Special Education Reading Programs To Improve Reading Comprehension

August 20, 2020

Special Education Reading Programs To Improve Reading Comprehension

Difficulties in learning to read often causes many children to fall behind in school. It can be especially difficult for children with special needs. However, special education reading programs can help your child improve their reading skills, especially comprehension.

Reading comprehension skills are important for success in other areas of learning. Without reading comprehension, your child is likely to struggle with other assignments in other subjects. This is because reading comprehension skills are needed to be able to understand instructions for an assignment and becomes an important part of independent learning later on

What are the most common reading comprehension issues?

While your child might have specific reading issues, there are some common reading comprehension issues that can help address other issues. When your child is reading at home try to pay careful attention for the following problems:

  • Difficulty following directions – The number one clue that your child might be having difficulty with reading comprehension is when they have difficulty following directions or instructions in their assignments.
  • Cannot summarize what they read – Another common sign of poor reading comprehension is not being able to summarize what they read. They likely are struggling with other reading skills such as vocabulary or phonemic awareness.
  • Skipping over words – Skipping over words likely means your child is having difficulty decoding words which could be an underlying vocabulary issue or phonemic issue.
  • Cannot distinguish between details versus main ideas – Similar to not being able to summarize, your child could have reading comprehension difficulties if they cannot understand the difference between the details versus the main ideas of a text.
  • Difficulty connecting to reading materials – An important part of reading comprehension is being able to see connections in the text and also connections between the text and prior knowledge. However, when your child has difficulty making connections that means they did not fully understand the material.
  • Confuses letters – Phonemic awareness helps to be able to identify words in a text as well as learn new words. Confusing letters and sounds could be an indicator of difficulty with reading comprehension or can also be a sign of dyslexia.
  • Slow oral reading rate – A slow oral reading rate is an indicator of having difficulty with identifying words. 

How can I help my child improve their reading comprehension?

All the reading comprehension issues mentioned can be difficult for special education students to overcome, but not impossible. Here are some everyday activities you can practice with your child to help them improve their reading comprehension:

  • Practice the alphabet – A big foundation for successful reading is learning the alphabet and building phonemic awareness. Practicing the alphabet through word games can help your child make a stronger connection between letters and their sounds.
  • Play audiobooks – Audiobooks is a great alternative way to read a book if your child is very resistant to reading physical books.
  • Use post-its – A simple exercise to help your child improve their summarizing skills is to have them write down what they understood for each section or create “mini” summaries on post-its.
  • Draw the story – Many special education students and struggling readers need some sort of visual aid to help them in reading comprehension. One way to have them check their understanding of a story is to task them to draw the story. This helps create a visual and enhances their creativity.
  • Use an online reading program – An online reading program can come in many forms, but the most effective is one in the form of an app. Reading apps make for great reading programs because they can be taken anywhere and are often very interactive.

Special Education Reading Programs To Improve Reading Comprehension

What makes a good online reading program?

There are tons and tons of reading apps available for you to use as an online reading program. But, what makes a good online reading program? Here are some features you should be looking for when trying to find a special education reading program to improve your child’s reading comprehension:

  • Multisensory learning – The biggest advantage of reading apps is that they provide for a multisensory learning experience. Your child can benefit from looking at, speaking, and hearing the reading material.
  • Several exposures – Just as your child can benefit from working with the text in different ways, they can benefit from being exposed to the same text several times. It can take up to 14 exposures for a child to learn a new word, so the more opportunities they have the better.
  • Practice – A good online reading program also allows for your child to practice several times. This means providing enough exercise materials and reading materials.
  • Evaluation – Having enough practice and reading materials on a reading app are important, but you also want to find an app that evaluates your child’s learning and adjusts the materials to make sure they continue to improve.
  • Progress report – Another important feature to look for is a progress report so that you can see the progress and improvements your child is making on the app.

A reading app that has all these features might seem impossible, but Readability really does have all these features, plus more! Readability is made for struggling readers and has features that can especially help special education students such as their multisensory learning approach and parent progress reports. Give Readability a try and see a massive improvement in your child’s reading comprehension.