Strategies and Resources for Your Child’s Reading Disability

Approximately 3-6% of school-aged children struggle with a reading disability.  This begins to impact students as early as kindergarten and continues to create difficulties across subjects as the child progresses through school.  At NSPT we are frequently asked for recommendations to help students with reading difficulties, both in the classroom and at home.  Below is a list of resources that we have compiled:

Previously known as the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, ERI provides information about the diagnosis, research-tested treatments, parent support groups, and community events.  They also keep an up-to-date list of certified tutors in the Chicagoland area.

Bookshare is an excellent online collection of audiobooks, with over 225,000 titles.  Acceptable documentation of the child’s diagnosis (see website for details) grants students free access to download books for use on a variety of electronic devices.

Another option for gaining access to audiobooks, Learning Ally offers features such as highlighting text, play back controls, adjustment of speed and tone of voice for each student’s preference and easy bookmarking.

  • Multi-Sensory Programs

Widely accepted as the gold-standard in reading remediation programs, multi-sensory approaches teach phonics and fluency in a unique way by calling upon the action of various brain systems.  The following have demonstrated effectiveness:

  • Orton-Gillingham
  • Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program
  • Wilson
  • Earobics

Your child may also have the right to the following:

  • Classroom-Based Accommodations
    • Test directions and/or items read aloud
    • If not read aloud, check for understanding of directions
    • Extended time

For more information on your child’s rights within the public school system, please visit

How Do I Know if My Child Has a Reading Disability?

Reading Disabilities are estimated to occur at a prevalence rate of 5-10%.  A disability, which is a more chronic struggle with reading without early identification and intervention, must be differentiated from the child who demonstrates a slower process in the normal developmental curve of reading development.  A disability will not resolve with repeated practice, extra attention, or the passage of time.  Below are a few clues to help figure out if there really is a disability.

Clues that Indicate Your Child May Have a Reading Disability:

  • Your child has difficulty with basic rhyming.
  • Your child has always been slow to learn the alphabet and maybe even numbers.
  • Your child struggles with sound-letter associations.
  •  Your child’s writing is illegible.
  • Your child likes to be read to but never wants to read.
  • Sight words, despite repeated practice, are easily forgotten by your child.

At times, differentiating between a disability and other factors (e.g., attention, motivation and interest, or behavior) can make accurate identification difficult.  An evaluation can help tease apart any related factors that may be impacting your child’s success.  If you are concerned with your child’s reading development, you can request an evaluation through our Neuropsychology Diagnostic Clinic.  We have clinicians trained in the diagnosis and assessment of reading disabilities and are able to provide efficacious recommendations to best help your child.
Click here to read about signs of a reading disability across grades.