Yes! A child can overcome reading problems if they are identified early and provided with the correct reading intervention program.
If your child is having troubles learning to read, take immediate action. Research in the field of reading says that the ideal window of opportunity for helping kids with reading problems is from the beginning of kindergarten to the end of first grade. This is still called intervention. After this window of opportunity has passed it is called remediation. Keep in mind that prevention is always easier than remediation.
The three key research conclusions from the National Institutes of Health are:
- 90% of children with reading problems will achieve grade level in reading if they receive help by the first grade.
- 75% of children whose help is delayed to age nine or later continue to struggle throughout their school careers.
- 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.
Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health concluded that if children are identified early and provided with systematic, explicit, and intensive instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension strategies they can overcome their reading problems.
The type of intervention program a child uses is also crucial. On the basis of a thorough evidence-based review of the reading research that met rigorous scientific standards, the National Reading Panel (NRP), convened by the NICHD and the Department of Education, found that instructional programs that provide systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, guided repeated reading to improve reading fluency, and direct instruction in vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies were significantly more effective than approaches that were less explicit and less focused on the reading skills to be taught (e.g., approaches that emphasize incidental learning of basic reading skills).
Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder of PRIDE Learning Centers, located in Southern California. Ms. Richland is a certified reading and learning disability specialist. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com