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Jenny: My daughter was placed on a IEP in fist grade and continues to be on it do to her reading. she is now in 5th grade with a first grade reading level. and teacher tells me she doesn’t want to learn and doesn’t do individual work. I feel that the teacher has given up on my student and she is now giving up on her self. so how can I get her the help she needs? (one on one with a teacher)she attends sylvan and she is at mid 2nd grade reading there.

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Has your daughter been evaluated for dyslexia? That is first and foremost because the diagnosis drives intervention. If she has, you should ask for Orton-Gillingham approach. Based on her level, it would be really hard for them to say no. If they do, ask for prior written notice that includes the reason for their decision and what documents they used to come to this conclusion. If necessary, file a state complaint for failing to provide a FAPE. Best wishes!


She probably has missed some essential skills during kindergarten and first grade. Such as learning the sight words and diagraphs. You can always practice these skills at home with her. Go to a teacher’s supply store and ask for sight words and decoding books. Start with the lst grade list and continue from there. You can also ask the school to supply you with a list of grade level sight words. The more she practice reading the better she will get.


Cassandra, you can also get the same type of books at the local bookstore and you can google sight words by grade level.


My daughter is starting 9th grade next year she is reading on a second grade reading level (reads fluently but doesn’t comprehend) she’s been in special education for reading and math since 3rd grade. Do all States pay for after school tutoring? I’ve never heard of this in my area…. Following


Jenny, We had the same problem with our daughter so we took her to Sylvin learning center and children’s hospital to be tested for everything from education levels and any disorder she may have. From there, the school is required to build the IEP around those findings. She has A reading specialist work with her as well as she was diagnosed with executive functioning disorder where the brain does not process the same as a child without any problems. Most people can go to the file cabinet in our brain and find exactly what we are looking for (pull up what we have learned to date) but a person with executive functioning, the file cabinet is a mess and takes more time to try and go back to what they have learned. Keep advocating for your child! Don’t take no for an answer!!! Good luck!


Run..don’t walk to a developmental optometrist. I heard the same crap about my child who just gained ten grade levels in comprehension in three years after we wasted six months at sylvan and then found vision therapy. See only a developmental optometrist not an idiotic pediatric ophthalmologist


I completely agree!!!!! I think it should be standard when evaluating children with any type of learning disability.


You should also research whether your state has any law, & regulations regarding reading difficulties or dyslexia. Some states do. Your state parent training & information project can assist you.

Sharon L.

My son was in the same situation. We had the school try various ways to teach him to read. We waited too long to get what we needed for him (8th grade) and he was about ready to give up. Don’t do this. Get going on this right now. The way we got the school to pay for an outside reading specialist was that we requested in writing a reading/writing test be done by the school. (you may ask for and entire IEE or it can be partial like this one). Put the request in writing on their request form and they need to give the test within 60 days. It must be on their form or the time does not start. We did not agree with the test results and asked for an IEE. This proved that our son needed specialized reading and we found an outside tutor for him. He now reads at college level.


Is there any way I could find out more about your situation and what you just explained?

Jill G

If you can’t, ask the school to reevaluate. You may also want to ask the tutor to write a report about their findings regarding your daughter.

When the evaluation is complete, ask the school for a meeting to discus it and develop a new IEP based on the results. Is there a class your daughter does particularly well in? Make a point of having that teacher present at the meeting, to counter the other teacher’s narrative. And use the evaluation results to advocate for her needs.

Jill G

Jenny –

I hate when teachers say things like a student “doesn’t want to learn” or worse, “they’re just lazy.” I think that’s a lazy teacher who says things like that, one who is not willing to put in the effort to figure out why a student struggles.

I suggest that you start with an evaluation for your daughter. An evaluation will tell you where her skills are at right now and what her current challenges are. The evaluation should obviously include an assessment of her reading ability, but also make sure it assesses her social/emotional needs (as her struggles and the way she is perceived seem to be taking a toll).

If you can obtain a private evaluation, that would be best. It should include teacher input, a review of her records, and in-school observations.


Have you had an IEE? We were in that exact situation last year so we sent a letter requesting an IEE (after reading From Emotions to Advocacy & the Special Ed Law book). We ignored their list of “recommended” psychologists and had her evaluation done by the local psychologist who is a huge dyslexia advocate around here. He came to the meeting afterwards and was a great help in talking to the antagonistic Spec-Ed Director who was so insistent that the entire problem was our daughter “just learns so slowly there was nothing they could do”. Our IEP still has major flaws and we are now looking into advocates – but in the meantime the school at least conceded to 20 minutes of one-on-one Barton a day.


I just requestwd an IEE and I was told the statute of limitations had run out. My son had an IEP Incomplete Jan of 2015. I pulled him out of public school and homesxhooled him because he was not showing progress, needed one on one support and was not given an aide. He is now ten and has made good progress at home. I believe he has dyslexia. I want an IEE because none of his IEP evaluations have indicated a learning disability, yet he cannot read or write. it took two years for him to learn to read numbers 1-10 and his upper/lower case alphabet and sounds. He is just now demonstrating pre reading signs. struggles with math