggles to read three letter words. His teacher, Mrs. Jenkins, is recommending that he repeat first grade to have time to catch up to grade level. She suggested that Connor is probably a “late bloomer” and would benefit from a little more time to develop his reading skills. Liz had actually been hoping that Connor might do better next year with a different teacher. Liz and her husband have already resigned themselves to the fact that Connor will need to get help during the summer. She knows this will be hard for Connor, and the whole family. Connor always seemed like a smart, happy, inquisitive little boy, and it hurts her heart every time she hears him say, “I’ll never get it! I’m just dumb.” Connor’s cousin, Jason, has also struggled in school. He’s now in fifth grade and still struggling. I seems like every time Liz gets together with her sister, all she can talk about is the homework battles with Jason, the teasing by other kids, the meetings with Jason’s teacher and counselor, endless IEP meetings, and the calls from the principal about Jason’s bad attitude and behaviors. Now, Liz is starting to see Connor moving in the same direction.
If your child is struggling with their reading, you may be wondering whether to seek help now, or wait to see whether the problem clears up. At one time, it was common for educators to suggest the “wait and see” approach, based on the idea the child might just be developing slower than peers, and would eventually catch up on their own. However, research shows that without intervention nearly 90% of children who have trouble learning to read in first grade are still struggling with reading in the fourth grade, and the students who are behind in reading in elementary school generally don’t catch up to their peers, even through high school.
By contrast, at Abba’s Child Learning Center we regularly see struggling students achieve and surpass their grade level in reading in 3 or 4 months, sometimes less. The first key is to identify and address the underlying learning problems, such as auditory or visual processing problems, dyslexia, or ADHD. Brain-based methods. The second key is to simply the process of decoding. The English language is a confusing conglomeration of words from several different languages, each with different rules for spelling and pronunciation. Quick Steps to Reading makes decoding in this complex language, simple, logical, and even fun. When decoding and pronouncing words becomes a non-issue, energy is release to build vocabulary and comprehension. Reading becomes fun and rewarding, and self-confidence returns.