RESOURCES FOR CONCERNED FAMILIES (AGES 5+)
SIGNS TO WATCH FOR THAT A CHILD MAY STRUGGLE WITH READING
C0NCERNED YOUR CHILD ISN'T MEETING THE MILEST0NES?
Every student is unique and will progress differently. However, if you have concerns about your child's reading progress don't delay in seeking answers and help. Unlike other normal childhood stages, learning to read is not going to be a “natural” activity for many children. The window for learning to read is critical in the Kindergarten to 2nd grade years, and the sooner you can get help and resources for your child, the more success they will begin to experience.
Remember that with the right support and enough practice, nearly every child can learn to read well. If your child is not meeting the literacy milestones for their grade-level, here are a few steps to start with:
Make Sure it's Not Something Else
Schedule Comprehensive Vision and Hearing Exams
Up to 25 percent of all children struggle with reading and learning problems because of undiagnosed vision conditions. If your family does not have vision insurance, you can access services through these community clinics:
offers low-cost optometry and ophthalmology services to ensure the Oakland community has access to professional eye care.
has a community clinic that provides vision care for low-income uninsured patients. Call 510-437-4474 for more information and to schedule an appointment
Hearing exams can be an important tool to prevent problems with communication, learning, and development. Hearing loss can develop at any time during childhood, so watch for signs of hearing loss — even if your child already passed a hearing screening. Talk to your child's pediatrician and ask for a hearing exam.
Gather Your Information
Observe what your child is struggling with and what they're doing well at. Focus and highlight your child’s strengths so they know they are more than their reading difficulties. Your child needs to know that you believe in them.
Review the Reading Skill Overview page to see if you can identify what skills they are struggling with.
Give it a Little Time
Allow some time for the teacher and school to implement the interventions. Support your child at home however you can.
Don’t stop reading aloud to your child because you see them struggling on their own. Storytelling is central to human existence, just because they are grappling with the mechanics, they still need the pleasure and experience of being immersed in a good book.
Request A Team Meeting
If you're still not seeing progress, request a meeting at school - often called a Coordination of Services Team (COST) or a Student Success Team Meeting (SST).
Share your concerns and ask what additional resources that may be available through your school.
Request an Assessment
If you're still not seeing progress after implementing the plan from the SST, you may want to request an assessment in writing.
An assessment is a comprehensive set of tests and observations about your child's learning abilities, to determine if they have a learning difference that may qualify them for extra services.
“1 in 5 kids in the U.S. struggle with issues related to reading, writing, math, focus and organization. These kids with learning issues are as smart as their peers, but too many aren’t getting the support they need to succeed.”
– National Centers for Learning Disabilities
CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS
Every staff member at Family Resource Navigators is also a parent or guardian of a child with developmental delays, disabilities or special health care needs.
They offer support groups, guidance about services, help with paperwork playgroups and more.
You can call their warmline and get support in 12 different languages.