Late Emerging Reading Disabilities: 'The Fourth Grade Slump'

If your child previously excelled in reading but has recently fallen behind in their reading, they may be experiencing what is commonly known as 'the fourth grade slump.' Read on to learn more about this phenomenon and what you can do to help your child.

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Some students seem to excel in reading until they reach late elementary school. Researchers have identified many of the causes of the so-called 'fourth grade slump'.

Late Emerging Reading Disabilities

Studies show that 40 percent of late emerging reading disabilities are actually cases in which the disability was simply not diagnosed.

Professionals believe late emerging reading difficulties could be due to the thinking processes that are required to read and comprehend the more complex sentences and literature that is introduced in late elementary school. Earlier instances of reading disabilities are detected through letter and word recognition. It is easy for many children to memorize the alphabet and words without fully understanding the act of reading or comprehending the meaning of the words, phrases and sentences they are reading.

This switch from recognition to comprehension is what causes many children problems. The complex comprehension and critical thinking skills that are required for the fourth grade and beyond can cause a child with a late emerging reading disability sever difficulties. Parents should consult with their family physician or other trained professional before any diagnosis is made.

Discussing your child's problems with their teacher is a great way to begin treating your child's late emerging learning disability. Teachers will be able to detect which skills your child has had the most problems with in the classroom. Try to work with your child after school on these specific skills, or hire an outside professional as necessary.

Reading Assessments

A reading assessment administered by an education professional should detect which skills a child is having difficulties with. Online tutoring centers now offer trustworthy reading assessments. These tests can be completed on any computer with Internet access.

Once a disability or skills deficiency has been diagnosed, the tutoring center has the ability to create an individualized program so the student can learn the skills they are missing. Students who complete their individualized programs have measurable improvements with regards to their grades, confidence, and even attitude toward school!

If you believe your child is experiencing a late emerging reading disability, it is important for you to meet with their teacher and have an assessment test administered. The quicker you act on this situation, the sooner your child will be able to catch up in their reading and assignments.

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