How to Identify Reading Difficulties

Identifying Reading Difficulties

There is a lot of emphasis on reading in early academia. In many instances, how well a child learns to read and continues to grow as a reader has a huge impact on their academic future as well as their future as readers. For kids who do not read well or have a hard time learning to read, their academic futures can be cloudy. According to many studies (Francis, Shaywitz, Stuebing, Shaywitz, & Fletcher, 1996; Torgesen & Burgess, 1998), many children who have difficulties reading early on and get off to a bad start rarely ever end up catching up. While part of the problem can be related to access to resources like books or guidance, many kids suffer from learning disabilities and reading problems that go undiagnosed.

Waiting too long to diagnose a reading disability can make it incredibly difficult to treat and it can make catching up even more of a challenge as well. This is why it is so important that parents are aware of the early signs so they can get their child the help they need from the beginning.

Here are some universal signs of reading difficulties that parents should be able to identify:

Slow-Going

If you notice that your child continually has trouble reading books pitched to their age and reading level, this could be one of the first signs. Listen to your child read aloud. Does it sound like they are improving? Do they struggle with the same words over and over? This can be difficult for children, especially since it is also often discouraging and they may not want to continue reading at all.

Frequent Errors

Mispronouncing a new word or sounding out a long word is one thing, but when kids frequently add words, delete words, or change words when reading, then there may be another issue at hand. Some things you may notice include the following:

  • Adds words – The tall lamp à then the tall and lamp
  • Replaces words – He rubbed his eyes à he rumbled his eyes
  • Deletes words – It’s just a possum à It’s a possum

Staying on Task

If you notice your child frequently losing their place, losing sight of the word or sentence they are reading, skipping lines or jumbling sentences, then you should pay attention and take note. This can not only hinder their ability to comprehend the content of the story they are reading, but it may also have implications regarding the way they process information as well.

No Retention

After reading, kids should be able to summarize what happened in even the most concise terms, but if your child is not retaining any information from the book or even the passage they just read, then they may be expending most of their energy on the act of reading the words and letters without being able to retain what those words mean and the sentences they make up.

Avoidance

Another big indicator of reading problems is avoiding reading all together. Kids may not want to read or show an interest in reading if it is too much of a challenge for them. It may not only be difficult but embarrassing, too.

If you ever have any concerns about your child’s reading and their ability to read and retain information, look into meeting with an educational professional or a speech pathologist to get to the bottom of the issue and get your child the care they need early on.

How To Boost Your Child’s Memory

As time goes on and as people age, certain things may become more difficult. Retaining information and remembering certain things can become increasingly challenging, and as a result memory games are making a comeback among adults of all ages in hopes of boosting their memory skills and their overall brain functionality. It is never too early to promote a healthy brain, and there are plenty of ways parents can help boost their child’s memory. Whether you are helping a child who struggles with retaining information or is studying for a big test, or even if you are simply looking for fun, interactive games your children can play that will also boost their brain power, then here are some ways you can help hone your child’s memory.

Practice Visualization Skills

After reading a book, going on a trip, or even after a long day at school, ask your child to draw some pictures about what they did that day or what happened. Visualization is a great memory tool, not only for improving your child’s overall ability to remember details and keep them fresh in their mind, but it also helps with understanding abstract concepts and communicating abstract ideas.

 

Visual Memory Games

Speaking of visualization, visual memory games can help to significantly boost this area of your child’s brain. There are plenty of games like this on the market whether they are video games, apps, or physical board games. You can also make up your own games as well – ask your child to circle every instance of the word “the” in a magazine or play “I Spy” with the letters in license plates that drive past you on your next outing.

The Student Becomes the Teacher

If your child is struggling with a particular subject in school, ask them to teach you about it. This may be difficult at first, but they can start out by telling what they know before delving into what gives them pause. From there, as kids begin to explain the subject matter, they may develop a different understanding of it. By switching their point of view, kids can learn how approaching subjects from different angles can not only help broaden their understanding, but it can help them find out which methods help them learn best. Plus, kids will have to call upon their memory in order to teach you, whether they are teaching you about their homework or about the rules to a game they enjoy. Outside of schoolwork, this exercise can be applied to fun things and whatever interests your child has.

Playing Cards

Card games rely on memory a great deal, whether you are playing Uno, Go Fish or War. This can be a more indirect approach to building memory skills, plus these classic games can be played anywhere. Your child will have to keep the rules of the game in mind while also actively remembering what cards they have as well as which one’s other people have played.

Active Reading

Active reading can mean anything from taking notes and highlighting sections to asking questions and reenacting scenes from the last chapter. Adding additional activities to reading can not only make reading more fun and engaging, but it can help kids make connections and better remember the events of the story.