As a parent, you need to be very observant to realize if your child has a reading problem at an early age. If your child finds it difficult to join the sounds in words or struggles with word games or rhyming words; chances are that he has a reading problem. It is essential to monitor him at an early stage and improve his reading skills so that such difficulties don’t get stuck with him throughout his life.
Some of the most common signs of a reading problem include:
- Trying to pronounce the same word repeatedly
- Skipping words in sentences and not stopping to rectify
- Inability to differentiate between unfamiliar words
- Not paying attention to punctuation marks while reading
- Recognizing a particular word on one page but forgetting it on the next page
- Adding extra letters in a word while reading
- Difficulty in reading single words on flashcards
- Re-reading or skipping lines while reading
- Poor reading comprehension
- Avoiding reading small words such as the, and, or etc.
- Replacing words with similar meaning words while reading
Reading problems can be triggered by the following factors:
- Repeated ear infections during early years
- Speech delays while growing up
- Vision disorders
- Poor memory
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
How Can You Help?
Parents can really help by observing and identifying areas of reading difficulty. Although it takes time and effort, reading issues can be tackled with time and consistent effort. You can help in the following ways:
- Focus on the positive: Do not point out the reading disability of your child in front of his peers and family members. Instead, focus on his positive attributes and highlight his strengths to emphasize the desirability and interest in reading. For instance, if your child is artistic, draw pictures to help him understand a particular story.
- Use reading tools: You can improve your child’s reading skills with the help of reading tools that provide training for steady eye control and visual processing, rapid letter naming and phonics. Use these tools to enhance cognitive processes that enable reading, spelling and writing.
- Set realistic goals: Design short-term goals that lead your child toward improved reading. Patiently practice reading everyday with your child, using frequent praise and gentle correction. Each day, have your child read a page or chapter from an interesting book to help him to productively climb the ladder of success. Setting a series of achievable goals will lead to incremental improvement (“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” right?).
- Don’t Let Your Child Be Negatively Affected: Don’t let spelling difficulty stop your child from expressing himself. The first priority is to understand the ideas and concepts being communicated on the page. Children with reading deficiencies often have difficulty with memorizing and spelling words or grasping the “main idea”. Build success by trying various coping strategies to help with fluency and comprehension and encourage her to try different ideas to express herself. Teach her to think through the problem and, when necessary, to seek help from a dictionary or spell-check (without such tools being the ‘first choice’).
If your child is suffering from reading problems such as word or line skipping or pattern glare (words seem to move on the page), consider See-N-Read Reading Tools. For more information, see www.see-n-read.com or call (630) 236 – 5592.