5 Clues Parents Can Use to Spot a Reading Difficulty in Their Child

Both of my sons were reluctant readers. And both had reading difficulties.

It took several years to get confirmation that my first son indeed had a reading difficulty.

What we learned from that experience meant that when my second son started having small problems, I knew exactly what to look for and what to do.

Here are 5 clues to help parents spot reading problems early.

The earlier you identify a reading difficulty, the sooner you can get help and the happier your child will be.

Clues to Help Parents Spot Reading Problems Early

  1. Do the home reading each night with your kids. If you don’t see a steady advancement in reader levels, talk to the teacher.
  1. Does your kid read for fun? Does she excitedly bring home books from the library and then stop after a few pages?  Does he complain of his eyes or tummy hurting or being tired when it’s time to read? What is your kid’s attitude towards reading? If it’s negative, it could be because he finds reading difficult.
  1. Is your child exhibiting behavior problems? Kids can act up or withdraw to thwart attention from their reading problems (subconsciously of course!). Our older son had a lot of anger.  Our younger son went through full assessments for ADHD but his behavior stemmed from audio processing and dyslexia.
  2. Look at family history. Is there a history of learning difficulties or dyslexia in the family? Don’t just look at yourselves as parents. Look at uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins.
  3. Trust your gut! If you think there is a problem, but everyone is saying things are fine, it’s worth investigating further for your own peace of mind.


Remember, 1 in 5 kids will find reading difficult and 1 in 10 are dyslexic. Reading difficulties are not uncommon but they can be tricky to spot.  And parents, you are your child’s best advocate!

In the next blog, I’ll share what to do if you think you child has a reading difficulty but you aren’t sure.

By, Karen Guinn Robertson
As a children’s author and mother of a dyslexic son, Karen is passionate about finding new ways for kids to have fun reading. Her new series, “Treasure Kai” helps kids learn through adventure and fun using book apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (http://itunes.apple.com/app/treasure-kai-lost-gold-shark/id418289114?mt=8#)  and a website with free educational and fun content, www.treasurekai.com

One Response to “5 Clues Parents Can Use to Spot a Reading Difficulty in Their Child”

  1. Birdie Kosty says:

    Wow, your website is incredible. Just what I have been looking for. I feel like crying because I am so happy I found it. My daughter is almost 3 and has been in articulation therapy for 4 months because she leaves off final sounds on almost every word. I feel that the process has been slow and she has only slightly improved. We are feeling very discouraged and not sure if she is with the right speech therapist for her. How would I know? How fast should children progress in speech? Our speech therapist is teaching her multiple endings such as p/m/n/t and more at the same time. Would it be easier for my daughter to master one and then move on to the next final sound? Sorry for all the questions, we just feel at a loss. I feel as though her speech is holding her back.Your sight is amazing. We live in Utah county and I was wondering if you have any openings for speech? You can send me an email if so.Thank you for this amazing site. It really does make me feel like I can help my daughter and home and that we are not alone in this speech therapy process.

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