5 Signs Your Child Needs Help With Reading

Apr 28, 2021 | Articles, Reading Tips, Tutoring Tips

Do you wonder if your child needs extra reading help?

You are not alone! One of the questions that frequently comes up in conversations with parents and caregivers is “How do I know that my child needs help with reading?” We’ve identified five warning signs you can look for at home and then offer three paths forward if you think you notice any of these signs.

Young child in glasses looking closely at a smart device

Warning Signs That Your Child May Need Reading Help

1.Your child makes a lot of errors when reading.

You hear your child make a lot of wild guesses, skipping over words, mispronouncing a lot of words, or not recognizing common words. As teachers, we find that this becomes more evident towards the end of first grade through third grade.

2. Reading takes a lot of energy.

Your child really resists reading. It’s really a chore for them and they are exhausted like it’s like a marathon after they are finished reading. These could be signs that reading is tougher for your child’s brain than others.

3. Spelling doesn’t seem to be connected to letter sounds.

Your child will spell a word with what seems like wild guesses that might leave you scratching your head, no matter how many times they have spelled the word before. The letters they use to spell don’t seem to be connected to the correct letter sounds.

4. Copying a sentence from homework, a computer screen, or the classroom whiteboard is really hard.

There seems to be some kind of hurdle between what your child sees and what they can write. Often, the two things don’t match up.

5. Listening to a read-aloud is a struggle!

Your child struggles to pay attention or follow the story. They can’t seem to understand the story or comprehend it when you ask questions or discuss.


What can I do to help my child with reading?

If you see any of these warning signs, there are a couple of ways forward. It bears mentioning that The Community Classroom always recommends triangulating professional opinions—talking to your child’s teacher(s), pediatrician, or reading specialists or interventionists at the school as well. After getting multiple opinions, choose a path forward to help your child.  

1. Ask for a school evaluation.

Schools have staff that can provide evaluations to identify any learning disabilities that could affect your child’s learning. Sometimes there is a long period of data collection with these evaluations, so keep in mind that it won’t hurt to get things moving to identify extra supports for your child. Even if your child doesn’t qualify for extra services or no formal diagnosis is made, many schools will begin providing extra support (and extra one-on-one or small group teaching is a great thing!).

2. Connect with a professional for a private educational evaluation.

Sometimes school evaluations can have a long waiting time so families look into private options. Note: A school evaluation will not cost you anything, though a private evaluation can be pricey. But it can be a worthwhile investment if it helps identify strategies to help your child succeed.

3. Look into tutoring. 

Tutoring offers specialized one-on-one teaching tailored just for your child and is a research-based approach. Especially with a tutor who is a certified teacher specifically trained in targeted reading instruction practices for dyslexia like the Orton-Gillingham approach, private teaching can help identify any barriers and close any gaps in reading progress, helping your child move closer and closer to success (while building confidence at the same time). 

Tutor or Mom Helping Middle School Girl

And more good news? According to the International Dyslexia Society, the earlier a learning disability is detected, the better your child’s chance of success in school. So we encourage you to get moving! And don’t feel like you are alone in this. The International Dyslexia Society also reports that 15-20% of people have some form of dyslexia (and many of them are successful adults!). 

It’s also worth mentioning that a learning disability just means that your child’s brain processes information differently! They might need a particular style of teaching to help them succeed with learning, like the Orton-Gillingham approach for reaching.

We are happy to provide specialized tutoring at The Community Classroom.

If you are interested in Orton-Gillingham trained reading tutors or other specialized tutors, please reach out to us at info@thecommunityclassroom.com or call us at (413) 341-0740. You can also read more about the services we provide for PK-12th grade students here.

Photos by Seven Shooter on Unsplash, Jerry Wang on Unsplash, and Drew Perales on Unsplash



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