Can Your Child’s Teacher Help?

Teachers can be valuable sources of information on how well your child is progressing in reading, notes Dr. Matthew Cruger, director of the Learning and Development Center at the Child Mind Institute. Teachers are familiar with benchmarks and expectations for each age, and may have test results that highlight problems. But even teachers who recognize a lag in reading skills may be reluctant to share that information with parents.

Teachers often are focused on solving reading problems, but identifying or diagnosing a condition like dyslexia is out of the scope of their training. Therefore, in many settings, they are even formally forbidden to suggest that parents explore an evaluation for dyslexia.

Dr. Cruger also notes that if a child isn’t meeting benchmarks, parents should assess how much support there is for reading at home: How often do you read to and with your child? Are there books available that suit his reading level? Is reading treated as a fun and important part of your family life?