Everyone wants their child to be a strong reader who gets excited about new texts and learning. When you observe your kid struggling to read, it can be nothing short of heartbreaking. The experience is frustrating and confusing. Why are they struggling? What can you do to help? The truth is, there are many reasons why children struggle with reading fluency, and many ways that you as a parent can help. Here are some tips about helping your struggling reader child improve their skills and excitement in this area.
Dyslexia and the Struggling Reader
Dyslexia is a condition that affects hundreds of thousands of children across the country. This disorder has many levels of severity and manifests in different ways. The Mayo Clinic defines the disorder, at its basic form, as a simple difficulty in reading. Some people see words as being jumbled on the page. They might appear reversed, or simply difficult to decode. Regardless of the severity, there are certain symptoms and characteristics that are common. These include:
- Problems pronouncing words
- Issues differentiating between similar words
- Difficulty transitioning between seeing and speaking
- Low comprehension of the written word
- Lack of interest or enjoyment in reading
Dyslexia and reading problems often run in the family. The condition is far more prevalent in males than females, and those with the disorder tend to have an above average I.Q. Many are actually quite intelligent and show a high degree of proficiency in mathematics.
Helping with Reading Difficulties
Dyslexia and other reading problems are very treatable. The biggest factors in such problems are cognitive problems, processing sounds and awareness of phonemic issues. By training the brain to overcome these deficits, not only can reading skills be improved, but the formerly weak reader can even become adept at the process and learn to love reading.
Experts say that the best way to accomplish this reprogramming is to create a cognitive training program using games and engagement tools. Some of these include:
- “Sound Out” games, where in you say a word and have the child sound it out for you. For example, the word “Tree” has the sounds “tr” and “E.”
- Building Block Phonics games where you use blocks with letters to create nonsense words. By having the child remove and add letters, then sound out the results, you build their visual-auditory association.
- Rhyming games are one of the most classic and fun games. Say a word and have your child fire one back that rhymes. Keep it going as long as possible.
- Interactive e-books are a great tool for early literacy that can play a valuable role in helping your child overcome sound-to-word association problems which can be at the core of reading difficulties.
If you think that using an electronic resource might help you, we have tons of fun, free e-books available. Start with any one you like, and then take some time to review the rest of our website for a wealth of other amazing literacy and reading skills tools.