A young boy is struggling to comprehend words and sentences, and the parents of his brother are desperate to find a way to help him.
But a new program from the Child Development Center of Maryland aims to help.
It is called the Reading Through a Child’s Head program.
The Maryland-based program, known as ROCH, uses a cognitive behavioral therapy model to help children learn to read.
ROCH uses a combination of therapy and education to help students understand the words they are learning, according to its website.
“It’s all about helping kids understand and be able to recognize what they’re learning,” said Sara Lach, the program’s director.
The program is funded by the Department of Health, and uses money from the state’s Child Development Fund.
It aims to reach more than 20,000 children by 2021.
The parents say the ROCH program is helping their son, who has developmental delays, with language and reading skills.
The program has been going since 2014, and has helped him improve his comprehension of vocabulary.
“The goal is to get him to understand that there are words and there are not, and that it’s not just the numbers, it’s what it’s saying,” Lach said.
“And that, to him, is really important,” she added.
“I think a lot of kids, they’re just kind of reading in a different way than they are,” said Sarah Riedel, the boy’s mother.
“He’s got to be able and he’s not going to understand,” Riedels said.
The kids are not alone.
ROCh says more than 30 percent of children in the state do not speak English proficiently, and some have limited reading skills, and struggle with spelling.
“You can actually see the children start to lose sight of what is happening in front of them,” said Dr. William G. Williams, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Maryland.
Williams, who is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University, has been helping to train educators on ROCH since it was launched in 2015.
“There’s no doubt that the ROCh model can be a very effective tool for helping children with language skills,” he said.
Williams says the model, when used in conjunction with behavioral therapy, can help children with special needs improve their comprehension of language.
In addition to helping children improve their language, the ROCline is also meant to help them understand the meaning of words.
The ROClines website has a number of ways to help the parents.
Parents can use it to ask for help, provide feedback on their childrens reading, or write letters of recommendation.
And parents can post their son’s letters to ROCh or to their local community organization.
“We don’t want to have to write letters to a teacher, we want to put them to a child,” said Riedelt.
But many of the letters sent by ROCliners are very specific and difficult to follow.
For example, one letter is about how to pronounce the word “pardon.”
Another letter is a plea to the parents to teach their child to use a pencil.
And then there are letters about how important the word understanding is.
One of the ROChilds’ letters was so specific, the mother wrote back and said she was “just a little upset” with the response.
“So what am I supposed to do with this letter?” the mother asked.
“Don’t answer it,” the RO Child replied.
Another ROChild wrote that “the word understanding should be taught in school and not in the home.”
“I know that if it was done in school it would be very helpful,” the mother said.
But Williams says the ROChildren’ letters are meant to be as generic as possible.
“In some cases it might be more helpful for a child to read a letter that says, ‘I need help with this and I’m not a good listener.’
It would be helpful for him to get to the point where he can understand the situation,” he explained.
In many cases, the parents are simply looking for ways to ease the burden of the childrens learning.
“What we have is a child with a developmental disability and it’s a child who’s struggling,” Williams said.
“It’s a difficult time, and I know there are parents out there who are going to say, ‘Well, this child is struggling because of a learning disability.’
But it doesn’t have to be that way.”