Reader Forum

Answering your questions about dyslexia, reading development, and all things related to literacy

This is the place where Katie and I will respond to your  questions and comments.  Please remember that we cannot diagnose reading disabilities or provide individualized intervention to any person we have not seen directly.

If you are a teacher, parent, speech language pathologist or anyone interested in making a query, please use the Contact Us Page. We will only post your submission if you provide consent and will protect your confidentiality by not including your name, your child's name or any other identifying information.

What is phonics? Is it not sounding out words? How does this differ from phonological awareness? Click Here To Read Response

One of my students can't rhyme at all and I would like to find out how to help. Answers to these questions would be appreciated! Click Here To Read Response

My son’s school uses something the teachers call RTI. I am not sure exactly what that means I just know that my son is screened for reading progress a couple of times a month. Can you tell me more about RTI and exactly how it benefits my son? Any insights you could provide would be appreciated. Thanks for your help, love the site! Click Here To Read Response

I read your article on The ASHA Leader online as well as your interviews. It was very inspirational to me as I share many of your beliefs and desires. I am a "newly minted" SLP as well and will be starting as the new SLP in a school district in Oregon this coming fall. Our school district is really working hard to implement and adhere to an RTI model to meet the literacy needs of the children. My principal (also an SLP) has expressed to me that she would like me to be directly involved with RTI and improving and advocating for effective literacy practices. I know you are busy, but if you are able, I would appreciate any info with regard to the following questions:

  • Where do I start? 
  • Is there an outline of procedures that you follow?
  • How do you interact with teachers?
  • How do you follow-up with the plans that you implement?
  • How do you collaborate?
  • How do you hold others accountable to the practices you are implementing
  • What exactly do you do and what do you require of others?
  • How do you monitor success?
  • What assessments and standardized testing do you use?
  • How do you fit all the RTI kids in your schedule?
  • What does a day look like?
  • What does a week look like?

Click Here To Read Steve's Response

Why do you have nonsense work flashcards posted on the activity section of your site? They are great for testing alphabetic principle but I do not believe that they were ever intended to be used in instruction. The goal is to get students to read real words and comprehend what they are reading.Nonsense words do not make sense as an instructional activity. Reading instruction should be authentic and real, as much as possible. We need to teach alphabetic principle concepts and strategies. I would really like to know what research supports using these types of words in instruction? Click Here to Read Response