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June, 2011 Archives

Difficulties with Reading

What boggles the minds of parents is why or where did the reading process for their child brake down. Many experts have identified reading problems to stem from either decoding, comprehension and retention with most believing that the bulk comes from decoding problems.

Decoding ~ Websters definition is the use of phonetics to decipher print patterns and translate them into the sounds of language.

In simpler terms the process of breaking down the phonemes of a word. For instance the average decoder can separate the sounds "tuh", "aah", "guh" for the word "tag."

Someone who has difficulty in this area may not be able to break down and differentiate the word "tag" on the page. If you think about it, this is the process in which we all learned how to read words; by sounding them out.

Signs that your child has a decoding problem:
* Having trouble sounding out words
* Slow reading rate (takes time to sound out words)
* Ignoring punctuation when reading
* Confusion between letters and the sound they represent
* Reading without expression

Comprehension ~ in terms of reading comprehension it measures the understanding of a passage of text.

Comprehension relies heavily on decoding. Children who have difficulties with decoding will find it difficult to understand and remember what they have read. They spend most of their time trying to decode the words that when they are finished, they are not able to grasp the understanding of the passage making it very exhausting for them.

Signs of comprehension difficulties:
* Lack of concentration during reading
* Confusion about the meaning of words or sentences
* Not able to connect ideas in a passage

Lastly Retention ~ which requires the ability to retain facts and figures in memory. Retention requires the child to have both decoding and comprehension skills. Reading to learn and to retain by memory is critical in a child's life and throughout their schooling years. It becomes an essential task and is expected of them through the education system.

Signs of retention difficulties:
trouble remembering or summarizing what is read
* Difficulty connecting what is read to prior knowledge
* Difficulty applying content of a text to personal experiences
* Trouble remembering or summarizing what is read

HOW TO GET HELP: Contact their school for a list of reading specialists that can help your child with their difficulty. Most schools have staff that are certified and can help your child during the school day. Do this ASAP.

If you need more help deciphering the process that is breaking down you can always contact the child's school psychologist that would be able to access the problem areas and formulate a written plan for the child and give you more guidance.

If the child is not of school age spend more time in the areas of concern and seek professional help if applicable that way they will be at the level of their classmates when entering school.

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