How We Spotted our Son’s Hidden Reading Difficulty

And The Biggest Mistake We Made!

The biggest mistake parents make with their kid’s reading is not trusting their gut if they suspect there is a problem.

I made this mistake and I’m determined to make sure other parents don’t make it too.

Did you know that up to 20% of kids have a difficulty learning to read? Yet many teachers aren’t trained on how to teach kids with reading problems!

It’s often up to parents to spot reading problems in their kids. And the sooner problems are spotted and remediated, the better for the kid’s education, self esteem and future.

When my son was in second grade, he quietly started refusing to do his schoolwork in class. He wasn’t naughty or disruptive, he just wouldn’t do it.

As parents, we often hear that if there is a change in behavior, that something is wrong. So we went to a child psychologist. We put together an incentive program to motivate him to do his work, and he started doing it.

Between first and third grades, I’d had concerns about his literacy – especially his writing and spelling. I’d met with his teachers numerous times asking about it and was repeatedly told that he was fine.

In third grade, he did the mandatory basic skills testing and the results confirmed that all was not fine.

I was really upset.

I wasn’t upset with him. Or even the teachers. I was upset with myself. Because I’d known in my gut that something wasn’t right. I just hadn’t known how to confirm it. I think I had wanted to believe he was just a reluctant reader.

So I finally had confirmation that there was a problem, but I still didn’t know what to do about it. We went to a national tutoring company to start small group tutoring.

At the same time, our son had also been having outbursts of anger. Again, worried about the change in behavior, we went to a new child psychologist.

It was her work that determined the source of his anger was a learning difficulty. (Kids who are really bright but have learning difficulties can get very frustrated because they don’t understand why they can’t do the work other kids are doing).

We found a remedial literacy tutor to assess and tutor him 1:1 for his specific difficulty. Finally we had the help we needed and it worked.

The experience we had with our first son helped immeasurably with assisting our second son whose reading problems are more severe.

I’ll save that story for another day!

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 () and a website with free educational and fun content,

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