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How much time should be spent on reading intervention?

Figuring out how much reading help your child needs is stressful. You know your child is behind in reading, but you don’t know the best way to help. Understanding your child’s situation can help you make the right decisions. Every child is different and there is not one solution that fits all children.

Take a moment to consider these questions: 

  1. How far behind is your child?

  2. Does your child have a learning disability or he just behind in reading?

  3. How quickly do you want to see improvement?

Your answer to each of these questions will help guide you towards the right intensity of reading intervention.

Beginning Readers

A beginning reader needs instruction and practice to master reading. A sequenced program and consistent practice can move children to the next reading level. The key for beginning readers is to develop the sound-symbol association between letters and sounds. Practicing identifying letters and their associated sounds, along with reading simple words, will help develop reading skills for a typical reader.

History of speech or learning difficulty

If your child has a history of speech, language, visual or attention processing difficulties then a more intensive program may be required. Many children who struggle with auditory or visual processing need extra help to integrate the visual-auditory skills needed for reading.

Older students

Finally, older students ( 3rd grade and up) who are struggling to read will benefit from an intensive, focused intervention. Reading is a key aspect of school and struggling readers are at a disadvantage in  all aspects of school. Finding the quickest way to intervene and help a child read is important.

What is an intensive intervention?

A reading intensive consists of daily intervention for a number of weeks. Daily practice develops neuro-pathways  needed for fluid reading.  Research has identified 60 hours as the amount of time needed for the effects of intervention to become measurable. For a student to achieve a significant increase in skills, a significant investment in time and effort is required and 60 hours seems to be the sweet spot. Does this mean you have to have 60 hours of intervention to see a change? Of course not, your child should be practicing and learning new skills each week and making changes along the way.

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