SLP Corner: Grade Retention and Dyslexia – Why Kids Don’t Outgrow Dyslexia
The first few years of schooling can be a time of uncertainty for parents of struggling readers. Parents wonder: is my child truly on-track? Will he catch up? What is causing the trouble? Is the teacher right that my child just needs the “gift of time” and will outgrow dyslexia? Might repeating this grade be all my child needs to catch up?
I began my career as a teacher in 2003 and attended more than one meeting discussing promotion or retention of first graders where I heard, “Retention is our first intervention” and “We can’t tell yet whether it’s developmental or a learning disability.” Many children whose test scores indicated that they were not meeting grade level standards were retained because the school team was convinced they could catch up if we just gave them a little more time.
Research contradicts this still widely held belief. Whether they are retained or not, students who are not meeting grade level standards in first grade are highly unlikely to meet those standards in 4th grade or beyond.
Cause and effect of poor reading skills
Most students don’t fall behind in reading because of their age or general developmental trajectory. Rather, they fall behind because they are lacking the pre-reading skills that
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