We understand what is important for a child’s academic success. We’ll take an in-depth look at the components necessary to be successful at reading, spelling, fluency, comprehension, and writing.
We offer best practices in the field of Scientifically-Based Reading Research and the National Reading Panel. These practices guide our assessment process. Discover what is going on with your child’s reading and how they can become successful in school.
The Early Reader Screening is like a wellness visit to your doctor. It can help identify problems before they are apparent in school. Just as a vision screening will flag eye problems, but not diagnose them, an Early Reader Screening is designed to flag children with the potential for reading difficulties. This screening is not designed to determine if your child has a learning disability or dyslexia.
The Early Reader Screening takes about an hour to administer. Depending on your child’s age, grade level, and your concerns, the Early Reader Screening may be our recommendation as the next step. If the Early Reader Screening indicates the need to administer our more in-depth Comprehensive Evaluation, 100% of the screening fee will be applied to the cost.
Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that reading difficulties are most easily addressed in the primary grades. The earlier a child is identified as at-risk, the more likely the child is to become an independent reader. Since it may be difficult for teachers and parents to pick up on the early warning signs, a screening can be a helpful tool for your child.
An Early Reader Screening looks at these critical early literacy skills:
Reading is a complex process. However, the reason is simple – reading is not a ‘natural’ process. Our brains are hard-wired for spoken language, not print. Scientific research has found that reading does not just happen. Explicit instruction is needed to create the brain circuitry needed to read. There are many parts to this reading circuit, and they all have to fully develop and become connected for the child to read well.
The foundation of the reading process begins with phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to recognize the individual sounds or “phonemes” of spoken words. More specifically, it is the ability to identify, blend and segment these sounds. Reading, at first, is not about letters – it’s about sounds!
The next critical step is phonics. This is the process of attaching sounds to letter symbols. This ability to link letters with their corresponding sounds allows someone to read unfamiliar words. We think of this as word analysis.
Symbol imagery is also necessary to give a child a more fluid way of connecting sounds to print. Symbol imagery is the ability to “picture” or see words in the mind’s eye. A child images letters and words in their mind, manipulating sounds and letters to build automaticity. With symbol imagery in place, one can improve the ability to connect with the sequences of letters, which is necessary to develop sight word recognition. This, in turn, allows for rapid processing (fluency) and quick self-correction.
Strong phonemic awareness and symbol imagery also improve spelling ability. Good spellers are able to identify and pull apart the individual sounds in a spoken word and then match those individual sounds to letter symbols (phonics). Visual memory and knowledge of word patterns are also important.
When all of these areas are stabilized and integrated, a child can leverage context and vocabulary to further develop fluency. All of this leads to the ultimate goal of reading – comprehension.