My Child is 3 Years Behind in Reading. I Need to Learn About Reading Tests?

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My son is entering 6th grade. His reading skills are at the 3rd grade level. His pediatrician thinks he has dyslexia.

The school insists that he is “making progress.” I don’t agree. I requested information about the reading tests that show he is “making progress.”

Please tell me the names of tests the school should use to assess for reading problems like dyslexia. What tests should they use in an educational evaluation?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects language.

A child with dyslexia has difficulty reading accurately and fluently. Spelling is usually poor. Most children with dyslexia have weaknesses in phonological processing. Many also have weaknesses in rapid naming.

Most standardized, norm-referenced tests that are used to test for learning disabilities are also used to evaluate children for dyslexia.

Reading encompasses many skills.  test measures all these reading skills. Different tests measure different reading skills.

Reading Assessments

To get up to speed on the tests used to measure different reading skills…read Chapter 6: Reading Assessments, in Wrightslaw: All About Tests and AssessmentsYou will learn about the different reading skills, what a comprehensive reading assessment should measure, and tests that should be included.

Frequently used multiple-subject achievement tests used to assess reading skills include the KTEA-II, WIAT-III, and the WJ IV ACH.

There are other single-subject reading tests that provide more information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses in reading. For example: CTOPP2, TOWRE-2, GORT-5, TOSWRF.

Table 6-1 in All About Tests and Assessments will give you a snapshot of Reading Tests and the Skills They Measure.

Table 6-1 Reading Tests and the Skills They Measure from Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assesments

Chapter 6 includes in-depth information about reading tests and informal reading inventories.

Learn about tests that measure reading skills in nonverbal children and more FAQs about Reading Assessments in Chapter 6, Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments.

  1. Oh and Maria a school needs to do both. They need to make sure the curriculum is accessible, for example if a student is below grade level in reading due to a disability an accommodation for them might be read aloud upon request. Depending on the school, student, and system (lots of factors) some might be in a reading program, others might be in a content support class, and others are in a two teacher classroom where one teacher is a content teacher and the other is a special education teacher. All teachers want to grow their students and help close the gap.

  2. To get your child tested for a disability you need to request this from the school in writing. Just because you believe he has dyslexia doesn’t mean he does, and if he had an educational evaluation (something that happens while testing for disabilities) and the results showed he didn’t have any discrepancies then chances are he doesn’t have a disability. The school probably did basic reading screenings in 1st through 3rd grade and he was placed in appropriate reading groups. After that, reading groups don’t really happen in 4th and up just due to a shift in how a school day runs. Ask your son’s teachers what reading programs they use to measure reading level (you might know this already because you’re saying he is three year behind, how did you find out this information)

  3. Are schools required to close the gaps for children with Learning Disabilities or do they only need to make the curriculum accessible?

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