Why does my child struggle with reading?

As parents, we want our child to love school and to succeed. It is heart-breaking and frustrating when this is not the case. It causes angst at home, and finding answers can be difficult.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 80% of children in special education for reading, writing and spelling have undiagnosed dyslexia.

Dyslexia causes children great difficulty decoding words while reading. A child with dyslexia literally won’t be able to sound out an unknown word because they can’t automatically recall the letter sounds fast enough. They have memorized words as pictures, and the individual letters in the word do not help them decode because they have poor sound-to-letter connectivity in the brain. A child with dyslexia will have slow, choppy reading. They will have great difficulty seeing spelling patterns such as silent-e, and identifying that it has changed the sound of the vowel in the word. Vowel teams are also extremely hard to learn for children with dyslexia, and require much more repetition. Many students with dyslexia are poor spellers and have poor handwriting, too.

Is dyslexia the only reading problem? No. Some children can decode words but have a hard time comprehending the reading passage. This may be due to attention problems, a weak vocabulary or expressive/receptive language issues. However, the research shows that the majority of reading problems are due to undiagnosed dyslexia and schools are not using the research-based phonics programs needed to remediate dyslexia.   

If your child is struggling with reading, writing or spelling, check out our dyslexia symptom checklist and give us a call if they show more than 10 symptoms. Your child can succeed and become a fluent reader!


Heidi Kroner

Executive Director and Dyslexia Practitioner

Aspire Academy


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Successfully improving student reading, writing and spelling for 5 years.