IQ not predictor reading comprehension

IQ is Not a Strong Predictor of Reading Comprehension Success

IQ is not a strong predictor of reading comprehension success. In fact, many research studies have determined that IQ does not directly correlate to reading achievement.  There are two factors that contribute greatly to reading difficulties and each contains multiple ‘signs’ for reading challenges.   The two factors are ‘biological/neurological’ and ‘environmental’.  KEEP IN MIND that discovering a child has a brain system that is not functioning correctly says little about their possibility for reading growth through remediation.   A young child’s brain is remarkably open to change.  Biological factors can be altered…especially by environmental factors. [Building the Reading Brain Pre K-3 by Patricia Wolfe and Pamela Nevills]

4 signs of biological/neurological factors that can be related to reading difficulties: 

  1. DyslexiaIQ not predictor reading comprehension
  2. Visual or hearing impairment
  3. Memory problems
  4. ADHD/autism

4 signs of environmental factors that can be related to reading difficulties:

  1. Ineffective or inefficient Instructional curriculum or methods
  2. Socioeconomic
  3. Ethnic/cultural/Second language factors
  4. Early language development

Be Aware, whether any child becomes a successful reader depends on the level of mastery of the basics of reading.:  Language development; knowledge about books; recognizing the alphabet; awareness of sounds in words; the alphabetic principle ( the matching of letter symbols to the sounds); sight words; and fluency, which is the rate of reading not the ‘speed’.  The faster a child reads does not a successful reader make!  Mastery of the basics listed above will lend themselves to fluency.  Fluency is individual and should be at a rate for the individual where they don’t have to stop and sound out every word [referred to by Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes® as ‘spit and grunt’]

A good rate of fluency will lead to better reading comprehension!

 So, what am I saying?  Here’s my short list of alerts for when you should be concerned about your child’s reading.  They are listed in no particular rank order by age/grade level, as some vary by individual:

  • If your child constantly avoids books and gets no enjoyment from books or has a desire to read them
  • If your child has not mastered saying the alphabet by end of kindergarten
  • If your child squints when looking at books
  • If your child does not respond to spoken words
  • If your child has trouble identifying rhyming words
  • If your child can not identify the sounds in words by end of first grade
  • If your child has a small ‘sight word’ vocabulary.  They should have mastered 50 sight words by end of kindergarten; 100 by end of first grade; 200-300 by end of second grade; and more than 300 by end of third grade.
  • If your child struggles to stay on task and focused
  • If your child can not carry on a conversation, uses limited vocabulary, struggles to put words into sentences
  • If your child can not identify patterns or sequences
  • If your child can not follow simple directions
  • If your child can not hold a book properly
  • If your child repeatedly says they don’t like school, or in particular reading
  • If your child can not tell you about the story
  • If your child has to sound out every word as they read

Don’t despair!  The key is to identify reading and reading comprehension difficulties early before third grade and implement an intervention plan for reading.  After third grade it becomes a challenging game of catch up!

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