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Signs of a Reading Problem

child with reading problem

Do you suspect that your child has a reading problem? If so, you’re not alone.

Lots of parents come to us looking for answers to their children’s reading problems. My own son had struggles with reading when he was young, so not only do I have the help you need, I also understand firsthand what you’re going through.

Let’s get some answers for you!

As you read through this article, trust your instincts. If you think your child is struggling with reading, it is likely that he is. This list can help you be sure.

What Are the Signs of a Reading Problem?

A child with a reading problem may display some of the issues listed below.

  • Sounds out every word on the page, even if he has already read them. Reading-Problems-Blog-House-Vs-Horse-300x300
  • Doesn’t know the sounds of the letters.
  • Oral reading is choppy rather than fluent and smooth.
  • Reads words in the wrong order.
  • May recognize a word on one page, but not on the next page.
  • Substitutes similar-looking words, such as house for horse.
  • Guesses at words instead of sounding them out.
  • Lacks the skill to sound out unfamiliar words.
  • Ignores punctuation when reading.
  • Loses place on the page, skips lines, or rereads lines.
  • Inserts extra letters in a word when reading. For example, may read tail as trail. The misread word often has the same beginning and ending letter.
  • Makes up part of the story based on the illustrations or context clues instead of reading the actual words on the page.
  • Substitutes words with similar meanings when reading stories. For example, may read said instead of shouted.
  • Skips small words such as a, the, to, of, were, and from.
  • Displays poor reading comprehension.
  • Has a difficult time reading single words on a flashcard.
  • Resists reading. It’s a natural tendency for children to avoid what they aren’t skilled at.
Signs of a reading problem quick guide graphic

What Causes Reading Problems?

If you recognize your child in any of the signs listed above, don’t despair! Reading problems can stem from a number of different causes, and most of these can be overcome.

Kids with auditory processing disorder often have problems learning to read. Though a child with APD faces many academic challenges, you can help him learn to read. All About Reading uses an instructional approach that is exactly what a child with APD needs!

Reading-Problems-Blog-Confused-Girl-Chalkboard-300x300

Dyslexia is a common reading and spelling disability. Approximately 10% of students are affected by dyslexia. Symptoms vary from person to person. If you suspect dyslexia, download our Symptoms of Dyslexia checklist.

Vision problems can cause reading issues. Work with your pediatric ophthalmologist to rule out vision problems such as far-sightedness or convergence insufficiency disorder.

Other causes of reading problems include autism and poor working memory. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause reading problems because it is difficult for the child to stay focused on the task at hand.

Is It Possible that My Child Doesn’t Have a Reading Problem?

Signs of a Reading Problem - from All About Reading

Yes, it is! Sometimes a child is labeled with a reading problem, but the real issue is that he hasn’t been taught in the way he can learn. We can’t expect a child to read if he has gaps in his reading instruction or limited experience. While some kids seem to naturally pick up reading with very little instruction, for many kids, reading success requires direct systematic instruction such as that found in All About Reading.

Other times, too much is expected from very young children. Some children just aren’t ready to read yet, and in those cases, it’s helpful to do pre-reading activities to prepare them, such as those found in our Pre-reading program.

Learning to read takes time—and in many cases, repetition and review—before a child begins to experience success. A child might need to see a word 30 times before he can automatically recognize it by sight. If your child hasn’t met a word that many times yet, don’t be alarmed if he needs to sound it out. 

Learning to read can be hard work for kids. If your child has a low frustration tolerance, it can appear that he may have a reading problem even if he doesn’t.

How Can I Help My Child?

If your child has a reading problem, the most important thing to remember is that you CAN help him. And we can help you! The resources below are all designed to provide parents with the tools they need to teach their children to read and spell, even children with special needs.

Resources for Children with Reading Problems

All About Reading is a fun and engaging program that starts with essential pre-reading skills and continues on to teach all five key components of reading. This Orton-Gillingham program contains everything your student needs to become a fluent reader for life!

The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach: Discover the foundational elements of this powerful approach and how it forms the backbone of the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs.

10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner: There are very specific teaching methods that you can use to help your struggling learner succeed. One of the most important things you will want to do is to use curricula and teaching strategies that can be tailored to his needs.

How to Solve Letter Reversal Problems: Does your child sometimes confuse certain letters, like b and d or n and u? Beginning readers and dyslexic children may struggle to differentiate between letters that have similar shapes, and issues with letter reversals can have a direct impact on reading, writing, and spelling.

Learning Ally is a non-profit organization committed to helping dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students thrive. Audiobooks help kids experience the many benefits of consuming text, but without the struggle of reading.

Testimonies from Real Moms

Failure Is Not an Option: In this video, author Marie Rippel shares with you the very personal story of how she came to develop the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs.

All About Reading and Dyslexia: Trained Orton-Gillingham instructor and mom Marianne tells her story of teaching seven children with dyslexia.

How All About Spelling Saved My Dyslexic Son: Heather began homeschooling her dyslexic son after exhausting all other options. That’s when she discovered All About Spelling. This blog post shares how her son’s learning was transformed with AAS.

Contact Us If You Need Help

If you have questions about how to help your struggling reader, please feel free to call or email us.

Does your child show signs of a reading problem?

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Lauren S

says:

At what point will my son stop sounding out every single word on the page and actually remember the words? We’re on Lesson 11 of All about Reading 1 (which we just started because I could see in our old program him doing this exact same thing and getting frustrated)… he is enjoying this program much more and not getting frustrated, but I am wondering at what point he will actually remember the words! He only has 2 or 3 “mastered” words and EVERY other word on the flash cards must be sounded out every time. My daughter (2 years younger and just starting Kindergarten this upcoming year) hasn’t even began a reading program, but recognizes words before he does sometimes from just sitting with me while we do his lessons.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lauren,
What you described is very common for many new readers! Reaching the goal of fluent reading will be a gradual process over many lessons. Some kids really need a lot of extra practice in the decoding stage, so spend as much time as needed and try not to worry if your student isn’t reading fluently just yet.

The important thing at this point is that he can sound out the words without difficulty or help. Here’s an article with more information on Helping Kids Sound Out Words that also explains the blending procedure and challenges that students face with learning this new skill.

Students may need to read a word thirty times or more before reading it fluently without sounding it out! So, just know that some beginning readers do need a lot of practice and review. Here’s an article on How to Develop Reading Fluency that can help you understand the overall scope of achieving fluency.

Here are some ideas that can help build fluency:

The Change-the-Word activities are especially helpful for working on blending and paying attention to ALL sounds in a word. Change one letter at a time, starting with simple 3-sound words like: bat-sat-sit-sip-tip-top…and so on. You can do this activity for a couple of minutes each day and not just when scheduled in the Teacher’s Manual. It is also really helpful for working on consonant blends when you get to those lessons (lessons 24-27).

The Word Cards allow you to track what has been mastered and what still needs work. Keep word cards in daily review until your student can read them easily without sounding them out. Here are some fun review ideas for word cards. The word cards will stack up as you go, so just rotate through a portion for 2-3 minutes each day and then pick up in the book wherever you left off previously. And here’s a fun little video explaining what to do when the cards stack up.

The fluency practice pages can be re-used as well. You might enjoy our 16 Ways to Make Practice Sheets Fun. (And check out the comments as well–lots of fun suggestions in there!)

Students who struggle with fluency will also benefit from rereading the same story two or three days in a row to gain fluency and confidence. Buddy Reading can be very powerful in helping students who are in this stage of struggling with fluency.

Rereading the stories will help accomplish these goals:

– Increase word rate
– Improve prosody. Prosody is “expressive reading.” It involves phrasing (grouping words into meaningful phrases), emphasis, and intonation (raising pitch at the end of questions, lowering pitch at the end of sentences)
– Improve automaticity (be able to recognize most words automatically without having to sound them out each time)

Here’s more help with Overcoming Obstacles when Reading AAR Stories.

You can also do a variation of buddy reading called “echo reading.” You read a few sentences with full expression, and then your child reads the same sentences, matching your expression as close as possible. Do this for three to five minutes a day, or whatever is a comfortable length of time for your child. Add in lots of praise when your child shows even a bit of improvement.

The “Fun with Emojis” article gives an enjoyable way to work on reading with expression too. This can be a great way to make reading fun that also sneaks in some extra practice from the fluency pages or readers. Check out Reading with Expression for this activity and others.

This should hopefully give you many ideas for helping him start to develop fluent reading, but overall it is normal for a child in the first quarter of All About Reading level 1 to still need to sound out most words.

JENNIE GRONNIGER

says:

9 years old and reading at2nd grade level

Hilary Harris

says:

My grandson in year 9 has just been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia and it is difficult to find engaging material to help. As a retired music teacher I am passionate about realising the full potential of each child and do feel that the system has let him down.
My grandson fits the profile of a 2E child who appears very intelligent but is very behind in school.
If I could only get him through the reading and writing and interpretation problems I am sure he would excel. Please advise many thanks

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Hilary,
I am so sorry this was missed until now.

Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based. This is a proven approach for helping students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other learning disabilities. Marie Rippel, author and creator of the programs, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and has instructed graduate-level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Literacy Task Force in Wisconsin and tutored students for more than 20 years. Marie’s son is severely dyslexic, and being told by experts that he would never learn to read led directly to her creating All About Reading and All About Spelling. You can see a short video about her son’s story, Failure is Not an Option.

Here are some ways that AAR and AAS can help kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities:

–AAR and AAS are explicit and tell students exactly what they need to know to read or spell. We don’t make them guess. The lessons are laid out in an orderly form for the teacher too so that each day you can simply open and go. The programs are easy to do at home without special training or previous experience.

-The programs are incremental and mastery-based. They provide the structure, organization, and clear guidance that kids who struggle need to learn. Our sequence was very carefully tested to reduce confusion for the child. A student will master one concept at a time before adding in others.

– AAR and AAS are multisensory. They approach learning through sight, sound, and touch. This helps kids who struggle with memory issues because they take in information in various ways and interact with it in various ways.

– They use specially color-coded letter tiles or Letter Tile app. Working with the letter tiles can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept.

– AAS and AAR are scripted, so you can concentrate on your student. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage. Marie also spent a lot of time researching how to word the rules. Our rules are worded so they are as easy for children to remember as possible.

– Both have built-in review in every lesson. Children with learning disabilities generally need lots of review to retain concepts. After a concept has been taught, don’t assume that the child knows it. Quickly revisit that concept again in the next lesson. With AAR and AAS, your child will have a Review Box so you can customize the review. This way, you can concentrate on just the things your child needs help with, with no time wasted on reviewing things that your child already knows. Customized review is important because you want every minute of your lesson to count.

Marie noticed when she was researching reading programs that few programs have enough review built in for kids who struggle to gain fluency, which is why AAR includes lots of reading practice with every lesson.

– AAS includes dictation that starts out very short. Level 1 starts out with just words and then progresses to 2-word phrases. Level 2 includes phrases and shorter sentences, while Level 3 moves up to slightly longer sentences and additional writing exercises. This gradual progression helps to build writing stamina and to strengthen working memory. The dictation is meant to be spread over several days, so you can take as much or as little time on that part as your child needs.

If you’d like to see some samples:

All About Reading samples and scope and sequence links
All About Spelling samples and scope and sequence links

You might like to visit our Dyslexia Resources Page as well.

Here’s a comment thread from our Facebook Support group that has tons of responses from moms of kids with dyslexia, autism, ADHD, and other diagnoses.

Lastly, All About Reading and All About Spelling have a one-year “Go Ahead and Use It” guarantee. You can try it, and if for any reason you feel that it isn’t the right match for your grandson, return it for a full refund, excluding shipping.

I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have questions, need help with placement, or anything else.

Jeff

says:

My 8 years old daughter dislike reading and have problems with studies. We as parents started pushing her a lot. I feel she is trying her best and there’s unknown foundational issue. Please help as I feel she has started loosing her self esteem.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jeff,
I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s self-esteem. Poor child.

Often students struggle because they have gaps in the foundational skills and knowledge necessary for success. Our The “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling can make a difference.

Please let me know if you have specific concerns I can possibly help with.

Dipti Gupta

says:

My son Bhavya is now 7 years old and he is having reading difficulty and he is lacking behind in the class. He is not able to connect when ma’am is reading a chapter in the class and easily get distracted.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your son Bhavya is having such difficulties, Dipti. Have you spoken with his teacher about your concerns and his struggles?

Puna

says:

This programme sounds good. My son does have the signs of dysgraphia and dyslexia and not so much sdequencing….currently I cannota afford the programme but reading you r emails encourages me. I find beind positive and givign him rewards for what he knows and what he gets corrent helps a lot! He is 9 now and get mostly Bs in class….

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I am pleased to hear that the emails and blog posts are helping your son, Puna.

Lisa Toleno

says:

Recent research indicates up to 20% of people are dyslexic.

Also, dyslexia is an auditory discrimination deficit. Perhaps future versions of AAR and AAS can incorporate more phonemic awareness and orthographic mapping exercises to fill the deficit 20% of all kids have. It’s a great Orton-Gillingham program for neurotypical children, but orthographic mapping is necessary for dyslexics to register words in their long term memory and achieve automaticity. The word building activities are fun, but dyslexics need more.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Thanks for your comments, Lisa, I’ll be sure to pass these on!

Carolyn

says:

This is a really excellent comment. Right now I’m supplementing with Kilpatrick’s one-minute drills for the PA, but I don’t have a good resource for the orthographic mapping. I am just mapping to align with the tiles when I introduce new words, esp. “irregular” ones.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Carolyn,

I’d be happy to help! A lot of dyslexic students (even those with severe dyslexia like Marie’s son) have used All About Reading and All About Spelling successfully. You can email me at support@allaboutlearningpress to talk more in-depth about any struggles your child is having and for help with teaching strategies. There actually are a lot of activities woven into AAR and AAS that support and encourage the development of orthographic mapping skills, and I’d be happy to help you with using those strategies more fully.

Lynne

says:

We have been through All About Reading levels 2 and 3 and are now in level 4. My dyslexic daughter is reading so well!!!! We couldn’t be more excited and pleased with this program! Her confidence has improved by leaps and bounds! I am a certified reading specialist and can’t say enough positive about the results of this program! We are also about to finish Allowing About Spelling level 3. We did level 2, as well. . She has made 2 1/2 years growth in one year! Lynne

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wow, Lynne, your daughter is doing so well! Such amazing progress in just a year too! Thank you for sharing her success with All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Veronica mauldin

says:

He is in 8 th grade, ADHD, always struggled and sone speech issues, some stuttering. What can we do- he

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Veronica,
I’m sorry your son is struggling. It is important to seek out speech therapy for his speech issues, as speech difficulties can affect a student’s ability to spell and may even affect reading.

However, if you would like more information on how to directly address reading or spelling with him, please let me know.

Kandria

says:

P.S. Some small words she can say.. But she sounds every letter out ,So the word ends up wrong.. She Also will fake read if it’s a picture in the book.. But if you didn’t know any better you would honestly think she could read… When she’s picture reading ,It Flows very well , But if she’s trying to read it’s real slow , and she started at your mouth to see what sound you’re fine to make so she can say it… It’s a few big words she knows by sight … But sorry for this long story .I just forgot to add this in before I got off the other letter I wrote.. once again Thank You Again.😔

Kandria

says:

Hi ,My Child is in the 2nd grade. She Doesn’t know how to read..I’ve tried everything I could to help. She was Born at 26ws 1lb 5oz. She had left side brain bleeding…The Doctors said the wouldn’t Know the instinct of damage it cause until she got in first grade..I Got All types of learning things since she was born … I read to her constantly , Sounds of the alphabets , Shapes ,Polygons ,Rhombas & Diamonds ( She knew the difference) she was picking things up fast..When she started ECE at the age of 4yrs old ..She was good at reciting what you said..that was her strong point.. Then her Teacher started putting her at a desk off to the side because she would move around Alot. When I would ask why she was futher off by herself and not with the other kids She would say she was doing learning games etc etc.. Til one of her classmates said that was the bad station when you’re not paying attention…Until one day the teacher said she realized that’s how she learns ,Because she answered all her questions when she asked the class…Then she went to kindergarten..Well it was a private Christian School ,But the funding wasn’t right…So She kept alot of different teachers in and out… It was supposed to be Montessori Learning ,So Basically she missed out on the basic part of learning how to read with the sounds , Phonics etc etc…Then She went to 1st grade.. Explained to the teacher that she didn’t know how to read ..And evidently I couldn’t help her..So Please Don’t Put Her In The Front Of Class Telling Her To Read Because She didn’t know how..I Told her everything I mentioned in this message so far…Well she put her in front of the class to read ..Now here comes the Sad Part…The kids started calling her dumb ,she don’t know anything , etc etc. So I had a first grader that her spirit was crushed ,now don’t want to go to school at all… I’ve tried to have her evaluate to see if anything was wrong because of her medical Problems..I had this done at 4yrs old .. Because she had a broad vocabulary ..When the took her in the back and she started playing with the kitchen set she asked them would they like a beverage..She named water ,soda water, tea ,coffee ,juice or milk they said nothing was wrong , because she asked did the want tea…What 4yr old ask that…I replied ,The ones that drinks tea ,go to restaurant and the waitress ask them ,And I order tea…. Basically I need help.. They’re trying to send her to the 3rd grade…I’ve asked for a IEP.. They said she misses to many days out of school… My baby has a low immune system…she get sick real easy …but I know she needs a teacher.. Now with this Covid situation if she’s sick I keep her home, I have the Chronic Illness Form on File at the School… To excuse her days … But I’ve asked for a IEP every since 1st grade… I’m fighting for my baby ,But I keep getting doors closed left and right…. I just don’t know what to do… I’m trying to get the help to help her… But I do know that she needs the basics of learning how to read first… If they don’t know what the problem is how can the help… The majority of what I read on this page with the signs up above.. She’s having trouble with it… So please help me help her… Thank you in Advance.😔🤦🏾‍♀️🙏🏾

Cheryl

says:

Hi Kandria! Look up Wright’s Law. The website will have info to help w IEP. I believe they have 60 days to respond and evaluate. She should have IEP for her illness. They must even work in summer to meet deadline, and meetings/evaluations should be in person even during COVID. Put Everything in writing. Join special education groups for your district on FaceBook to ask for help. Sadly, most of us end up having to provide curriculum on our own because it is cheaper than attorneys. Best wishes for you and your child!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kandria,
I was shocked by what her first-grade teacher did! Poor child!

First, it is required by law for public schools to evaluate students for IEPs if requested by the parent or guardian in writing. Most of the time the process will be initiated with verbal requests, but if not, write a short letter requesting evaluation for an IEP. You can find sample letters that you can use, just making changes for your daughter’s unique case, online. Those sites also have great tips for how to proceed to ensure that the request is followed up on in a timely manner.

However, you can also help your daughter at home. You are correct that she needs the basics of reading first and foremost. Start with the Reading Readiness Skills. This blog post will help you evaluate if she has the foundational skills necessary to be successful with learning to read. If she has difficulties with any of these skills, start there. The blog post includes links for downloadable activities and games for working on these concepts, and our Pre-reading level of All About Reading focuses on the reading readiness skills in depth.

If she is well established in the readiness skills, then I recommend beginning with All About Reading level 1. It is a “No Gaps” Approach to Reading that is easy to teach at home with no prior teaching experience. It is also multisensory and mastery-based, allowing for the best progress possible.

I hope this helps some, but let me know if you have further questions or need more information. It makes me sad that a lack of solid teaching in her previous schools has lead to what she is experiencing!

Keyla

says:

My child is in 3rd grande . He have his regular teacher and two from speech therapy and I am worry because he still don’t know how to read and has some difficult in all his classes . Feel sad because he get frustrated all the time because he try even though he doesn’t know and just start to cry. I have try so many stuff to teach him and help him from home and don’t know what else to do!… some sugestión

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is having such difficulties, Keyla.

Too often children struggle with reading because they are missing foundational skills and knowledge and many interventions focus on grade-level work rather than taking the student back to the foundation. Also, many approaches are not incremental and step-by-step, so students have to make leaps or even guesses to read.

All About Reading offers a “No Gaps” Approach to Reading that is mastery-based (instead of grade-level-based) and multisensory (teaches visually, auditorily, and hands-on) and easy to teach at home. Our color-coded Letter Tiles or Letter Tile app can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept, allowing students to really see and touch what is being taught.

Here are the samples for the various levels of the All About Reading program. You can see inside the Teacher’s Manuals, which lay out the lessons, and then the Readers and Activity Books that contain reading practice and other activities for students. To get an idea of where your child would start, here is a link to all of our placement tests for All About Reading.

Lastly, we have an excellent one-year, “Go Ahead and Use It” Guarantee if you order directly through us. If the program does not meet your child’s needs, return it at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price, even if used. Marie, the author, never wants anyone to feel “stuck” with their purchase and wants them to feel free to really try the program.

Let me know if you have further questions, need help with placement, or anything else.

becca

says:

my child is in first grade they are currently in the last nine week. Up until recently has done pretty good reading, she has by no means been a fast or advanced reader. It has become a problem she look at the first letter and chooses a word she wants it to be. For example in the title My First Prayer Book the word “first” she read as “family” so I tell her too look again she then says “friends” after those tries she gets upset and gives up.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Becca,
It sounds like your child has become a word guesser and does not have the skills or tools to decode words sound by sound. Sadly, some curriculum and schools teach children to guess at unfamiliar words or to simply memorize all words, which leaves them no choice but to guess at words they have not seen before.

However, this is not a sign of a struggling learner. This sort of problem is usually fixed easily enough when children are taught the skills necessary to successfully sound words out. I think you will find our Break the “Word Guessing” Habit helpful.

Let me know if you would like information about All About Reading and how it teaches students to be able to successfully decode unfamiliar words with ease.

Becca

says:

Thank you for responding. I would say you nailed it. She actually has habits of all four types of guessers, I have never realized she was a shape guesser. Yes, I would like information about the all about reading you are talking about. I have looked around the website but if could send information on what you might think pertain more to our situation that would be great.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Becca,
All About Reading teaches a Blending Procedure for sounding out words from the very first lesson of level 1. Our Helping Kids Sound Out Words blog post discusses this and includes a free download of the Blending Procedure.

AAR teaches phonograms beyond just the alphabet so that children have the knowledge necessary to sound out words. In addition, AAR focuses on rules that are reliable and complete, with few exceptions. For example, AAR does not teach the “When Two Vowels Go Walking” rule as it is very unreliable. And AAR covers all seven of the Jobs of Silent E.

All About Reading is a “No Gaps” Approach to Reading, so children aren’t require to guess or make huge leaps to be able to read successfully. AAR offers step-by-step, incremental, multisensory instruction that is easy to teach at home with no prior knowledge.

We have placement tests to help you determine which level your child needs to begin. However, if you have questions or concerns as you go through the placement tests, just let me know and I help you.

Lastly, if you order directly through us, you can rest assured with our one-year, money-back “Go Ahead and Use It” guarantee. You have up to a year from your purchase date to decide if All About Reading will help your child or not. If it is not a good fit, you can return it for a full refund of the purchase price, excluding shipping.

Let me know if you have additional questions or need more information.

Vivienne

says:

Good day my child is in gr2 this year, i discovered with the reading that he can not say the small words like, is, him, they, but big words he regonizes immediately and pronouns them correct like , bathroom, town names and so on. May he have autism?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Vivienne,
It can be somewhat common for children to skip small words when reading. We have a blog post that covers this, Help! My Child Skips Small Words When Reading.

As for autism, skipping small words or not skipping them is not really a symptom of autism. You would have to have your child evaluated by a physician to be able to be sure whether autism is likely or not.

Sophy Bahlekazi

says:

Yes my child struggle a lot and she is in grade 5 I do not know what to do because I am trying my best everyday but nothing changes nothing at all please help.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your child is struggling, Sophy. I hope the tips on this blog are helpful for you. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner also helpful.

Anne

says:

Thanks for this post as well as the various links throughout for more information. It has definitely given me some food for thought.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this was helpful for you, Anne!

Noviwe Sylvia

says:

Hi,I have 7 year old son,he doesn’t know how to read and he forgets what the teacher told him on what to do in homework book,and he doesn’t seem interested in learning anything but to play.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is having such difficulties, Noviwe. It sounds like he is an active child, maybe our 19 Activities for Kinesthetic Learning blog post will be helpful to you to try to make learning more active and playful for him. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post helpful as well.

Busisiwe

says:

Hi my child is in grade 4 he is definitely struggling with reading and writing words on his own since he started school what frustrate me is that he is passing with higher level please help

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is having such difficulties, Busisiwe, and that his school just keeps passing him on to higher levels instead of providing him the help he needs. I recommend you speak with his teacher and the school administrators about your concerns.

I hope this blog post is helpful for you. You may also find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner article helpful as well.

Phumza Nqumba

says:

Hi my child he is grade 8 he struggling to read im worried can u please help me

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Phumza,
I’m so sorry your child is struggling with reading and spelling. I hope the tips and helps in this blog post and the 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner can offer some help. But students that are older that have such problems with reading and spelling usually struggle because they have gaps in their knowledge and abilities that aren’t allowing them to succeed. Our “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling addresses this.

Ntombikayise

says:

My son was good with his school work until now in grade 4 he can’t read. He love cartoon more than school work

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is struggling, Ntombikayise! You may find our Signs of a Reading Problem and 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner articles helpful.

SANDRA THON

says:

MY 18 YR OLD RELATIVE IS NORMAL EXCEPT HE CAN’ READ. M Y OPHTHALMOLOGIST RECOMMENDED THAT HE SEE A PEDIATRIC DOCTOR.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your relative is struggling with reading, Sandra. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner helpful. But getting him evaluated for possible learning disabilities through a pediatrician is good advice.

Alison

says:

Good afternoon,

I have a 5.5 year old boy who just started Level 1 AAR a few weeks ago. We started with Pre-Reading, and he completed that program last fall. There are a few things I’m noticing, and I just wanted to see if these are typical or not…

— He will sound out the letters pretty well, read the word (sometimes takes a bit to figure it out but he gets there eventually), but then forget the same word immediately after. For example, he will sound out c-a-t, say “cat” but then on the next page see the word cat and have no idea what it says and might even sound it out incorrectly.

— He sounds out the letters pretty well but when blending will change the last sound. For example, for cat, he’ll sound out “c,” “a,” and “t,” but then say “cab.” He does this frequently with many different words.

— He will sometimes just guess or what I imagine is guessing. It’s the word “cat” and he’ll give sounds that are not “c” “a” or “t.” He’ll start with a random sound, such as “m”.

He knows his letter sounds very well. Unrelated to AAR but just a side note is that math comes very easily to him.

I appreciate your thoughts!
Thanks!
Alison

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alison,
What you described is normal for a young child just beginning to read. However, here are some thoughts/tips to help him have fewer difficulties.

When he sounds out /c/-/ă/-/t/ and then says cab, he is showing that he needs to do the entire blending procedure including the cumulative blending as shown in Lesson 1 and also in our Helping Kids Sound Out Words blog post.

Review the blending procedure at the start of each day (before you do any of the word cards or anything else). You want to make sure he is doing every step as shown in the book. I would start each day with a tile demonstration until he is able to demonstrate all the steps back to you. (Help as much as he needs while he’s learning to do this, but eventually, it should be easy for him and he will be able to demonstrate it without help):

First, point to each letter and say the sounds.
Second, draw the finger under the first two letters. Blend just those first two sounds. Then point to and say the last sound. This cumulative blending step is really important for kids who tend to forget the last sound or mix the sounds up if they try to jump from the first step to the fourth.
Third, draw the finger slowly under all three letters and blend those.
Fourth, say it fast or “say it like a word.”

The tile activities where you change out one tile at a time are very helpful for working on blending (called “Change the Word” in the Teacher’s Manual). Start with simple words using letters he has reviewed so far in AAR 1: bat-sat-sad-mad-mat, and so on.

Another thing that you can do with young kids that’s fun: (First the parent demonstrates this, and then the child mimics.) Lay three sheets of colored paper on the floor. Write one letter on each sheet of paper, like M – A – P. Jump on the first paper and say /MMMMM/. Jump on the second paper and say /aaaaa/. Jump on the third paper and say /P/. Then start over, and do it quicker: /mmmmaaaa/ /p/, and then /mmmmmmaaaaaaap/. Finally run across the papers and say “MAP!” You can do a similar activity on the table with a race car and the Phonogram Cards.

As for guessing at sounds, saying /m/ when the word is cat or something like that, is it possible that he has become tired or frustrated when this happens? Reading is hard work for little minds and such mistakes become common when they get tired. We typically recommend spending just 20 minutes a day on reading instruction for this reason, but with such a young child even shorter lessons are reasonable.

If you notice him having trouble or just getting tired or frustrated, go ahead and end reading time for the day. Progress can’t be made when a child’s mind is tired anyway. When my daughter was little, we often ended after just 10 or 15 minutes because of how quickly she grew tired. In time she was able to do longer and longer.

As for needing to sound out a word each time he sees it, even if it is only a few moments later, that is very common for those just starting AAR 1! Reaching the goal of smooth, fluent reading will be a gradual process over many lessons. Some kids really need a lot of extra practice in the decoding stage, so spend as much time as needed and try not to worry if your student isn’t reading fluently just yet. As long as he is able to sound the words out without difficulties, he is ready to move on to the next lesson.

Students may need to read a word thirty times or more before they can read it fluently without having to sound it out! So, just know that some beginning readers do need a lot of practice and review. Here’s an article on How to Develop Reading Fluency that can help you understand the overall scope of achieving fluency. Some ideas that can help:

The Change-the-Word activities are especially helpful for working on blending and paying attention to ALL sounds in a word. Change one letter at a time, starting with simple 3-sound words like: bat-sat-sit-sip-tip-top…and so on. They are also really helpful for working on consonant blends when you get to those lessons.

The Word Cards allow you to track what has been mastered and what still needs work. Keep word cards in daily review until your student can read them easily, without needing to sound them out. Here are some fun review ideas for word cards. The Word cards will stack up as you go–just rotate through a portion for 2-3 minutes each day and then pick up in the book wherever you left off previously. And here’s a fun little video explaining what to do when the cards stack up.

The fluency pages can be re-used as well. You might enjoy our 16 Ways to Make Practice Sheets Fun. (And check out the comments as well–lots of fun suggestions in there!)

Students who struggle with fluency will also benefit from rereading the same story two or three days in a row to gain fluency and confidence. Buddy Reading can be very powerful in helping students who are in this stage of struggling with fluency.

Rereading the stories will help accomplish these goals:

– Increase word rate
– Improve prosody. Prosody is “expressive reading.” It involves phrasing (grouping words into meaningful phrases), emphasis, and intonation (raising pitch at the end of questions, lowering pitch at the end of sentences)
– Improve automaticity (be able to recognize most words automatically without having to sound them out each time)

Here’s more help with Overcoming Obstacles when Reading AAR Stories.

You can also do a variation of buddy reading called “echo reading.” You read a few sentences with full expression, and then your child reads the same sentences, matching your expression as closely as possible. Do this for approximately five minutes a day, or whatever is a comfortable length of time for your child. Add in lots of praise when your child shows even a bit of improvement.

The “Fun with Emojis” article gives an enjoyable way to work on reading with expression too. This can be a great way to make reading fun that also sneaks in some extra practice from the fluency pages or readers. Check out Reading with Expression for this activity and others.

I hope this helps you feel better about your son’s reading while also giving you lots of ideas on how to help him practice and improve. I’d love to hear how things go over the next month or so. Let me know if you have additional concerns or questions.

Yoel amol ogale

says:

My child is making mistakes in words he will say m w

Yoel amol ogale

says:

Good

Tamoor

says:

My name is tamoor i form pakistan my age29 my cast kashmeer i living islmabad my porblam i want raeding but idont no how i do this ..totle i have reading class 3 only

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I am so sorry you are having such problems with reading, Tamoor. The things explained in this blog post can help, as can our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner.

Carissa Woods

says:

I need help

tre Robinsom

says:

this is a very Great word fr children to learn there grammar right off there back im really impressed

Caroline

says:

Um not sure he got a problem, but some times like his name, he is gonna write it correctly for the first time, second time he doesn’t write correctly

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Caroline,
If your child is very young and just learning how to write, this is very normal. However, this could be a sign of a problem with an older child that has been writing his name for years. Without more information, I’m sorry can’t help much.

Nicoline Blakwood

says:

I would really like to do individual work with this grade 5 child that is comprehending at the premer level and can only read the grade 1 words, Please expose me to all the help I can give to hm.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nicoline,
It is likely that this student has gaps in the necessary skills for reading success. Check out our blog post on The “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling. You may also find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post helpful.

Augustina Victor

says:

My child has a reading problem like skipping of letters while writing and spelling

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your child is having difficulties, Augustina. Maybe our Helping Kids Sound Out Words blog post can help him or her focus on every letter of words. For spelling, take a look at Segmenting: A Critical Skill for Spelling.