StephVA asks:

What should I do while I'm waiting for my son to be evaluated?  His reading has really regressed.

Hi.  One of my 7 year old triplet boys has really regressed in reading (Rigby level 11 back to 9 after the first 9 weeks of school); what could be happening?  He will be getting the full blown educ/psych testing at school but that may take a while.  Anyone see this before in their child?  What should I do while I am waiting for evaluation?
In Topics: Helping my child with reading
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Nov 10, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

I would suggest you discuss this with your pediatrician.  As a triplet male he is at risk for issues such as ADD, learning disabilities, and other processing problems.  Be aggressive with the school to include a developmental study as part of the child study team.  Remember schools do not make diagnoses but place students where they feel they will learn best.  Your son may require more and you should see what his medical home recommends.

Wayne A. Yankus, MD. FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics.

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Additional Answers (1)

Sylvia HS
Sylvia HS , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
Hello Steph VA,

I'm wondering if your son is becoming stressed about his reading.  He may notice that everyone is paying attention to the fact that he's not reading well enough.  This could cause him to doubt himself and be less confident about trying to read.  Perhaps he's comparing himself to his brothers, and those comparisons are being expressed by others, as well.

I know that it may take a while for an assessment to be completed.  The assessors may find that he has learning disabilities and they'll be able to make specific recommendations for what you and the school can do.

I know that you are very concerned about your child's progress but, in my experience, children don't learn very well if they're worried about how smart they are.  Could you take all the pressure to read off of him, and just enjoy reading to him?  Let him enjoy the level of books he's able to read, and read the harder ones to him.  I'm concerned that he may have heard that he's been moved back some reading levels in his classroom.  In fact, has he been moved back to the SAME books that he saw before?  This wouldn't be healthy for him at all.  There are many kinds of easier books that will be new to him.  Is he being told about the level he's on and that other children in the classroom are able to read harder levels?  As a reading specialist who assesses children, I always become concerned when the first thing children tell me is what level they're on.  That's an adult concept not something very useful for children.

Let your son help choose the kinds of books he wants to read.  If he reads them with 90-95% of the words correct, then those are books that are at his instructional, or comfortable, reading level.  If he chooses harder books, then you read them to him, so that he can gain the information, plus enjoy the process.  He will make gains from this, even if they are less-than-expected for his grade level curriculum.  And taking the pressure off him and yourself, while you're waiting for an evaluation and possible placement recommendations, will make this school year a much more valuable experience.

Sylvia HS,
Reading Specialist, Author
> 60 days ago

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