Center for the assessment and remediation of reading difficulties

Center for the assessment and remediation of reading difficulties

The Center for the Assessment and Remediation of Reading Difficulties ("CARRD") is a university-based program created in 1996 to:

* develop strategies for the prevention and remediation of reading disabilities
* search for strategies that will lead to the improvement of remedial processes
* provide educators and parents with current and appropriate knowledge regarding reading/learning disabilities
* provide interdisciplinary evaluations of readers of all ages
* promote the concerns relevant to reading disabilities
* educate the general public regarding issues pertaining to reading/learning disabilities.

Programs offered at the "CARRD":


The Identification and Intervention Program is the oldest of the programs offered at the "CARRD". The IIP is used in school systems to identify students in the beginning of first grade who are at risk of developing reading difficulties. Once identified, these children are provided with a research-based training program to help them become competent readers.

The "CARRD" has been in the process of developing early detection programs and creating appropriate interventions for children at risk for reading difficulties for the past two decades. The result of this work has been the 'IIP'. The purpose of the 'IIP' is simply to identify children who are at risk of developing a reading disability, also referred to as dyslexia, as soon as it is scientifically possible and then to provide these children with an appropriate remediation that will enable them to become competent readers.


To identify children at risk for reading disabilities before they begin formal reading instruction and to provide these children with an intervention that will allow them to remediate their phonological processing deficits; to prevent learning/reading disabilities.

After School and Summer Program

The After School and Summer Program (ASSP) is intended to provide individuals from four years of age through adult the opportunity to receive one-on-one remedial phonological and reading instruction. The individual is first assessed to determine the specific weaknesses that need to be strengthened. A training program is then constructed to improve the deficient skills. When the ASSP is offered during the summer, the student is provided with an excellent opportunity to fortify and enhance phonological processing and reading skills during a time when schools are not in session. One of the main goals of the program is to help students gain phonological awareness. Students typically make minimal gains in academic performance over the summer months. The ASSP is geared toward closing the gap between students who are weak in phonological processing and reading skills and those who are excellent readers. Lastly, parents are encouraged to assist their children at home by practicing the skill-building exercises with their children.

On-line Reading Screening

As a function of many parents' inabilities to travel to the "CARRD" for assessment, the Reading Screening instrument was developed. The Reading Screening is an on-line assessment instrument that assesses several components of reading and its subskills. Parents have the opportunity to assess their children at home. The assessment takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to administer. Once the assessment has been completed, the parent is provided with a professional "Summary of Assessment" report that indicates the strengths and weaknesses of the child's reading abilities. The "Summary of Assessment" report can be shared with school personnel to plan an appropriate intervention if an intervention is indicated.

Problem, Impact and Philosophy


It has been estimated that approximately 15 to 20% of our nation's children have reading difficulties. These children have the ability to learn to read, but have a specific skill deficit that prevents them from accomplishing this important task. It has been known for several years that the specific skill deficit that most reading disabled children possess is a deficiency in phonological processing. The IIP was designed to identify and remediate this deficit before it handicaps the at-risk child's ability to learn to read.


The IIP is geared toward the child who finds it very difficult, or who is unable to learn to read even though possessing the intellectual ability to do so. These children are at risk for dropping out of school, parental abuse, poor self-esteem and may eventually find their way into the welfare and criminal justice systems. The future of a child with reading difficulties seems to be fairly bleak in our service-oriented society that requires that each of its members know how to read and to read fairly well. It is estimated that 15-20% of our nation's children suffer reading failure and this percentage is on the increase. Given this large number of students, it is quite likely that a vast human resource is being excluded from deriving the most benefit from our educational system due to reading problems. The vast majority of children with learning disabilities have reading disabilities as their major deficiency. In fact, many children who are considered learning disabled because of other obstacles also have reading difficulties. In addition, as a member of our ever increasingly complex society, a society in which employment requires literacy, a student who does not graduate from high school, and who has poor reading skills is likely to be doomed to extremely poor economic realities. The eventual cost to society for what might be a preventable difficulty is high. It is imperative that we begin using scientifically generated programs to remediate educational problems. Beginning first graders are assessed with the 'IIP' and are then provided with the intervention designed to eliminate the barriers that are preventing them from becoming good readers. The impact of the 'IIP' on improving the phonological processing skills of children at risk for reading disabilities is far reaching. It may be possible to prevent thousands of children from ever experiencing learning and reading disabilities. Although the prevention of learning and reading disabilities is important in its own right, several social problems mentioned above may also be prevented in the process.


As mentioned above, individuals who use the "ASSP" are initially provided with an assessment. The assessment includes the "Reading Screening", an assessment of intelligence and attention, an auditory screening and information concerning the individual's medical, developmental and educational history. When assessing reading difficulties, it is "imperative" that the individual receive evaluation in reading skills and attentional abilities. An individual performing poorly in reading may be hampered by an attentional difficulty (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; ADHD). It is also true that an individual displaying behaviors that resemble ADHD might actually have reading difficulties.

As an example, a student learning to read must use considerable cognitive resources and effort to decode print. If that child has poor phonological processing skills and is deficient in decoding, their behavior might look like ADHD when they in fact have reading difficulties. On the other hand, a student with ADHD might not be able to use cognitive resources to decode print due to ADHD. As a result, their behavior might resemble reading difficulties when the true deficiency is ADHD. An individual being assessed at the "CARRD" is assessed on several dimensions to gain complete understanding of the individual's strengths and weaknesses.

External links

* [ CARRD]
* []
* []

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