Over the past 15 years, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has published excellent research regarding the development of early reading skills. As summarized in the article "30 Years of Research: What We Now Know About How Children Learn to Read," we now know that phonological processing (including phonological awareness, phonological processing speed and phonological memory) is the primary ability area where children with reading difficulties differ from other children.
Phonological processing deficits, rather than a discrepancy between IQ and achievement, appear to be the best predictor of reading delays. Lack of phonemic awareness is reported to be the most prevalent phonological processing deficit in disabled readers. Based upon this knowledge, our school district has changed its view of the instructional focus and academic expectations for our reading disabled students.
Like many school districts, we previously believed that it was in the best interest of our learning disabled students that they receive collaborative special education, i.e., resource specialist support within their regular education classrooms.
The resource specialist teacher and/or the resource specialist's instructional aide would "support" these students within regular classroom …