Reading Problems displayed at 50% of viewport width
July 2019 by V. R. Duin

READING PROBLEMS
OR PROBLEM CHILD?

Owls overhead
started to hoot.
May these birds give
problems the boot.

Reading tools and technology exist to solve reading problems for a problem child.

Regular reading times should be scheduled. Adults are faced with daily disruptions. A child's commitment to learning can push our focus to the big picture, allowing us to dwell on what most matters in life.


Fear can be out of proportion with reality. Expecting the worst can make us reluctant to act, preventing us from finding the cause. The learning structure should be explored with the child and discussed with the teacher.


Exploring the situation from the child's perspective may shed light. Clarifying, solving and outsourcing solutions one part at a time may deliver a problem child to goals more quickly. Skilled tutoring programs may help.


Books matter at home. The presence of books and the example of reading set by adults in the home may have a positive impact on a child's literary and numeracy achievement. Without books, reading deficits are likely.


Enough Already? In May 2018, AAP published A population based survey of young children with behavior problems: Are parents reading with them?, finding the answer “No” for half of children ages 2-5 years.


Reading can be frustrating to a child. Family should be alert for mere resistance. Developing relationships by reading to or with children can improve achievement, attitudes, behaviors, motivations and skills.


All problems have symptoms. These may appear as a child's inability to learn basic sounds, decode letter order or understand sentences. Short sessions spent pointing out words and sounding out letters aid spelling.


A reading program may be designed at home. A child may come to enjoy conquering the special reading exercises assigned by a parent, grandparent, older sibling or a school. Share and talk about books to create a book culture.


Readership is rewarding. Activities designed around plots, characters and themes and discussions of story content are enjoyable ways for adults, grandparents and children to interact. Recognition need not be monetary.

Reading Tools and Technology

Learning tools may help. These may affect a child's learning at different ages. Rather than allow little symptoms and problems to absorb and distract us, we should experiment with available technology.


Children may be given too many choices and unclear instructions. Use of favorite alphabet toys, audio books, reading videos, reading applications, word games or speech recognition tools may hold interest.


Color-sensitivity and color-blindness impact learning. Difficulties surface with color recognition or reading black print on bright white backgrounds. Colored filters, lenses or dark screen mode may facilitate viewing.


Education based on the Orton Gillingham approach addresses complexities. This time-tested learning method offers a sequential, multi-sensory, interactive and cumulative approach to spelling, reading and writing.


Reading tools and technology may not require specific targeting or specialization. A simple eraser may suffice. At first, reading may be a struggle. Over time, it may become a pleasant family pastime.


Monitored digital application use can be part of the solution. It should be clear when a child is not interested in books. In a helpful environment, children can overcome reading resistance and meet some learning challenges.

Other Problem Causes

Disabilities vary in type and extent. These may manifest as mild-to-severe mobility impairments or psychological disorders. All children deserve supportive environments for growth and development.


All problems have a cause. Medical, physical and mental health diagnoses may facilitate and expedite resolution of a child's underlying health concerns. These may interfere with ability to focus and concentrate.


Common disorders include: Dyslexia, ADHD, APD or issues with vision. Schools and pediatricians should be consulted when children face enduring stumbling blocks over a several month period.


Sight is primary to learning. In June 2015, AAP published Ophthalmic Abnormalities and Reading Impairment, confirming reading hurdles may indicate trouble with vision, eye tracking or eye and hand coordination.


Reading obstacles may accompany Autism Spectrum disorder. Inability to follow instructions, track time or to engage with books, homework, worksheets or simple tools and technology should be clinically evaluated.


Cause and severity of complications differ widely. They may involve difficulties recognizing words or the letters used in spelling. Minor disorders can be overcome with practice, encouragement and confidence building.


After diagnosis and understanding are established, joint effort may help overcome obstacles. Enthusiastic and regular reading sessions without distractions can make reading activities engaging for all participants.

Solve Reading Problems

Risky? In April 2018, AAP published Psychosocial Effects of Parent-Child Book Reading Interventions: A Meta-analysis, confirming the contributions of parent-child book reading to language and literacy development.


Schools offer free SES. Help with reading, language, math and other subjects is extended to homes, hospitals and other locations. It is offered before or after school, on weekends and during summer breaks.


Monopolies do not profiteer from diagnosis, treatment or disabled students' needs. Schools or medical providers typically make diagnoses. Public agencies and nonprofit organizations fund advocacy and services.


National, state and local associations improve lives for those touched by Autism. These include specialized schools and organizations. The AANE provides support for individuals on the spectrum, professionals and families.


Specialized organizations offer resources. The IDA, ADDA and Auditory Processing Disorder Foundation, Inc. raise awareness and provide helpful guidance to benefit sufferers of the foregoing common disorders.


Educational consultants, advocates and attorneys serve disability rights. Specialized disability professionals extend beyond public benefit eligibility to level the playing field by meeting special needs for education services.


Joining or creating study groups can provide advocacy advantage. It is important to have a support group and share knowledge about the documents, records and contacts needed to battle for equal treatment and rights.


The big picture generally looks better with collaboration. Schools, pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, online resources and specialized organizations can direct concerned parents to practical reading solutions.