Response to Chapt. 6 of Gunning’s, Assessing and Correcting Reading and Writing Difficulties

I found chapter six interesting especially when it talks about case history. A case history is used to get a better understanding of a student’s background. A case history is attained from the student’s parents or care givers. Case studies can be very useful when trying to understand and interpret data. The case history confronts many factors that can play a role in student’s struggles. These factors can affect many parts of the student’s live including physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. There are six areas that Gunning talks about when obtaining a case history. Try to have both parents present for the case history and do not pass judgment on answers and have a professional attitude throughout the history. The areas are broken down a little differently at spots but the general areas can as listed: Family factors, pregnancy, early years and overall health, developmental milestones, early language and literacy development, school history, home factors, and interests/personal adjustment.

The first area has to do with family and the role the student in the family. Ask the parents about the family, make up of their home, and if others in the family may have struggled in school. The second area that is discusses is pregnancy. Ask about the pregnancy of the child having to do with illness or medication taken during the pregnancy or if the baby was full term. The third area Gunning discusses is early years and overall health. These questions range from infancy to childhood illnesses to injuries to sleeping patterns. The fourth area that Gunning mentions is developmental milestones. Was the student’s development aligned with the major milestones? The fifth are Gunning discusses is early language and literacy development. This includes languages spoken at home, use of pencils, crayons, and storybooks, reading, writing, and watching TV. The sixth area is school history. Ask the parents about past struggles the student may have had previously in reading and writing. Other things that can be asked are when the struggles first started and what was done to help the student? Some other questions can revolve around subject interests and attendance. The seventh area has to do with home factors. Did the student get help from others in the family? Where and when does the student do their homework? Did you read to the student when they were younger and do you like reading? The last area is interests/personal adjustment. How does the student get along with other children his age? What sort of interests does the student have? Do they participate in extracurricular activities? Are there any other aspects of the student’s life you want to inform me of?

The areas and questions do not have to give in this order or any particular order, but try to touch on these areas to gain information about the student. If something comes up or other areas are being answered just go with it and adapt the interview so it fells fluent. Follow the parent’s train of thought in order to get more information. Try to focus the questioning on what is most relevant to the student. For example if illness is a major factor then spend a little more time in health and medical background. The use of case histories can tell you a lot about students and their struggles.

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