Slow & Steady Readers: Ages ~5 - 11

Updated: Apr 8

If your child is not falling into the age ranges provided, he or she may require more specialized guidance which also goes beyond the scope of this guide. However, do not fear! Kids develop at their own pace, and a perceived delay is not necessarily cause for concern. Children become fluent readers on their own schedule, not the largely arbitrary schedule set by the school district. Some kids won’t become fluent readers until they are 10 or 11 years old! It really depends on the kid.

So how do you know when to let perceived delays ride or intervene? That is a personal question best answered by the family. Parents often have a pretty accurate hunch about such things. Trust your gut. However, if your gut is giving you mixed messages, here is a general rule of thumb to follow: If your child stops making progress and hasn’t made progress in six months, it’s time to consider the possibility of a reading disorder. Some kids progress slowly, and that is ok; but when progress has stalled and despite your best efforts to wait and not push, nothing has changed, or things have worsened, then it’s time to consider more specialized guidance. Start with your primary care doctor to begin this process.

Overall, no matter the pace your child develops, it is important to follow along with your child’s perfect timing. It is all too easy to succumb to the pressure to achieve and to the fear of falling behind. We must rise above all of that and have faith in our children’s own innate and perfect timing.

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