Is Your Child Lagging in Reading Skills? An Expert Offers Tips

SUNDAY, Aug. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Helping a child who struggles with reading can be a rewarding experience.

A nationally known expert offers some tips for parents who are trying to help their child work through these difficulties.

Patricia Edwards, professor of language and literacy at Michigan State University's College of Education, said it's essential to approach this challenge with patience, support and understanding.

Start by identifying the struggle, Edwards suggested.

“Recognize the specific areas in which your child faces difficulty," she said in a university news release. "It could be decoding words, comprehension or fluency. Understanding the root cause of the struggle will help you tailor your approach to address their needs effectively."

Make reading fun and engaging. Choose books that align with your child’s interests and offer a mix of reading materials. This might include comics, graphic novels or magazines.

“Reading aloud together also can be a fun bonding activity and an opportunity to discuss the story,” Edwards said.

Encourage progress by setting achievable goals and breaking down tasks into smaller steps. Celebrate every milestone to boost your child’s confidence and motivation to continue improving.

Stick to a consistent routine that includes reading each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. That provides habit and structure.

Get professional support if your child’s struggles persist or seem severe. This may mean reaching out to a reading or educational therapist, who can assess your child’s abilities more thoroughly and provide personalized strategies.

Encouragement and patience are a key part of this journey, Edwards said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on helping your child learn to read.

SOURCE: Michigan State University, news release, Aug. 16, 2023

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