• Child Development

Developing Reading Skills At Home

Assessment of learning issues is a big part of our practice and we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and accurate diagnosis to explain why the child is struggling. For children who present with difficulty reading there are a number of underlying reasons for their struggles. Slow processing speed, dyslexia and poor working memory are just a few of the challenges which make learning to read so difficult for some kids.

It can be frustrating for the parent supporting skill development in early readers. Whatever the frustration you as the parent are experiencing, it is nothing compared to the young person learning to read. If you are a parent supporting an early reader who is struggling, here are some key points to focus on:

· Practice reading each night for 5-10 mins. Brief but often is the key!

· Sometimes it can help to share the reading, one page each, one paragraph each, one sentence each – which ever is encouraging for your child.

· Have your child follow each word with their finger as they sound the words out.

· If your child has a habit of guessing the words, validate their effort but encourage sounding out “good try but lets sound the word out”.

· Don’t let your child labour over a word. Allow them time to sound the word out and if it is incorrect or they are struggling, gently read it for them and allow them to move onto the next word.

· Encourage a love of books and reading by taking time each day/night to read to your child. Visit the library and give them an opportunity to choose books for themselves. You can practice letter recognition by playing “read the number plate” as you drive from place to place.

Reading is a skill that takes time to develop, and for those kids who find it challenging, fostering an interest is more important than developing the skills. These will come with practice and time, and practice will be met with little resistance where an interest has been encouraged. Happy reading all!

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