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Expert Q&A

My child’s school says that my child is very bright, but they want to hold him back because of his poor reading skills. I want him tested for a reading disability. What should I do?

Because your child is so bright and is still struggling with reading, he may very well be exhibiting some of the characteristics typical of students with a learning disability. It may be helpful to look at the following articles, which describe characteristics that some children with learning disabilities exhibit:

If you see characteristics of your child’s reading struggles in these articles, you should state these specific concerns to the professionals at his school and request that your child receive an educational evaluation. This evaluation is free and within your legal rights as a parent to request. This article will give you an overview of the evaluation process:

The following article will give you suggestions on how to be the most effective and informed advocate that you can for addressing your child’s educational needs:

Whether or not he is found eligible for special services, the evaluation, among other things, will help determine your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and how best he learns. This should make the decision about how to help your child in subsequent years seem clearer.

Because your child is bright, he may be able to compensate, at this point, for any learning difficulties that he might have. But as he gets older and the reading material in school gets more challenging, your child may find it increasingly difficult to compensate and he may fall further behind. This is why the earlier the cause of his reading weaknesses is determined and addressed, the better chance your child has of truly reaching his academic potential.

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