When a child has difficulty reading, it’s important to understand that it isn’t necessarily because they’re not reading fast enough or they’re having a hard time discerning the meaning of the words. Oftentimes, issues develop with the physical act of reading itself. Kids can have a hard time staying on the proper line as their eyes move across a paragraph (thus changing the order of the words), or may accidentally switch words around in their heads.

This “Language” barrier (that is to say, a barrier not with any particular idea, but with language as a form of visual communication) is very real and is affecting millions of kids right now.

The Language Barrier: Facts and Figures

According to one study, more than $2 billion is spent every year to help students who are forced to repeat their current grade for no other reason than that they have a reading problem. A distressing fact from the National Research Council’s Committee on Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children is that the education of an estimated 25 to 40 percent of kids in the United States is in danger because, for a variety of reasons, they find reading too difficult.

According to a report commissioned by the National Institutes of Health, up to 10 percent of people across the country of all ages have these types of specific, brain-based reading difficulties – including those who are characterized as having average or above average intelligence. 

It’s particularly important to address this situation in young children because taking corrective measures while someone is still in their formative years has a profound positive impact on the rest of their lives.

Finding a Solution

Addressing this issue requires a certain change in perspective. A student who is struggling to read correctly for these types of reasons does not have a problem to be “fixed” or “eliminated”. They have a problem that must be solved. It’s about finding a solution to the issue, which is why assistive devices like those available from See-N-Read® Learning Tools are so essential.

At their core, the learning tools from See-N-Read® are designed to give readers the ability to support the cognitive and visual skills required to not only read faster and more effectively, but to also process and remember that information more easily. They don’t address the symptoms a person may be experiencing, but instead offer a solution by way of improved and supported fluency – that is, the ability for a person to read text at a natural, accurate pace.

The See-N-Read® reading strip, for just one example, uses a clear strip to essentially “highlight” a full line of text on a page WITHOUT visually blocking other lines that may be valuable for context. The text is essentially emphasized, allowing a reader with difficulties to focus on the current line while still improving fluency and overall comprehension.

When students suffer from reading difficulties, it can be overwhelming for everyone involved – from parents to teachers to, most importantly, the students themselves. Teachers who utilize research-based, classroom-tested products to students that support natural reading processes will improve student performance in multiple subject areas. Such research-based tools offer functional solutions that create an environment where students can truly flourish.