Dyslexia Reading Comprehension Strategies

Dyslexia Reading Comprehension Strategies

Thinking your child has dyslexia can be a terrifying trail to take a walk along.

Will they ever be able to read normally? Will they have trouble getting into college? And making friends when they’re in school? What about holding a job?

Rumors swirl about dyslexia being associated with low intelligence. The truth? Albert Einstein was dyslexic and had an estimated IQ of 160! Dyslexia is not an indicator of poor intelligence.

Dyslexia affects nearly 20% of the U.S. population, making it the most common learning disability.

At Great Speech, we’re here to dispel rumors, promote truths, and give hope to parents of children with dyslexia. Our goal is to help you feel prepared to advocate for your child and play a supportive role in their journey to communicate clearly, effectively, and confidently.

Today, you’ll learn exactly what it takes for someone living with dyslexia to work through their condition’s challenges and live an incredible life. 

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects how the brain works in order to create language. The process of decoding, or learning how to combine letters and words into verbal speech sounds, is difficult for people with dyslexia, according to the Mayo Clinic. More simply, dyslexia just means a “reading disability”.

People with dyslexia have difficulty activating the rear portions of the brain that work with word form and word analysis. This is paired with an over-activation of the area in the front of the brain that controls articulation/word analysis. 

The brain of someone with dyslexia has a difficult time being able to receive, organize, filter, remember, or use information when reading it.

Dyslexia is not curable and remains a lifelong disability; however, with proper treatment, children with dyslexia can have significant academic and professional accomplishments.

Does dyslexia affect reading? Learning to read for people with dyslexia may present significant challenges, but with focused time and energy, most people with dyslexia learn to read successfully. Reading with dyslexia may demand code-based

Repetitions are extremely help

Symptoms of dyslexia in children

It may be hard for you to notice signs of dyslexia in your child. It’s important to know that many young kids have some level of difficulty with reading, understanding letters, and numbers. The difference in children who have dyslexia is that they are measurably behind their peers when it comes to reading comprehension.

Symptoms are very limited as a toddler, but around 3 years old you may notice the following signs your child has dyslexia:

  • Your child may be a late talker
  • Difficulty naming letters or remembering colors or names
  • Problems forming words or confusing the way words sound
  • Unable to recognize a rhyming pattern (e.g. dog, frog, log)
  • Trouble learning and remembering the alphabet

Once your child reaches kindergarten, roughly 5 years old, you may recognize the following symptoms of dyslexia:

  • Easily frustrated with trying to read
  • Difficulty seeing and understanding similarities and differences with words and letters
  • Reading well below expected level at age
  • Struggling to arrange the sequence of words when articulating sentences

Although most are diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, it’s worth noting that some teens and adults may have undetected dyslexia. Look for the following symptoms of adolescent and adult dyslexia:

  • Problems with spelling
  • Difficulty speaking clearly, pausing often or tripping over words
  • Difficulty remembering dates, telephone numbers, or lists
  • Mispronouncing names, phrases, or words
  • Frequently needs extra time to answer questions

Is dyslexia genetic?

Not exactly. Scientists have not yet been able to pinpoint a specific gene that causes dyslexia. 

What we do understand is that dyslexic parents are roughly 50% likely to have a dyslexic child. 

According to Harvard Health, researchers are studying why dyslexia occurs and what causes it. The consensus is that during early brain development, certain components that impact how the brain processes information were not fully developed properly. 

What is dyslexia testing?

If you believe you have dyslexia, or your child may have dyslexia, it’s important to have a formal evaluation by a doctor or pediatrician.

While there isn’t one standardized test given to determine dyslexia, medical professionals will assess your ability to read, including decoding, language, and comprehension.

What do dyslexic readers see?

It’s a bit of a sad myth that people with dyslexia see and write letters and words backward. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

People with dyslexia see the same letters and words as someone who does not have dyslexia. It is not a visual disorder based on impaired vision, but one that impacts how the brain can access language.

What is phonological dyslexia?

Phonological dyslexia entails the difficulty of breaking up a word into individual sounds or syllables. This category of dyslexia represents approximately 75% of people with a reading disorder.

Is dyslexia in adults common?

Even after formative childhood years, dyslexia can go undetected in adults. More often than not, school-age children are first diagnosed with dyslexia.

The resources for kids and adults remain the same: dedicated and supportive speech therapy makes a world of difference for adults newly diagnosed with dyslexia.

How to help a child with dyslexia at home using dyslexia reading comprehension strategies

Just because your child had dyslexia does not mean that they can’t enjoy reading. With the right type of books geared towards your child’s interests and readability, they can grow to love reading.

  • Repetition is critical for kids with dyslexia. Make reading a daily habit, whether it is every morning at breakfast, during an afternoon break, or at bedtime. Ensure you read similar books on rotation, as repeating these same books will help build recognition, speed, and confidence for your child to enhance their reading proficiency.
  • Keep a low-pressure attitude to reading. Don’t make reading a chore. Let your child take frequent breaks when they’re trying to read — remember, you’re helping them retool how their brain processes words… it can be exhausting! Positive reinforcement and praise win out.
  • Find books that are suitable for their reading level — not too difficult that your child is unable to keep up, but not too boring that they lose interest quickly. Author Cigdem Knebel has a number of books available on Amazon. She began publishing decodable chapter books when she was unable to find books that were interesting enough for her 7-year-old dyslexic son to read.

How speech therapy helps people with dyslexia

Speech language pathologists are trained experts when it comes to working with the precise needs of dyslexic children. Our therapists understand the difficulty that a child with dyslexia has in pronouncing words, identifying syllables, and formulating sentences. 

We go the extra mile with patience, time, and commitment to improving your child’s reading abilities. Book an introductory phone consultation today to learn how we can create a personalized plan to have your child reading in a cool, collected way in no time. 

The difficulties of bedtime reading time will be long gone. Think about this: your son or daughter walks over to the bedside table, picks up the book, and asks: “What happens in the next chapter?”

online speech therapy contact us button

a woman on a laptop doing Reading Comprehension for Adults

7 Tips for Improved Reading Comprehension for Adults

Child reading comprehension is often a focus at school, but reading comprehension for adults can also be an issue.

The importance of reading comprehension doesn’t go away when you’re an adult.

It helps you learn and understand what you read when you go to college, take classes, or learn new content at work. Strong comprehension allows you to understand contracts and agreements for things such as job offers and loans. It also helps you get more enjoyment out of reading for fun.

If you or another adult in your life shows signs of reading comprehension problems, try these strategies to improve comprehension.

1. Learn New Vocabulary

Your vocabulary is a large part of your reading comprehension. You need to recognize and understand the individual words before you can comprehend the overall text.

Growing your vocabulary helps you feel comfortable with a wider range of words. When they come up in reading passages, you know what they mean. You don’t get stuck on figuring out what the word is and what it means.

This allows you to keep reading smoothly without lots of starts and stops. That reading fluency helps you focus on the overall meaning of what you’re reading to improve comprehension.

Reading lots of books helps grow your vocabulary. If you come across a word you don’t know, write it down. Look up the meaning so you’ll have that knowledge for next time.

Researching new topics that interest you is a good way to come into contact with new words. Find the definition of those new words as you hear them.

Spend time writing, focusing on using new and interesting words. Use a thesaurus to find alternative options for common words in your writing.

Crosswords and other word games offer a fun way to expose yourself to new words.

Another option is a vocabulary word of the day app you can get on your phone. You automatically get a new word each day to continue exposing you to new vocabulary. Some words might be things you never use again, but if you come across some of them, you’ll already know what they mean.

2. Remove Distractions

It’s tough to understand what you’re reading when you’re surrounded by distractions. When you’re reading and want to focus on comprehension, move to a location where you can focus fully on what you’re reading.

Put your phone away or shut off the notifications while you read. If you check out every ding, you’ll forget what you’ve read and have trouble comprehending the text overall.

Move away from lots of activity, such as people watching TV or talking. A bedroom, office, or other quiet room in your home may be ideal. Libraries also tend to work well for finding quiet spots away from distractions.

3. Prepare Before You Read

Start asking questions and thinking about the text before you read to prepare your brain for comprehension.

If you’re reading an informational piece, such as a textbook, scan the chapter first. Read the headings, subheadings, captions, and questions at the end of the chapter. This helps you understand what you can expect to read.

For any type of text, think of questions that help you focus, such as where the book takes place, what topic it covers, what themes will show up, and what the main topic is. You don’t need the answers to those questions before you start reading. Simply get them in your head, so you start looking for the answers as you read.

4. Slow Your Pace

If you rush through reading, you’ll likely miss the details and context clues that make it easier to understand. Slowing down your reading pace lets you pick up on more of the words so you can catch more of the meaning.

One way to slow yourself down is by reading aloud. It takes more time to say each word out loud. You can’t glance over some of the words like you do when you read silently.

Reading aloud may also help you remember what you read better. You’re actively using a cognitive process that combines reading and forming the words, which can help with memory.

If you read long texts, consider spreading it out over more than one day. Trying to read too many chapters in one night can make you forget what you’ve read.

5. Break It Into Chunks

Instead of reading through a large passage all at once, break it into smaller chunks. This works especially well for a complex text that’s difficult to understand.

After each paragraph or subsection, make sure you understand what you just read. If you push through the entire chapter before you realize you don’t understand it, you’ve wasted your time and will have to go back and reread. Text typically builds off of what you’ve read, so if you don’t understand the beginning, the rest won’t make sense either.

6. Question What You Read

As you’re reading, continue asking yourself questions about what’s happening, so you focus on the meaning.

Look for context clues if you get stuck on a word. That means you use the information surrounding the word to figure out what it means.

Question yourself on the main idea of each paragraph, section, and chapter as you read. Looking at the main idea instead of only focusing on the little details can help you understand the overall picture the author creates.

Taking notes as you read can also help you remember key points. Just don’t stop too much to take notes, or you’ll interrupt your flow, which may interfere with your comprehension.

7. Reflect on the Text

Don’t just stop reading and move on with your day. Think back on what you read to understand it better.

Look back at the questions you created before you started reading. Can you answer those questions now?

Write down a quick summary of what you read to make sure you understand it. When you summarize, you rephrase what you read in your own words to show you comprehend it.

Improving Reading Comprehension for Adults

Reading comprehension isn’t just a concern for kids. Building reading comprehension for adults can help you strengthen your understanding. It can help you learn more efficiently and make more informed decisions.

Check out our reading comprehension mastery program for more information.


online speech therapy contact us button

7 Reading Comprehension Strategies for Kids to Put Into Action Today

7 Reading Comprehension Strategies for Kids to Put Into Action Today

When it comes to learning to read it can be a tough thing for your child to do. In fact, one in every five students struggles with learning to read in school.

Reading isn’t always an easy thing to tackle and going to school can be very difficult for the students who don’t have a grasp on this skill. Luckily for you, there are tons of reading comprehension strategies that you could use to help enhance your child’s learning abilities.

Keep reading for our guide to seven reading comprehension strategies for kids that you can put into action right away.

1. Asking Questions

The first strategy that children can use when it comes to reading is asking questions about the text. It can be done throughout the reading of a text to make sure that the reader is understanding what’s going on. When you ask the right questions while reading something, then you can draw your attention to the main points of the story.

Asking questions can help your child understand key plot points or main ideas, as well as develop a sense for the main characters throughout the narrative. They may even use questions to help summarize the events that have taken place.

A good way to teach a child how to ask questions is to sit down and do it with them. This way they will know what kinds of questions to ask when they’re reading on their own. You can ask questions that have only one right answer or even questions that will require them to think about a broader topic based on the text.

2. Using Prior Knowledge

When we read something we are using all of the prior knowledge we have even before we’ve picked up the text. This is a great strategy to teach children because it sets up expectations for what will happen while reading. Using prior knowledge is important to understanding the text as they read and as a whole.

Reading comprehension is something that a child will take into their adult life so it is important to start now. Using prior knowledge before diving into a text is something that we should consistently be doing. Whether it is a new book that you’ve just picked up or even a document at work. Taking what we already know into account is a great way to comprehend the text in front of us.

3. Read Out Loud

Reading out loud to a child or teenager is a great way to help them comprehend the text as well as teach them good habits for reading. When you read out loud you’re teaching someone else how they should be reading. You can stop and look at important ideas or even ask if they would like something read again that is especially important within the text.

You can also monitor how they’re understanding the text when you read it out loud to them. This would be a good time to stop and help them ask as well as answer any important questions regarding the text.

When you take the time to discuss the text, then you’re opening the doors to understanding it and interacting with it in a better way for children. This is an awesome way to push students to go even further than just understanding the basic words on the page.

4. Taking Notes

Another great way to make sure that your child is understanding a text is by teaching them how to take notes or use a highlighter or pencil to mark key concepts or ideas within the text. When they are reading they can jot down notes such as things that they understand or questions within the text. These notes are great to go back on so they can develop a deeper understanding of the text.

This is also a good way to help your child to focus on the important elements of a text especially if they have ADHD. When they are able to pull out key ideas or questions, then they can later use these in discussions of the text. If they are unable to write directly on the text that they are reading, then using sticky notes is a great alternative.

5. Partner Up to Discuss

When it comes to reading a text sometimes reading with a partner can be even more fun and help your child understand more. Either you or one of your child’s peers can partner with them to read a text. Have both parties start reading and then make sure they stop periodically to discuss what they’ve read.

Listening to what other people have to say about the text is a good way for your child to understand what they’ve just read a bit better. This is also a great thing to do when reading out loud. Talking in a smaller group may also get shy kids to want to participate as well instead of talking in front of a large class.

6. Summarize the Text

While your child is reading they can periodically stop and start to write up a summary of what they’re reading. Writing a summary while they are reading is a good way for them to figure out the key points of the text. It is also a great way to teach them how to generalize the larger topic at hand.

Plus, once they’re finished reading the text, then they can go back and reread the summary as another way to comprehend what they’ve just read. Summarizing the text helps them to decipher what elements were important and which weren’t.

7. Let Them Decide

Children learn and comprehend in many different ways that are comfortable to them. So when it comes to teaching them strategies to comprehend their reading it is ultimately up to them which will help the best.

As long as you’ve given them good resources to use, then they can make that decision for themselves. Sometimes they may even want to use a combination of all the strategies you’ve taught them.

Use These Reading Comprehension Strategies Today

So when it comes to helping your child, there are tons of reading comprehension strategies that you can start teaching them today. Reading is something that they will be doing for the rest of their life so it’s better to start practicing good habits right away.

If you’re looking for speech therapy, then make sure to check out how online speech therapy can help and request a free consultation today!


online speech therapy contact us button

What Is the Importance of Reading Comprehension After School?

What Is the Importance of Reading Comprehension After School?

Reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Those have been the educational focal points for centuries. They are the building blocks of all that we learn and all that we do in our lives.

However, there is a misconception that the importance of reading comprehension ends after we finish our schooling.

That’s definitely not true.

Being able to read, and being able to understand what we read, becomes a monumental part of our lives.

As adults, we must be able to read contracts for work. We need to read documents when buying a new home or car. We need to be able to understand forms and applications when we sign our names.

Reading comprehension goes far beyond schooling.

Here are a few of the biggest reasons that reading comprehension will remain one of the most important skills to develop and practice in our lives.

Why Reading Is So Right

Learning how to read is an amazing feeling. Learning how to comprehend what we read is an empowering feeling.

However, the importance of reading comprehension is never really understood until we are faced with a real world situation.

There are a number of things that can occur in our lives to make us backslide in our abilities to read and understand. Disability, injury, and disease can be huge deterrents or obstacles.

These obstacles can immediately answer the question of “why is comprehension important?”

Importance of Reading Comprehension?

Under normal circumstances, we learn how to read when we begin school as kids.

We learn the alphabet. We learn words. We string these words together so that we can learn how to understand sentences and paragraphs.

Student and teacher reading comprehension activities are part of our daily academic lives. We are immersed in reading and it becomes like second nature.

But what happens when something goes wrong? What happens when our brains suffer injury or disease causes harm to our health? Many times, our reading comprehension is directly affected and altered.

Here are a few instances when the ability to learn is compromised and the importance of reading comprehension becomes paramount.

Traumatic Brain Injury

The brain is one of the most important parts of our body. Without it, we can’t breathe, we can’t function, and we surely can’t live.

Our brains are the epicenter of our ability to learn. We cannot speak without the brain helping us out. We can’t read and understand without the brain connecting the information.

Brain injury can have an immense effect on our reading comprehension abilities. An injury involving the temporal lobe can immediately damage our ability to remember things. Also, this type of injury can make it near impossible to string together sounds, words, and phrases.

Brain injuries resulting from loss of oxygen to the brain (i.e. post drowning), motor accidents, and concussions can have devastating effects. These types of injuries can inhibit the ability to speak, understand, or comprehend.

When a brain injury occurs, the importance of reading comprehension becomes a primary goal for therapists.

Reading can help rehabilitate the brain, in some instances. A great place to start is speech therapy, which is a great option for how to teach reading skills after a brain injury.


Another medical issue that can have a debilitating effect on reading comprehension is a stroke.

During a stroke, oxygen is cut off from the brain. This affects many parts of the brain and can cause issues with speaking, understanding, and remembering things.

A common effect from victims suffering a stroke can be aphasia articulation. This disorder directly affects communication. Those that suffer from aphasia are plagued with speech problems, as well as reading and comprehension processing issues.

Many struggle with formulating words, as well as interacting in conversation.

The importance of reading comprehension becomes a strong driving force in rehabilitation. There can be quite a benefit when stroke victims work with a speech therapist to practice learning words, sounds, and context.

Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism and Asperger’s syndrome seem to be affecting more and more kids each year. Both of these conditions have a direct effect on communication and understanding.

Early detection is an incredibly important factor to begin relevant therapy. When children present symptoms or indicators of either condition, speech therapy should begin as soon as possible.

Helping children that struggle with communication will need a teacher/therapist that know how to teach reading skills.

Language and Learning Disability

When someone struggles with a language and/or a learning disability, reading comprehension can be a challenge.

There are many types of reading that can be difficult to process, such as expository text type articles. When there are a lot of words, as well as difficult phrases, students with language and/or learning disabilities can feel overwhelmed.

However, these disabilities can be accommodated with speech therapy. Beginning therapy as soon as possible is a great way to combat the struggles that learning disabilities can cause in school and in life.

Comprehension Is Key

We all think about learning how to read and write as part of our lives at a very early age.

However, sometimes things happen and our lives are affected.

The importance of reading comprehension goes far beyond the hallowed halls of school. Reading comprehension is a key ingredient to a successful life.

When something unexpected happens, knowing that there are rehabilitative options can be a lifesaver. Being able to re-learn how to read, understand, comprehend, and communicate is an amazing opportunity for many.

When we think about the reading comprehension strategies from high school, middle school, and even elementary school – we think of reading articles and answering questions.

However, reading comprehension goes past what we learned in school.

The importance of comprehension is what makes us advocates for ourselves and our families. Being able to read and understand through communication empowers us to make decisions in our lives.

The brain is an amazing part of our bodies and our lives. Without this command center of our bodies, we would have no way to interact with others and lead amazing lives.

If you struggle with reading comprehension, know there is help. Let your mind do incredible things.




online speech therapy contact us button

kids reading mastery program

Read to Succeed: Mastering Reading for Academic and Life Success

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. “

—Frank Serafini, author


Kids generally learn to read until third grade. After third grade, they read to learn.

Reading is the basis of learning and the benefits are many. On a practical level, reading helps us navigate life. Following recipes, taking medications and obeying written traffic signs all require the ability to literally read and understand what we are seeing. On a more cerebral level, reading advances our mind, teaches us language skills, expands our vocabulary, builds our listening skills and develops our imagination and creativity.

Now just imagine a child who is experiencing difficulty reading.

Research has proven that struggling with reading is not a sign of a lack of intelligence. Nor should children who be labeled as lazy or unmotivated. Often, they have just fallen through the cracks. Sometimes it is simply a matter of finding the right approach.


“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

—Frederick Douglass, escaped slave, activist and abolitionist leader


Literacy extends to all academic areas, including math, where understanding the word problems are as essential as computing the correct numerical answer.

Difficulty reading not only affects academic abilities but also self-esteem. When reading skills are deficient, grades may suffer despite average or above average intelligence and self-confidence can go right down the tubes.

Our Reading Skills Mastery Program

has been developed to address grade-specific reading (literacy) skills and strategies. Our therapists are trained to assess each student and identify the issues before implementing a monthly individualized program tailored to the age of the child, the amount of intervention required, and the goals set in the initial session. Each session is 45 minutes with a minimum of three sessions per week.


From helping children acquire and master basic reading and writing skills to teaching compensatory strategies, decoding skills, essay writing and note taking, the Great Speech Reading Skills Mastery Program focuses on identifying missing skill sets and creating a targeted program using the check list below.

Literacy Skills:

  • Recognition and understanding of letters and letter sounds
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading accuracy and fluency Recognition and use of letters and letters sounds
  • Learning and application of phonics rules
  • Automatic recognition and reading of sight words
  • Word attack skills (how to read an unfamiliar word)
  • Word study (root, suffix, etc.)
  • Reading speed and accuracy

Writing Skills:

  • Handwriting or typing of letters
  • Learning and applying spelling rules and patterns
  • Learning different writing styles and purposes (e.g., persuasive, descriptive, etc.)
  • Using various aids when writing (e.g., graphic organizers)
  • Learning and applying planning/organization strategies (e.g., outline, brainstorm, timelines, etc.)

Vocabulary Skills:

  • Definitions
  • Word Relationships (compound words, antonyms, synonyms)
  • Contextual Word Lists
  • Derivational Word Lists
  • Semantic Mapping and Feature Analysis


“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”

 – Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist

Lighting the fire and keeping the spark alive is one of our areas of expertise. Word power is brain power and has been linked to improved health, socioeconomic status and creativity.  We are proud of the success of those who have enrolled in our Reading Skills Mastery Program and would love to provide services to those who are experiencing academic difficulties due to poor or limited reading skills.

Get started with an introductory call to discuss how a licensed speech and language pathologist can help you achieve your goals.

online speech therapy contact us button

Listening Comprehension Issues: What Parents Need to Know

Listening Comprehension Issues: What Parents Need to Know

Most kids will tune out their parents and teachers from time to time—especially when you’re asking them to do something they’re unhappy about.

But if your child is always asking you to repeat yourself, saying “Huh?” or ignoring your instructions when you know they were within earshot, it might not be their fault. They could be one of the 2-9% of children with an auditory processing disorder.

If your child is struggling with listening comprehension, there are steps you can take to improve it. Read on to find out all about auditory processing disorders and what you can do to help your child.

What Is an Auditory Processing Disorder?

While many of us attribute listening comprehension problems to an issue with hearing itself, children with an auditory processing disorder (APD) can hear just fine. The problem arises when their brain isn’t able to make sense of the sounds it’s hearing.

For most of us, telling the difference between similar sounds (like dog and log, or hat and cat) is second nature. But for a child with APD, it can seem impossible. Add in the background noise of a city or busy classroom, and they might not be able to understand much of anything that’s said to them.

No one is completely sure about what causes APD. Chronic ear infections, head trauma, and lead poisoning might contribute, but they aren’t present in all cases. And because they can still hear sounds clearly in a quiet, controlled environment, kids with listening comprehension problems may go undiagnosed for years.

Signs Your Child Is Struggling with Listening Comprehension

The signs of an audio processing disorder are easy to mistake for stubbornness or disobedience. They may end up causing problems in school, in relationships, and at home. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Difficulty following instructions, especially with multiple steps
  • Unable to hold long conversations, sometimes “tunes people out”
  • Unable to follow spoken lessons in school
  • Asks speakers to repeat themselves often
  • Distracted by background noise
  • Dislike of noisy environments (school hallway/cafeteria, busy roads, etc.)
  • Poor spelling and reading comprehension
  • Difficulty solving oral or word-based math problems
  • Poor musical skills
  • Performance and comprehension improves in quiet rooms

How many of these signs does your child display? If you checked off most or all of the symptoms on this list, you might want to get your child tested for APD.

Is This a Focus Issue or a Processing Problem?

Just because your child displays most of the symptoms listed above doesn’t automatically mean they have APD. Many of the symptoms of APD overlap with attention disorders like ADHD. And, to make matters more complicated, 45-75% of patients with either APD or ADHD actually have both conditions.

To make sure your child receives the right support, it’s important to see a specialist for a formal diagnosis. Children with APD will need treatments that focus on audio memory and comprehension, while those with ADHD may benefit most from treatment that addresses focus and attentiveness.

Testing and Diagnosis

If your child is enrolled in school, their support services may be able to help with the testing and diagnosis process. Ask your child’s guidance counselor if your school provides free evaluations. Even if they aren’t able to diagnose APD, they may at least be able to rule out ADHD and hearing deficits.

Your child’s pediatrician might recommend that they see an audiologist for a more formal diagnosis. Audiologists test for these five things:

  1. Auditory Discrimination:Inability to tell similar sounds apart
  2. Auditory Figure-Ground:Difficulty paying attention with too much background noise
  3. Auditory (Echoic) Memory:Inability to remember spoken directions in the short and/or long term
  4. Auditory Attention:Inability to stay focused on listening activities
  5. Auditory Cohesion:Problems with high-level listening comprehension

If enough of these deficits are present, your child may be diagnosed with APD.

Treatments for APD

There aren’t any medications available for treating audio processing disorders. If your child has both APD and ADHD, a medication for ADHD might help improve some of their symptoms. But for most children, a supportive and therapeutic approach is the most helpful.

The first part of treatment involves giving your child the environment they need to be able to learn. This might mean taking them out of a loud classroom and giving them one-on-one attention in a quiet room. If that isn’t possible, using a frequency modulation (FM) device can amplify a speaker’s voice while tuning out background noise.

Speech therapy can also help your child with oral comprehension. A speech therapist can show your child how to use their FM device and give them exercises to train their speaking and listening skills.

Our auditory systems continue to grow and adapt all the way through our teenage years. So the earlier you start treating an auditory processing disorder, the better the chance for improvement. Your child may also develop better listening comprehension skills on their own as they get older.

Improving Your Child’s Listening Comprehension Skills

An auditory processing disorder can be hard for both a child and their parents to overcome. But with the right support system and some hard work, your child can improve their listening comprehension skills over time.

If you’re looking for speech therapy services to help improve listening and reading comprehension or attention problems, Great Speech may be able to help. Our trained professionals provide online speech therapy so your child can get quality treatment without traveling to a clinic. If you’d like more information, contact us today for a free consultation.

  online speech therapy contact us button

an adult improving reading comprehension via online speech therapy

7 Signs of Reading Comprehension Problems in Children and Adults

Reading comprehension problems are lifelong issues that can truly hurt anyone’s learning process.

These problems can take many different forms, from ADHD to dyslexia. But, people with these learning issues typically show some of the same signs. It’s important to look out for these signs as an indicator of a comprehension problem.

If you believe that someone in your life is suffering from comprehension problems, there are always ways to recover. But, the first step to any recovery process is identifying that the problem actually exists.

Here are 7 signs of reading comprehension problems that anyone, from adults to children, might show.

1. Showing No Interest In Reading

Avoiding reading and writing is one of the most basic signs of a reading comprehension issue.

Much of this avoidance actually stems from a lack of self-confidence within individuals that actually have a problem. These problems make reading and writing difficult and frustrating, to the point where people avoid them altogether.

One easy way to notice these issues among younger children usually comes with assigned reading.

As part of their school tasks, children may be required to read for a certain amount of time each day. If your child struggles to reach that mark on a consistent basis, this may be a sign that they are avoiding reading because of their struggles.

2. Difficulty Following Basic Directions

While following directions does not necessarily need to be a reading comprehension issue, it is a sign of comprehension problems in general.

For example, your child or family member may easily be able to understand and follow along with “go to the car”. But, when the instructions become, “Go to the car and grab me a water bottle” they may not follow all the directions.

This difficulty in following directions may be caused by what their brain perceives as an “overload” of information to process.

It may seem like the information goes in one ear and out the other. But, the problem really it is an inability to focus on all the information that is manifesting itself as a lack of attention.

3. Difficulty Pronouncing or Recognizing Words

One way that reading comprehension problems manifest themselves is as a difficulty when reading aloud.

This usually happens because people with these issues have a hard time understanding when reading. So, it is even more difficult for them to project these words out to a crowd or when delivering a message.

These signs may be detected when you hear someone reading a news story aloud.

You may notice that they take a very long time to read it, or that they may slip up on many common words. You might also see them struggle to convey the message in the way that it was meant to be read or conveyed.

4. Issues Understanding What Was Read

At its base, reading comprehension is an ability to understand what you are reading.

For example, if I describe a blue house to you, you can visually picture this house. People with reading comprehension often have a difficult time processing and understanding what they are actually reading and conveying it back in other ways.

One clear example of a problem with reading comprehension is not scoring well on a reading comprehension assessment.

Another example may be a difficulty understanding exactly what a corporate email is trying to say and following the directions or processing the details in this email.

5. Taking Long to Solve Basic Tasks

Another sign of reading comprehension problems is an inability to complete basic tasks.

This is especially true when the instructions are something that is written. For example, if you find that a loved one has a hard time taking IKEA instructions on how to build a chair and putting them into proper action, this may be a sign of reading comprehension issues.

This issue is especially pronounced if the person you are looking after makes many mistakes in the process, especially things that may seem silly to mess up on. This may be caused by a difficulty understanding the instructions due to their comprehension problems.

6. Poor Penmanship

Dysgraphia is a disorder that makes it so that the person who suffers from it has very bad handwriting.

While some people simply seem to have bad handwriting, dysgraphia is special because it can be directly connected to other learning disabilities, especially those that impact the comprehension of words and letters.

Dysgraphia usually happens because patients have a difficult time writing and thinking at the same time. This is because of their learning disability, such as dyslexia, that makes it so that they need to focus more attention on what they are writing.

This leads to a lack of attention on the quality of the handwriting, which leads to significantly worse writing quality.

7. Family History of Reading Comprehension Problems

Unfortunately, one of the biggest telltale signs of reading comprehension problems is if there is a history of it in the family.

Most of these issues are passed down over generations and can even become more pronounced in the family over time. If you have a reading comprehension issue, it is fully possible that your child will too.

On the other hand, if you are noticing any of these signs in yourself, you should try to notice if your parents also showed signs of these disabilities. This may be a family problem that you should try to be prepared for and tackle as soon as possible.

Recovering From Reading Comprehension Problems

Though reading comprehension problems can be a difficult disorder to cope with, there are some good strategies out there that will help make them livable. In fact, working with professionals can often make these problems almost completely disappear or irrelevant.

If you have identified any of these problems and are looking for professionals to help you get through them, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a therapist that will help you with your comprehension and learning problems.

online speech therapy contact us button

a child learning more words using a computer for online speech therapy

How to Help Your Child Develop a Strong Vocabulary

Are you looking to help your child improve their vocabulary, but aren’t sure where to begin?

Helping your child build their vocabulary is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for them. Not only will a strong vocabulary help them in school, but it will also help them in everyday life.

A strong vocabulary helps foster communication, understanding, and critical thinking, both inside and outside the classroom.

And, the great news is that helping your child improve their vocabulary can be relatively easy and fun–if you know how to do it.

So, where do you start?

Read on to learn how to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

Use “Grown Up” Words When Conversing With Your Child

Too many parents fall into the habit of talking to their child like they’re a baby. But, guess what, the more you talk down to your child, the less likely they are to develop a strong vocabulary.

Of course, you want your child to understand what you are saying. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle in a few “grown-up words” into your conversations.

From now on, when you speak to your child, use some words that you would use in a conversation with an adult. After you use a big word, be sure to pause and see if your child needs clarification.

The more you use grown-up words in your conversations, the stronger their vocabulary will become.

Slow and Steady

When introducing new vocabulary to your child, slow and steady wins the race.

If you try to introduce them to 20 new words a day, they are never going to remember them. Instead, focus on helping them learn around 5 new words per week.

Or, you can think of it as one word a day for each weekday, and then the weekend can serve as a “review” time for their new words.

Multiple Exposure

It is also important to note that your child will need to hear a word more than one time in order to remember it.

In general, a child will need to hear a new word 4 to 12 times before they can add it to their vocabulary.

Therefore, when you teach your child a new word, make a mental note and try to incorporate the word into conversation throughout the week. And, make sure you aren’t the only one saying the word to them.

If there are other family members in your household, encourage them to use this new word around your child as well.

Reading, Reading, and Reading

It should come as no surprise that reading is the best way to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

As often as you can, read books with your child. When your child comes to a word that they don’t know, give them a definition of it that they will understand, and then move on.

It’s important to avoid having a big pause over the word, as this will disrupt the flow of their reading, and it can make a fun activity feel like a chore. So, continue on with the story and them come back to the word at the end.

If your child is too young to read full stories, start by reading aloud to them. This can be just as effective in helping them develop their vocabulary.

Also, it is very important that you allow your child to choose the books you read together. Learning new words will be most effective if the child has an interest in the topic. Plus, allowing your child to choose their own books will help them develop a love for reading that they can carry through their whole life.

That being said, you should also encourage your child to pick out books that are challenging for them. Picking books that are slightly above their reading level will make for more opportunities to learn new words.

And lastly, make sure you interact with your child when you read together. Don’t simply read the story and be done with it. In order to make reading a more interactive experience and make sure they comprehend the story you can:

  • Ask your child about the pictures on the page
  • Allow your child to turn the pages
  • Ask them what they thought of the story when you’re done reading it
  • Try to connect the story to their own life
  • Ask the child questions about the different characters

By reading every day, you will help your child take their vocabulary to new levels.

Play Games

Playing games is one of the best (and most fun) ways to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

Word games you can play with your child include:

  • Scrabble
  • Bananagrams
  • Boggle
  • Hangman
  • Apples to Apples
  • Word Stack

You can also print off crossword puzzles and word finds on the internet for your child. There are even phone apps that can help your child learn new words.

Take Them to New Places

Taking your child to a new place gives you an excellent opportunity to expose them to new vocabulary words.

Every time you go to a new place, talk about what you see and what you experience. Discussing your new surroundings will help your child learn new words that they wouldn’t learn at home or at school.

Different places you can take your child to learn new words include zoos, museums, aquariums, parks, restaurants, and even grocery stores!

When you are in a new place, try to bring certain objects that they may be unfamiliar with to their attention in order to stimulate conversation.

Relate New Words to Known Words

When trying to teach your child new words, one of the best ways to help them learn is to relate the new word to a known word.

This way, they can make an association with the word in their brain that will help the word stick.

For example, let’s say your child knows the word fruit and they know the word apple. Knowing these words can help them learn other fruit-related words like grapes, peaches, or limes.

Or, let’s say your child knows the word mad. This can help them learn the word upset or angry.

Are You Ready to Help Your Child Develop a Strong Vocabulary?

As you can see, there are many fun and easy ways to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

If you have any questions about the techniques listed in this article, please let us know in the comments below.

And, if your child has a language disorder, click here to learn how online speech therapy can help improve their vocabulary.

online speech therapy contact us button