Why is reading so hard for my child?
Could it be dyslexia?
The short answer is yes. Dyslexia is the most common reading disorder in children, affecting up to 80% of those who are struggling to read. It has nothing to do with your child's intelligence but is a difference in the way their brain is wired to process language. A comprehensive overview of dyslexia, including a simple self-assessment tool, can be found at the International Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia is hereditary. If one parent has dyslexia, there’s a 50% chance that the child does too.
Dyslexia is known to run in families. If you or your partner had difficulties learning to read or spell in primary school, your child has a 50% chance of having a similar problem. Regardless of whether there is a family history of dyslexia or not, if you've noticed your child is not learning to read as easily as others their age you have every right to be concerned. Research tells us there's a good chance your 'gut instinct' is right.
Reading is more complex than you may realise. At least 20% of children need some extra assistance when learning to read. The most common support is through a phonics program at school, but interestingly even with phonics intervention many children still fail to make any real gains with reading and literacy.
Cracking the language code
Written language is a code. The words we say are represented by letters on a page. Failure to learn to read is usually a result of difficulties with:
- hearing and remembering sounds in words (phonemic awareness and verbal short term memory)
- seeing and remembering letters (orthographic awareness)
- quickly recalling the sound that goes with letters in words (rapid automatised naming)
From a parent's perspective, if your child has these difficulties you may have noticed they:
- can't remember all the alphabet
- can't write many letters
- can't remember sight words
- had difficulty learning to write his/her name
- often mispronounce words
- has/had difficulty learning nursery rhymes or songs
- appears to be losing their 'spark' about learning
For children who are genuinely struggling, the school-based learn-to-read programs are simply too much, too fast. They often assume a level of letter shape and sound knowledge that these children simply do not have.
The Read-3 program allows you to take control of your child's learning. It focuses on strengthening all three of the 'problem areas' that are crucial for reading, and is easily adjusted to suit your child's needs. Find out more.