Summer Interventions to Maintain/Increase Reading Skills

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the IDA-LA Pasadena Parent Group on April 12. IDA-LA is the International Dyslexia Association, Los Angeles Branch, a non-profit organization with the mission of raising awareness and understanding of dyslexia, promoting effective practices and supporting individuals with dyslexia, their families and professionals. At the meeting, Educational Therapists Barb Langeloh and Janel Umfress shared the following suggestions for summer interventions for children and teens with the goal of maintaining and increasing reading skills:

Overall Goal: The enjoyment of reading and the development of literacy. Janel defined Literacy as more than just reading and writing, but as a form of communication, perspective, problem solving and an avenue to explore areas of interest.

Key: Read aloud to your child. By reading to your child, you can create a love of text without the burden of decoding. When reading is pleasurable, it feels less threatening.

Key: Provide your child hardbound books as doing so encourages deeper thinking, according to research. The tactile component is vital; it allows the reader to see the beginning, middle and end.

Key: Take your child to the library or bookstore and allow them to choose their own books. Use the “5 Finger Rule for the Right Fit” strategy: If there are five words on a page that a child is unable to read, the book is not the right fit.

Key: Barb suggested that, if at all possible, have your child work with a trained interventionist in a one-to-one session. The method that the interventionist uses (Orton-Gillingham, Slingerland, Wilson, Lindamood-Bell, Barton) is less important that having a TRAINED interventionist who uses a sequential and multi-sensory method.

Key: Plan ahead for summer interventions. For true progress, your child needs to meet with interventionist at least three times per week at a consistent rate throughout the summer. When finding the right interventionist for their child, parents should ask interventionist for a “try-out” session (short session, 20-30 minutes) to see if it is a good fit.

For more information about IDA-LA’s Parent Support groups, please visit

If your child has dyslexia, or you think your child may have dyslexia, and you are feeling overwhelmed, I am here to help! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at

All my best,                                                                                                                                                                   Jeri