You can recognize many of the common symptoms of reading, spelling or comprehension difficulty.

Warning sign: Students need help with their ability to visualize letter patterns in words if they can't remember words from one day to the next. As a result, they have to sound out the same word each time.

Warning sign: Students need help with their ability to image concepts (comprehension) if they:

  • have to reread material several times and often remember only a few details rather than the "whole"

  • have trouble expressing their thoughts in an organized manner (orally or in writing) or

  • have trouble comprehending oral language and are often labeled poor listeners.

Warning sign: Students need help with their ability to process phonemes or speech sounds if they:

  • add, omit, and switch sounds while reading and spelling (read or spell "gril" for "girl," or "subtute" for "substitute")

  • memorize words and are not able to effectively read a non-memorized word

  • see the first letter of a word and say another word with similar letter composition ("mike" instead of "milk," or "apples" instead of "applause")

  • rely heavily on pictures to read a story (young readers)

  • try to attack a word as a whole instead of seeing its individual parts (e.g., can't see the familiar suffix "tion" in the word "station")

  • don't know the rules of written language or how to apply them

  • avoid reading, especially aloud.

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