Free Early Reading Screenings

Horizon Academy is now offering free early reading screenings to children ages 5-7, whose parents are having concerns about their reading progress.

If your child is struggling while learning to read, or you think they may be showing early signs of dyslexia, we encourage you to schedule a free early reading screening.

The reading screening looks at a child’s phonological processing skills, which refers to a child’s awareness of and sensitivity to the sounds of his or her oral language. Fluent reading is built upon the ability to remember these sounds, and put them together and take them apart to form new and different words.


“…critical levels of phonological awareness can be developed through carefully planned instruction, and this development has a significant influence on children’s reading and spelling achievement…” (Ball & Blackman, 1991; Bradley & Bryant, 1985; Byrne & Fielding-Barnsley, 1989, 1991; O’Conner, Jenkins, Leicester, & Slocum, 1993).

During your child’s 15 minute screening, he or she will meet with a Speech Language Pathologist. Following the screening, parents will be provided with recommended next steps to enhance reading skills.


The purpose of this screening is not to diagnose dyslexia but to identify students whose performance is consistent with characteristics of dyslexia and who would benefit from extra exposure and/or activities.

Questions? Contact Judy Cowin

How do I know if my child needs an early reading screening?

All children are unique and move at different paces, however these are a few general guidelines for what children typically are at different stages in development. If you notice your child is having difficulty with a number of these things, then it may be a good idea to come for an early reading screening.

A child typically:

  • Knows that alphabet letters are a special category of visual graphics that can be individually named
  • Recognizes print in local environment
  • Understands that the story is in the print, not the picture
  • Understands that different text forms are used for different types of print (e.g., a list for groceries is different than the list on a menu)
  • Displays reading and writing attempts, calling attention to self: “Look at my story.”
  • Writes (scribbles) message as part of playful activity
  • Recognizes if the book is upside down
  • Produces rhyming words
  • Divides words into syllables
  • Identify words in a sentence

A child typically:

  • Knows the parts of a book and their functions
  • Finds front and back of book
  • Understands that the story is in the print, not the picture
  • Knows where to start reading–top left
  • Knows direction to read–left-to-right; top-to-bottom
  • Points to each word while adult reads (voice-print match)
  • Shows you the first part of the story; the last part of the story
  • Demonstrates familiarity with a number of types or genres of texts (e.g., storybooks, expository texts, poems, newspapers, and everyday print such as signs, notices, labels)

A child typically:

  • Understands you read the left page before the right
  • Understands and uses basic punctuation and capitalization
  • Finds a capital letter that corresponds to a lower case letter and vice versa
  • Knows when letters of a familiar word are out of order
  • Knows if a word is upside down
  • Produces a variety of types of compositions (e.g., stories, descriptions, journal entries) showing appropriate relationships between printed text, illustrations, and other graphics
  • Writes words
  • Writes simple sentences
  • Blends sounds together
  • Decodes nonsense words
  • Identifies sounds and letters (sound/symbol relationship)