Reading Difficulties

Who Has Reading Difficulties?

boy with booksApproximately 15% of the general population has difficulty learning how to read. The Orton-Gillingham method is currently the state-of-the-art methodology for disordered readers. Lil' Reading Scientists is based on the Orton-Gillingham methodology.

Problems with reading can occur when:

  1. Pre-requisite literacy skills are not mastered
  2. Ear infections have affected hearing during periods of language development
  3. Articulation disorders interfere with letter-sound learning
  4. A child's overall language system is weak (delayed or disordered speech)
  5. One or more of the child's family members has a history of a reading disability
  6. Poor or inappropriate instruction has been offered to the child

Signs of Reading Difficulties:

A child at-risk of literacy problems may display one or more of these red flags:

2 1/2 Year Olds:

  1. Delayed speech, limited expressive language; difficulty with receptive language
  2. Difficulty with social interaction
  3. Frustration, tantrums
  4. Limited interest in books, stories, songs

3 Year Olds:

  1. Difficulty with conceptual skills (colors, shapes)
  2. Word finding difficulties
  3. Poor social skills as a result of language processing/expression
  4. Difficulty following directions
  5. Limited interest in books
  6. Poor concepts of print
  7. Poor phonemic awareness skills (rhyming, syllabication, sound play)

4 Year Olds:

  1. Continued difficulty learning colors, shapes, numbers
  2. Difficulty learning letters, letter sounds, sound/symbol association
  3. Poor articulation
  4. Word finding difficulties
  5. Poor social skills
  6. Difficulty following directions
  7. Difficulty with written language (concepts of print, fine motor skills)
  8. Poor phonemic awareness skills (rhyming, syllabication, sound play)

5 Year Olds:

  1. Lacks basic age-appropriate self-information (birthdate, address, phone number)
  2. Word finding difficulties (names of classmates, teacher's names)
  3. Temporal language difficulties (days of the week, months of the year, time)
  4. Spatial language difficulties (prepositions, rooms in the house)
  5. Naming difficulties (colors, shapes, numbers, letters, sounds)
  6. Poor phonemic awareness skills (rhyming, syllabication, sound play)
  7. Difficulty with written language (extensive reversals, spacing, reproduction of letters)
  8. Difficulty following directions

6 - 18 Year Olds:

  1. Have not correctly mastered all of the alphabet sounds
  2. Have not mastered basic decoding or encoding skills
  3. Have difficulty blending letter sounds together into words
  4. May start to visually memorize words, and appear to be learning how to read
  5. Guess at words and use the context of the passage and the illustrations to make up text for the story
  6. Difficulty distinguishing sounds in words
  7. Transposing the order of letters in words when reading or spelling
  8. Misreading or omitting words in sentences
  9. Reading comprehension suffers because of decoding issues
  10. Difficulty with composition when writing
  11. Makes many spelling errors
  12. Has difficulty proofreading written work
  13. Weak memory for dictation, directions, information

Literacy Facts:

  • According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress report for 2007, 34% of fourth grade students nationwide scored below the basic level in reading, and 27% of eighth grade students nationwide scored below the basic level in the same.
  • According to Pro Literacy, approximately 774 million adults around the world are illiterate in their native languages. And two thirds of these illiterate adults are women.
  • Over 60% of inmates in state and federal prisons have literacy problems (Pro Literacy).
  • A federal study of the U.S. Education Department in 2009 found that approximately 32 million adults in America have difficulty reading even children's picture books (about 1 in 7 Americans).
  • According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the average literacy skills of college graduates declined between 1992 and 2003. This assessment found that only about 25% of college graduates, and only 31% of adults with some graduate course credit scored high enough to be considered proficient in literacy ("using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential").

Facts on the Economics of Literacy: Ohio Literacy Resource Center

  • An adult without a high school diploma earns 42% less than an adult with a high school diploma
  • High school drop outs have an unemployment rate 4 times greater than that of high school graduates
  • 50% of Fortune 500 companies underwrite remedial employee training in the basic skills at an annual cost of $300 million a year
  • GM devotes more than 15% of the $170 million it spends yearly on job training to remedial education
  • It is estimated that limited literacy skills cost businesses and taxpayers $20 billion in lost wages, profits, and productivity annually
  • 50% of the chronically unemployed are not functionally literate
  • 75% of the nation's prison inmates do not have a high school diploma
  • The military spends $70 million on basic skills remediation
  • 33% of all welfare recipients are not considered to be functionally literate
  • 84% of unemployed fathers and 82% of unemployed mothers lack a high school diploma
  • 41-44% of adults who scored in Level 1 on the National Adult Literacy Survey (1992) were in poverty, according to federal poverty guidelines, compared with 4-6% of adults who scored in the highest level

Give your child the GIFT of LITERACY!