When students have trouble with reading comprehension, it impacts not just their school performance in the short term but also their future academic and career success. Being able to identify the symptoms and formulate a plan to help them catch up is integral to their academic success, and ultimately their success in life.
Students who struggle with reading and writing don’t necessarily have a learning disability. They may just require a personalized curriculum that caters to their learning style. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), “Reading disorders are not a type of intellectual and development disorder, and they are not a sign of lower intelligence or unwillingness to learn.”
Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Reading programs, like the one at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), prepare teachers to identify students having difficulty with reading and develop a plan to help them. This includes working with students one on one, coaching fellow teachers on how to best teach reading, and working with parents to help keep the students on track.
Understanding Reading Problems
Courses like Advanced Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties give teachers the skills they need to identify reading problems early on. TAMIU online students will review a variety of case studies and develop their own case study throughout the semester.
This includes learning how to identify dyslexia, a common reading disorder. As the NICHD website points out, “Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read.” While students with dyslexia aren’t usually intellectually challenged, the disorder can wreak havoc on their studies across all disciplines.
Understood contributor Emily Lapkin writes, “Dyslexia is the condition that’s best known for affecting reading skills. But other conditions can impact a child’s ability to read for different reasons.” She points to ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) as other diagnosable conditions that can affect a student’s reading ability.
Treating Reading Problems
In TAMIU’s online master’s degree program, courses like Practicum in Diagnosis & Remediation of Reading prepare teachers to develop remedial programs for struggling readers. Students in the online program will plan and carry out interventions through classroom-based experiences in the field to gain real-world exposure to students with reading difficulties. Developing a personalized curriculum for these students is integral to their studies.
Lapkin notes, “Reading disorders cannot be cured, but people with these disorders can overcome specific problems, learn to read, and improve fluency and comprehension.”
Reading difficulties can have a significant negative impact on a student’s life. Issues with reading can bleed into other disciplines, and ultimately affect a student’s academic and professional future. Learning how to help these students not only catch up to their peers but even excel is a deeply rewarding enterprise. The online MS in C&I with a Specialization in Reading program offered online at TAMIU is a way for teachers to develop this skillset.