Why Should We Be Concerned About Research and Reading?

Research has shown that:

1.  Word recognition skills at the end of 1st grade are strongly related to reading proficiency at the end of 4th grade. (Reid Lyon et al., Rethinking Special Education for a New Century (Thomas Fordham Foundation, 2000), chapter 12.) In one study, nine out of ten children who were behind in 1st grade failed to catch up by 4th grade. (Juel, Journ. of Academic Language Therapy (1), 1997, 11-47.)

2.  If children lag behind in reading in the lower grades, they do not typically catch up in the upper grades. Even when they do make progress, they demonstrate lower levels of achievement in reading than their classmates. Unless remediation is done EARLY and intensively, the lag continues past high school.

3.  Children who suffer with reading problems also begin to lose motivation and self-esteem. They lose interest in trying to use reading as means of learning, and the gap does not close.

4.  Children with reading disabilities who are placed in a special education setting in the public or in private schools typically receive LESS reading instruction than those students in a general education setting! When they do get reading instruction, it is typically not individualized, intensive, nor systematically taught.

5.  Therefore, it is far more effective to identify reading problems at the earliest possible point in the child’s education and give intensive corrective educational help.