Read Aloud Accommodation and Why it is Tricky!
"My kid can't read and the school won't read the tests to him"
I've heard this so many times! If only I had a nickel for each time, I would be able to pay to fix education! Lol, not really...
So, why is it so difficult to obtain the accommodation of read aloud for students who are struggling readers? Read aloud is not as straight-forward as the student being a struggling reader, other requirements must be met.
The Rules of Thumb for Read-Aloud:
The first rule seems pretty straight-forward and reasonable. The student must have a reading deficit. Ok, I get that. Let's move on to the next rule.
The second rule is that the student must be recieving reading interventions. Again, this one sounds reasonable, but that isn't always the case. All elementary schools offer reading interventions, but by the time students get to the upper grades, most high schools no longer offer reading interventions. Because of the school's lack of provision of reading interventions for our older students who are still not proficient readers, this can prevent high school students for receiveing the accommodation they need to access the curriculum! If this is your child's case, don't take it lying down! Fight both for reading intervention and the accommodation!
The third rule is that the IEP or IAP must include the student's current reading level. Examples of tools to determine reading level include iReady, Star testing, Brigance, Read 180, System44, Lexia, A+, Raz-Kids, etc. This rule becomes important for this reason: Students must be 2+ grade levels below in reading to qualify for read aloud! This is often the limiting factor for students who are close to the two year mark, but miss it by a smidge.
Fourth, does the IEP or IAP include a statement of the student's response to reading intervention? If not, that statement needs to be added.
My Kid IS Two+ Years Behind! Now What?
If your child's reading level is two or more years behind, it is time to request an IEP amendment or meeting to add this accommodation to your child's IEP/IAP if it is not already there. While we're at it, we will check the other accommodations and education services being provided to address poor reading skills.
My Kid is NOT Two+ Years Behind, but is Struggling! Now What?
If your kid is not two grade levels behind, do a little celebratory dance first, then get down to business. If your child is a struggling reader, let's get them into a reading intervention group! The earlier we can get a child into intervention, the greater and sooner the impacts can be experienced. However, if your child slid under the radar and is an older student, it's not too late! There are high interest, low readability books that can be used to teach older students reading skills, computer programs that self-level, and environmental text to be studied.
I hope this was helpful! If you need help navigating the special education system in the schools, remember I am your friendly special education advocate!