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Parents and Families

I have a son in 2nd grade, he is having a hard time in reading. His Dad and Uncle have Dyslexia and all the signs are that he has Dyslexia also. His Grandmother is working with me in helping with his reading, but he is now having problems in Language and Math. I have asked the school to test him but they have declined. Can you give me any help on what to do now? I do not want my child to give up on his learning.

Response from Sheldon Horowitz, Ed.D.:

Thanks for your message. You are to be commended for recognizing early signs of struggle in your son, especially given the family history of learning disabilities. In answer to your question, I’d suggest that you approach your son’s school from a different angle. Once you have shared your specific concerns with teachers, administrators and others, ask for a detailed plan about how they propose to address these concerns, within what timeline they will do so, and how they propose to evaluate what, if any, progress he is making in response to their efforts. If they are a school engaged in effective RTI implementation, they will have good data to share with you about their attempts to provide targeted instruction and support. If they are not yet engaged in effective RTI practices, and you feel as though time is slipping away despite your efforts to encourage appropriate action, you are entitled (by law) to request that your child undergo screening and/or evaluation for the purposes of determining whether he has an educationally handicapping condition, namely specific learning disabilities.


Also know that at any point in an RTI process, education law (IDEA) allows parents to request a formal evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. An RTI process cannot be used to deny or delay a formal evaluation for special education. For more information on IDEA provisions see NCLD’s Parent Guide to IDEA. And for more information about RTI, see our Parents Guide to RTI.

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