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July 2018 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.

Schedule regular reading times. Adults are faced with daily disruptions. We often dwell on little problems. A child's commitment to learning can push our focus to the big picture and what most matters in life.


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


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.


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


Learning tools may help. These may affect a child's learning at different ages. Rather than allow little symptoms 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.


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.


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.


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.


No monopolies profiteer from diagnosis, treatment or needs of disabled students. Diagnosis typically is made by schools or medical providers. Public agencies and nonprofit organizations fund advocacy and services.


All problems have a cause. Medical, physical and mental health diagnoses may facilitate and expedite resolution of any health concerns that are interfering with a child's ability to focus and concentrate.


Common disorders include: Dyslexia, ADHD, APD or issues with vision. Schools and pediatricians should be consulted when children face obstacles that endure for several months.


Sight is primary to decision-making and learning. Reading difficulties may indicate trouble with vision, eye tracking or eye and hand coordination. The first step is Understanding Your Child's Trouble with Reading.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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


Monitored and supported reading 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.