Focus on The IEP Goal — That Gets Your Child’s Reading Comprehension to Grade Level or Above
Amanda Morin wrote a valuable article for Understood that focuses on What to Double Check on Your Child’s IEP. We want to add what we believe is The IEP Goal that can change your child’s life — getting your child’s reading comprehension to or above grade level and lowering anxiety levels.
An IEP is an Individualized Education Program for students receiving special education in public and charter schools in the United States. There are several major barriers that prevent The IEP Goal — setting a BOLD Goal to get a child’s reading comprehension to or above grade level and agreeing on the necessary programs and support to achieve the goal:
- Sometimes this goal is not achievable within a school year and we recognize this reality. In these cases we strive to close the gap, but a BOLD Goal can change the conversation.
- A big hurdle comes when school’s use reading fluency as a substitute for reading comprehension. Reading fluency is a combination of a student’s oral reading speed and accuracy. We have seen cases where a student’s reading fluency is 2, 5 and even 7 years below the student’s silent reading comprehension. There is no substitute for measuring reading comprehension. We always suggest that our students do a reading comprehension assessment prior to a meeting
- School’s will often say they do not set reading comprehension goals. We do not accept this answer and insist that one should be made, when the present level of performance is an issue
- Schools will often point out that the suggested level of services will not allow the student to achieve grade level reading comprehension. Before lowering the goal, we suggest we explore what level of services can get the child’s reading comprehension to grade level. This is the point!
- Far too frequently the focus is on improving reading fluency and not comprehension (fluency is easier to assess).
- Programs that schools and school districts use are often not focused on comprehension — the available programs are often fluency focused. When students’ reading comprehension is below grade level, anxiety usually sky rockets because students do not understand the material being covered in class.
Hitting The IEP Goal Will Take Parental Support and May Require Outside Services
Parental support is almost always needed to achieve a BOLD Reading Comprehension Goal. Reading daily and use of audio books will help. It is also vital to build your child’s vocabulary through every day conversations.
Five factors that may impact your child’s ability to achieve The IEP Goal, include:
- Your child is a visual learner and the school’s do not teach to his or her strengths
- Your child’s eyes do not track well when reading. Example below:
- Your child loses focus when reading because he or she does not understand or connect with what is being read
If you would like help, you can:
- Take our no cost Success Assessment with your child. You will get immediate feedback and you can then call for a no cost Stress to Success Strategy Session
- Call us for an in-office Focus Assessment that assesses your child’s reading speed and comprehension and whether your child has an attention and/or an eye-teaming issue
- Contact us at 561-361-7495 and we can discuss your child, our Parent advocate effort or helping your child achieve his or her full potential