If your student answers "yes" to 6 or more of these questions, you might take the next steps in encouraging the student to get formal assessment for reading difficulties:
(adapted from "Telltale Signs of a Learning Disability" by Hollybeth Kulick).
Are you a slow reader?
Do your eyes feel as if they are floating in your head when you read, or do the letters bounce around the page?
When reading from a distance, do the letters seem to disappear?
Have you known that you reversed letters or was it pointed out to you by a teacher?
Do you remember what you have read ten minutes after you have read it?
When reading do you have difficulty pronouncing words?
When writing do you have difficulty putting your thoughts down on paper?
Do you find that you cannot finish reading during class when the rest of the class has finished?
B. Possible approaches for informal assessment:
If you take a close look at both the student’s writing/reading process and his or her sense of purpose, you can get a good idea of the kinds of trouble the student is having. For instance, if you are looking at the student’s reading ability:
Process: take a look at the way a student goes through the process of reading. You can have the student read aloud (but be sure to emphasize that you will not be evaluating or judging her), or have her read quietly as you pay attention to how long it takes her to read the text.
Purpose: after the student has read the text, you can ask questions that will assess comprehension, questions that deal both with retention of content, and the student’s ability to interpret, analyze, or personalize the content (see Appendix s 3 and 5 for a list of potential questions, and for a list of possible symptoms to watch for).