Helping a child with reading difficulties isn’t always easy. There is a level of frustration and embarrassment that can make providing support difficult.
When children feel it is somehow their fault or that they are not smart enough, it can lead to emotional outbursts, behavioral issues, and reduced confidence. They need support, but also non-judging support. This can be tricky to provide for those emotionally involved themselves.
There are also a lot of causes of reading problems, some of which go undetected for years. These range from physical challenges, to hormones and skillset issues.
However, once known, the correct approaches and support can be used to help the child develop a higher level of reading ability.
Technology is helping as well, providing fun and interactive reading activities and materials. These help to grab the child’s attention and make reading more interesting. Technology is also great for reading activities because of the fact it never judges, it simply supports their reading journey.
However, before we get into all of that, let’s take a look at some of the common causes.
Common Reading Problems
Sometimes reading can simply be a skill that a child finds more difficult to master. However, sometimes their reading problems stem from other issues.
Here are a few of the most common causes of reading difficulties:
- Physical issues – such as bad eyesight or hearing
- Dyslexia – is a known illness that makes it difficult for the brain to decode words
- ADD and ADHD – Where the child struggles to focus
- Decoding issues – phonics is vital to breakdown words into smaller parts. If the phonics haven’t been taught properly or the child is struggling with them, then decoding words can be almost impossible
- Speed – slow reading is a common issue, often connected with a low vocabulary or decoding. The more words a child can recognize on-site, the faster reading should become
- Poor comprehension – understanding instructions and support is vital. Sometimes, normally due to other issues, a child can find it hard to follow what is being explained
- Reading direction – sometimes children try to read right to left. This can sometimes be caused by other issues, such as Dyslexia
The above list is not comprehensive, but it does demonstrate that there are many things that are able to impact a child’s reading development.
The most important thing, however, is the identification of the issue or issues, and working together towards a solution.
Reading Problems and Solutions
Some issues may require specialist care and even medical treatments. However, the majority can be beaten naturally.
For most, it is about practicing and getting the support they need. By providing the opportunity to practice in a supportive environment, the child can gain the skills they need.
Speed can be assisted by reading often, which allows the child to start to recognize repeated words wholely, instead of needing to decode them. Learning keywords on the Dolch Words list can also help.
Comprehension and decoding can also be helped by repeat reading (reading stories again), as this allows the child to form more connections without being too challenging. Expanding their vocabulary can also help, such as through conversation or listening to stories read aloud.
Accurate correction by a reading tutor can be beneficial. This can help to correct phonics issues that lead to mispronunciation and slow decoding.
For physical or illness related causes, you may first need to consult with a doctor. In those cases, often the cause needs to be fixed (or in treatment) before reading issues can be fixed fully.
In the case of hearing or eyesight issues, the child can be completely unaware. It is what they have always known, but maybe been frustrated by. Once resolved through hearing aids or glasses, the child’s entire attitude and abilities can transform.
With ADD or ADHD, there may be a need for medicines. However, often issues can be reduced in natural ways too, such as controlled diets and exercises. It is best to consult with experts about this.
How to Help a Child with Reading Difficulties
There are many ways to help a child with reading difficulties. However, the main aspects are normally attention and time.
That said, if you are a busy parent, don’t despair just yet. Our AI reading tutor is affordable and can provide your child with full support 24/7. You’ll get reports on progress, and they get to explore our huge library of fun stories.
Our free trial is also risk-free. So, why not see how we can help today?