The journey of learning to read – and continuing to develop as a confident and enthusiastic reader – is often rocky.

However, some people have more serious difficulty with the process than others. In some cases, there are specific reasons why a child is having trouble with reading – and alternative forms of help may be needed.

What are reading difficulties?

Reading difficulties are common, and part of the vast diversity of learning styles and speeds in the classroom. Some children immediately pick up reading skills while for others it takes more time.

Struggling and reluctant readers

The two main sources of worry for parents are children who struggle with reading, and those that are reluctant to read. Both are forms of reading difficulties. Reluctant readers are just not interested in turning the pages of a book. They tend to read well – when they put their mind to it. But most of the time they resist reading.

With these reluctant readers, try switching topics or types of books to engage their interest. Children learn to read with many types of texts – comics, computer game magazines, instructions for model building, non-fiction boos etc

Struggling readers can be slow and find reading a stressful business. They may want to read but find it hard. They struggle to remember the letter sounds or forget frequently used words. Struggling readers can benefit from extra attention to practicing reading and by choosing the right books to help them thrive and enjoy the process.

How is dyslexia different from other reading difficulties?

Dyslexia has a more specialised definition. Dyslexia is defined as a neurodevelopmental condition that affects an individual’s ability to read accurately and fluently. It is primarily characterised by difficulties with phonological processing and reading fluency. It can therefore be understood as a type of reading difficulty, whereas not all reading difficulties can be classified as dyslexia.

In addition, Dyslexia is generally considered to be a Developmental Reading Disorder. That is a type of reading difficulty that is not due to other causes, such as a lack of educational opportunities or brain injury.

Dyslexia symptoms

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia are commonly picked up when a child begins school and focus on reading and writing skills. Every person with dyslexia is unique, but there are shared symptoms in children aged between 5 and 12.

According to the NHS in the UK, dyslexia symptoms include:

  • difficulties with letter names and sounds
  • problems with spelling
  • switching the order of letters and figures
  • slow reading speed
  • slow writing speed
  • handwriting difficulties 
  • experiencing words moving around or blurring while reading
  • struggles with writing things down

Teenagers and adults may display poor organisational skills, difficulties with planning and writing reports, problems with revision skills, poor spelling, difficulty meeting deadlines, and general avoidance of the written word.

Fortunately, both types of learning difficulties benefit from the same methods of remediation, therefore, we feel it is important to address both dyslexia and reading difficulties within the same conversation.

​Most reading difficulties, including dyslexia, can be overcome. If you notice that your child is not reading well, and that they are not performing well at school in comparison to their peers, it would be worth it to discuss it with your child’s teachers as soon as possible. You can start supporting your child at home as well with OUR EDUCATIONAL BOARD GAMES – our mission is to help children who struggle with reading to find confidence in their reading and spelling skills. It’s never too late to start intervention.