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How to Spot Early Signs of a Reading Problem

What to look for in a child who's having trouble reading

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If your child is having trouble reading words and writing in kindergarten and first grade, it may just mean reading hasn’t “clicked” yet. But early intervention is essential to helping a child who may be having reading problems, such as dyslexia. If you see some of these signs, contact your child’s teacher or pediatrician.

Your child may have a reading problem if she exhibits some of the following signs.

By kindergarten:

  • Has trouble remembering names and sounds of letters
  • Has difficulty rhyming
  • Is slow to learn new words

By 1st and 2nd grades:

  • Is unable to blend sounds together to say words
  • Continues to reverse letters–such as writing "d" for "b" or "u" for "n"
  • Reverses words, such as "nap" for "pan"
  • Is reluctant to read, or read aloud
  • Is falling way behind her classmates

By 3rd grade:

  • Withdraws
  • Says she doesn’t like school
  • Continues to have trouble reading
  • Displays behavioral problems
  • Has trouble sitting still and paying attention

Keep in mind that many children reverse words, especially before the age of 7. But if you see a number of these signs in your grade-schooler and particularly if you have a history of dyslexia in your family try to have your child evaluated sooner rather than later.

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