A Child with Reading Difficulties

How to Help a Child with Reading Difficulties

A child’s lack of readiness to read or reluctance to reading could be a real reading problem. Your child may not be a reluctant reader, he or she could actually need help in reading and comprehension skills. A child with reading difficulties may see that they don’t understand the material in the classroom as well as children who can read well, and they could be frustrated at feeling different than their peers. As a parent, you can advocate for your child by first gaining some basic knowledge of areas of reading difficulty and knowing what to do to get your child the specialized assistance they need.

 Five Areas of Reading

Some areas of reading difficulty stem from these five areas: phonological and phonemic awareness (being able to hear and understanding individual letter sounds and their combinations), word decoding and phonics (learning strategies to sound out words), vocabulary, fluency (reading accurately and quickly), and comprehension. Some other sources of reading problems include auditory, phonological, and language processing problems, memory and attention difficulties, and lack of knowledge of the English language.

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Advocate for Your Child

Head over to the Reading Rockets website to use their Target the Problem! tool to help you identify specifically which areas of reading are difficult for your child. It’s important to understand those reading difficulties may overlap, and there may be more than one. For example, if a person has difficulty processing what is said out loud, they may not be able to understand a story that is read aloud. Likewise, a person who has difficulty with phonemic and phonological awareness will likely have problems with decoding and phonics.

After you have been able to narrow down what is likely causing your child difficulties in their reading, approach your child’s teacher to request an assessment. Schools may use a variety of assessment tools to help them further target exactly what may cause your child’s reading problems. If a learning disability is suspected by you or the school, the school may assess further.






If needed, there are a ton of resources at your fingertips. You can also find educational diagnosticians, consultants, tutors, therapists, and psychologists in your area through the International Dyslexia Association or the Learning Disabilities Association. The Parent Educational Advocacy Resource Center in your state can also help, as can your local phone book under “educational testing” or “psycho-educational testing,” according to ReadingRockets.org.

Help is Available!

No worries! If your child has reading difficulties, it’s possible with extra help at school, an outside source and your help, you’ll get your child up to the desired reading level. Your school will help you with any testing, extra help, suggestions, etc. to make sure that your child is successful. At my school, I see that many students get extra help from our reading consultant, online reading programs, their teachers, reading tutors, paraprofessionals, etc. This is a list of some easy reading skills practices ideas that you can do on the go and this is a list of 25 fun and easy ways to practice reading skills with your child! These are some more below:


A child with reading difficulties can get help in a variety of ways, inside and outside of school. There is no need to panic! As always, if you have any questions about this information, reading suggestions, reading or comprehension skills suggestions, please leave a comment below or email me at jean@reading-love.com or mrs.dehm@gmail.com.  I’d love to hear from you!

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