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“Then we get to the reading test. So again, I’m going to look at the ability for a child to read words that are just words that they have to memorize words like of and was, and, and then words that they can’t sound out. Then the other part of that reading decoding is phonic skills. So can they read words that are just in terms of pronouncing words? So do they understand the phonic side of reading? So there’s two parts to that decoding that we want to measure thoroughly. A lot of times kids at the younger ages can memorize lots and lots of words. So they can really fool you into thinking that they’ve learned to read these words when really they’ve just memorized a bunch of words. And that’s why a lot of times in evaluations, we measure that phonic skill using what we call pseudo words. So we ask them to pronounce words that are not real words.
They have to understand the language and how it’s made up so that they can understand how to pronounce pretend words. Then the other part is we measure their reading fluency. What does the reading sound like? What’s their reading rate look like? So are they able to read words quickly and easily? A lot of times, children that can read words and read words quickly and easily, then the predictor is that they’ll be able to comprehend what they’re reading. But often we need to measure that as well, because just because kids can read words and just because they can read quickly and easily, often, or many times children have trouble with reading comprehension, they lack the vocabulary or the predictability, or they just haven’t developed strategies to help think about what they’re reading as they’re reading. And so they become, they haven’t learned those strategies or implemented them.
So we measure that as well. So in the law, both in the medical model and in the school model, we can identify a reading disability under three areas. They may have a reading disability in the area of decoding words. They may have a reading disability in the area of reading fluency or reading rate, or they may have a reading disability in the area of reading comprehension. They may have more than one of these areas, but at least one of those areas needs to be identified to a significant level or a significant unexpected underachievement in order to be identified with a reading disability.”