Academic Minute
12:25 pm
Wed June 29, 2011

Dr. Gary Brannigan, SUNY Plattsburgh - Learning to Read

Albany, NY – In today's Academic Minute, Dr. Gary Brannigan of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh reveals why there is a limited window of opportunity to teach reading comprehension.

Gary Brannigan is a professor of psychology at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. He has published 13 books, two tests and numerous articles on psychology and education. He recently received the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist who has worked with many children with disabilities and their families. His most recent book is Reading Disabilities: Beating The Odds.

Dr. Gary Brannigan - Learning to Read

Research has shown that the majority of children who struggle with reading through 3rd grade will continue to struggle throughout their academic years. Beginning around 3rd or 4th grade, children are expected to be more independent readers. The emphasis in class moves from learning to read to reading to learn. Given this relatively short window to become proficient readers, the message should be clear to parents. With millions of children struggling with reading, they need to play an active role in their children's education. This means understanding the risk factors for reading problems, which can be detected in the preschool years, as well as the early signs of reading problems when children begin reading instruction.

Furthermore, if parents suspect problems, they need to understand the skills their children need to develop to succeed in reading and, if needed, the special education laws that guide the educational evaluation and program planning process for their children.

Over the past 10 years or so, I have focused my research and writing on ways to help parents to understand reading and become effective advocates for their children's education.

One of the ways that parents can help their children at home is to provide a rich background of experience so their children will be familiar with the topics and people they will encounter in school. The more familiar children are with the subjects they are reading about, the easier it will be for them to read, comprehend, and succeed academically.

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