For Families

8 Signs of Reading Problems in Children

  1. Problems with phonemic awareness: Eighty percent of early reading problems are due to poor phonological awareness. Students may also have problems hearing the differences between sounds, not understanding that letters make specific sounds, etc.
  2. Poor word recognition: Slow to learn words seen frequently, forgetting words seen many times, difficulty learning sight words (this is a very common problem).
  3. Weakness sounding out words: Can’t easily learn and apply decoding skills. Tries to guess at words or use context clues. Weak at sounding out words with 2, 3 and 4 syllables (by 3rd or 4th grade).
  4. Poor spelling, both on tests and in written compositions: Frequent misspellings, guesses. Slow, halting reading (poor fluency) Must reread to understand.
  5. Weak reading comprehension: Can’t recognize words in a passage or sound out important words; so slow and halting, she can’t recall what’s been read.
  6. Has trouble finishing tests.
  7. Excessive time spent on homework: Parents may report trouble with assignments.
  8. Self-esteem issues: Sees himself or herself as “stupid”; is “down” about school, cries easily, avoids reading, appears not to care, easily frustrated when reading.

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