17 May 2010 10:26 AM

Reading Processing Disability

by Dr. Rick

We received a heartfelt question here at Dr. Rick Blog recently that dealt with a mom’s frustrations at her son’s “processing problem.”  She’s been told that her son has comprehension problems and cannot “process things from his head to the paper.”  The folks at school recommend that oral reading will help.  What should she do?


We hear this a lot from parents (and even from students).  How to intervene now before a challenge becomes a lifelong burden?  How to motivate?  How to teach perseverance?


Here are the thoughts I shared with Mom.  They can help other moms and struggling readers, too.

  1. Assessment is good.  It's good that you've had your son assessed and have some idea of what his challenges are.  There are many other actions that you can take now to ensure that he's able to master reading and be successful at school.

  2. Consider Sylvan.  The company I work for, Sylvan Learning, has an excellent thirty-year record of helping children greatly increase their reading comprehension, focus on their reading, and master the necessary skills for successful reading -- phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, spelling, and, of course, comprehension.  This is done one-on-one with our students, and we work with any other issues that may arise.  We've seen thousands of children leave their struggles behind and gain confidence with this individual attention.  I recommend you check us out.

  3. Provide plenty of home support.  It's important for you to provide the support at home for him, too.  Reading aloud to and with him is good advice.  Have him speak to you daily about his studies, about what he's reading, what he's interested in.  The speaking and listening skills he develops will enhance his reading.

  4. Don’t forget writing.  You can spend some short periods of time with him writing his thoughts, as well.  Let him see the connections between reading, writing, speaking, and listening (language arts).  The more experiences he has, the better his chances of feeling success.

  5. Routines are helpful.  Another important task for you is to provide him with daily routines that he can count on.  He'll know what your expectations are, when he's to study, when he's to go to bed, when it's meal time, when he has some free play time, when it's reading time with you.  Routines make everything, well, routine, and not anxiety -producing.

  6. Keep it all in perspective.  Stay positive and praise his small successes and perseverance.  Don't make a big deal about his inevitable stumbles.  Instead show him how to pick himself up and keep trying.  That's an important lesson, too.

I've written quite a bit about all of these reading motivation activities.  Click on Archive above to read more of my tips for parents. 




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