Is Your Child Struggling With Reading? What is the cause?
Does your child have difficulty with reading? Does she/he seem disinterested in books? Does it feel like pulling teeth to spend just 5 minutes reading with your child? These questions are related to your child’s ability to read the words and process the information that is being read.
Children that have difficulty with reading may be experiencing visual, auditory, or language processing difficulties. Any of these processing difficulties will make learning to read a challenge. Children that struggle with a processing disorder may act as if they have attention difficulties or seem disinterested. They may also act out or withdraw when faced with the challenge of reading. Any of these behaviors can be frustrating in the classroom or at home.
Each of the three processing difficulties can impact reading in a unique way. Trouble with any one of the three can make reading a struggle. If your child is experiencing challenges in any of these areas, it may be time to look for professional support.
The three processing types and their impact on reading are:
- Visual – This is the ability to take in visual information and make sense of what is being seen. This does not refer to the ability to “see” the letters, but rather the ability to make sense of the letters and put them together as a recognizable word. For example, if the letters are ‘cat’ but I see ‘tac,’ I am not able to read that word correctly and make sense of it. There may also be difficulty with words “jumping” around on the page, as well as seeing them in reverse. Children with dyslexia would fall in this category.
- Auditory – This is the ability to interpret sounds that we hear. Children that have difficulty hearing sounds correctly and making sense of those sounds will struggle with connecting a sound to a letter, and then blending those sounds together to make words. Many times children with articulation disorders struggle with reading due to the way they hear and produce sounds.
- Language – This is the ability to read or hear words or sentences and make meaning from that information in order to comprehend the text in part or as a whole. Children that struggle with processing language may be able to read the words, but have difficulty with understanding what they have read. This can be due to problems with being able to make mental images of the information being read, or difficulty with stringing the mental images together in a cohesive whole.
Reading develops in stages, beginning in infancy and progressing throughout the school years and beyond. If you notice your child struggling with processing visual or auditory information, or language in general these may lead to difficulty with reading later on. If you answered “yes” to any of the questions at the beginning of this article, you may want to investigate further to determine whether your child is experiencing processing difficulties. Determining the root of reading struggles can sometimes be a challenge; but finding the source and addressing those difficulties can greatly reduce frustration, and open up a new world of reading enjoyment for your child.
To schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your child’s reading difficulties, call (616) 698-0306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP
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