Difficulties with Reading What mystifies many parents is where and why the reading process breaks down. Although, problems may occur in any area, decoding, comprehension, or retention, the root of most reading problems, in the view of many experts, is decoding. Reading difficulties are neurodevelopmental in nature. Most children the problems of children with learning difficulties reading difficulties can be taught reading and strategies for success in school.
When children’s reading problems are identified early, they are more likely to learn strategies that will raise their reading to grade level. Decoding Difficulties Decoding is the process by which a word is broken into individual phonemes and recognized based on those phonemes. For instance, proficient decoders separate the sounds “buh,” “aah,” and “guh” in the word “bag. Someone who has difficulty decoding, and thus difficulty reading easily, may not hear and differentiate these phonemes.
Buh,” “aah,” and “guh” might be meaningless to them in relation to the word “bag” on the page. Experts have no one explanation for this phenomenon. In some cases, it may reflect that some people simply require more time to separate sounds — time that isn’t there. Because their efforts to grasp individual words are so exhausting, they have no resources left for understanding. Retention Difficulties Retention requires both decoding and comprehending what is written. This task relies on high level cognitive skills, including memory and the ability to group and retrieve related ideas.
As students progress through grade levels, they are expected to retain more and more of what they read. From third grade on, reading to learn is central to classroom work. By high school it is an essential task. Contrary to popular misconception, dyslexia is not characterized by letter or word reversal.