Preventing Reading Difficulties In Children And Helping Them

Identify some of the common reading difficulties children experience and gain understanding in how to improve their ability.

Language, both written and spoken, is the basis for our social interactions. Conversations can give us insights into the feelings and behaviors of others. Reading a book or magazine can inform us of the world around us. While speaking generally requires two or more people to exchange ideas, reading requires only an individual and some printed material. This solitary learning fills in the gaps left by inaccurate conversation and presents the individual with a well-organized source of information. A reading difficulty can rob the individual of valuable knowledge and prevent him or her from advancing in the world.

The least common causes of reading difficulties are physical, but poor eyesight or hearing can make it difficult for a student to see words and follow along with the teacher. Psychological difficulties such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder also make interpreting and learning written language far harder than normal. For these sorts of problems a doctor or psychologist should be allowed to look at the student and make suggestions for a more effective learning strategy.

Many children are unfamiliar with the act of reading. They may come from homes where others do not read, whether because of illiteracy or a lack of desire to do so. These children need to be shown books and have them explained and read from before setting down to the task of learning to read. Some may also dislike reading because they didn't do well in it in the past. By having them start will simple texts, you can build up their confidence so that they may concentrate on the more pleasurable aspects of reading.

Reading aloud, or vocalization, can be a problem when a student begins to read silently. Muttering, moving their lips, or even "speaking" the word in their mind can decrease their reading efficiency. Also, reading word-by-word can have the same effect. The student focuses on each word separately instead of the whole of the sentence. Their attention must be removed from the individual words to the meaning of the author's ideas. Poor concentration on any of the material can force a student to reread the passage several times without understanding it. The student must be taught to pay attention to the content. Reading part of the passage to the student and then having them read the part they just heard can build their understanding of the written material.

There are many other factors that can cause difficulty in reading. Family situations, poor self-esteem, or several other variables can distract a student and divert their attention from reading. It is usually best to talk with a student having difficulties separate from the rest of the class so they can be truthful about their difficulties without having to fear embarrassment in the eyes of their peers.

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