Dyslexia and other learning differences:
If all the reading issues and/or methods we’ve discussed in our previous posts in this series (see links at the end of this post) don’t seem to be working, it is possible that your child (or yourself or another adult in the family) who “hates reading” does have a “learning difference” (aka “learning disability”) such as dyslexia.
In the past 40 to 50 years, huge progress has been made in developing methods that help people to learn to read, using alternative approaches that work with individual learning styles and challenges. You can access diagnosis and help through school programs (though sometimes this involves quite long waiting times) or from private professionals such as child psychologists (though costly, this is an important investment, and be sure to check any “medical insurance” coverage your employer or other insurance provider offers. There are insurances that do cover this kind of testing, and you may not even realise you have this coverage. Check it out!).
You can also get help from community groups and from college students who are learning these skills and are looking for youngsters (or adults) to practice with, and from private tutors. Teachers are often available at lunch time or before and after school to provide extra help.
There are also lots of practical books and online materials available, and parents can get great ideas with a little research.
Finally, consider, as a parent, getting some tutoring from a qualified tutor on how to help your child read, and then use what you’ve learned to work with your children (or even with other adults in your family). Some schools and/or college extended learning programs also offer workshops on these topics. Or, of course, you can sign up your child to get tutoring directly from a tutor with training and experience in dealing with dyslexia and other learning differences; you might also ask to “sit in” on some of the tutoring sessions so you can learn how to continue to work with your child at home between lessons.
Do you have tips or anecdotes related to encouraging non-readers to become avid readers? We’d love to have you share them in the comments! Thank you!
Check out all the posts in this series, “When Children–and Adults Too–Hate Reading”:
Model Reading and Read Aloud
Distractions and Health Issues
Negative Influences and Reading as a Chore
Poor Methods of Teaching Reading
Lack of Reading Materials and Negative Attitudes
Dyslexia and Other Learning Differences
Practical Tips to Encourage Reading