Reading Problems

We first noticed a problem when our child entered school and was unable to begin reading. The teachers kept telling us that everyone reads at a different speed, and she would eventually catch up. After three years, we've not caught up. We are currently going through Visual Therapy, but the school still does not recognize this as a medical problem.

Has anyone else dealt with this? Is it possible that our child may need a "reader" to get through school, and if so, how do you convince the school. She has good comprehension when read to.


I am so glad you wrote, because Language Processing Disorders come in many forms and your child needs an evaluation, as soon as possible. I am glad to hear your daughter is involved in Visual Therapy, which may help, but she will probably still need remediation to help her catch up.

You wrote to this Sensory Processing Disorder web site and I am happy you did, because even though your daughter may not have Sensory Processing Disorder, specifically, all processing and regulation type disorders fall under this broad heading, and YES, a high percentage of our children do have some level of Language Processing Disorder as well.

Please do check into the signs, signal and symptoms of Dyslexia. You will find the term Dyslexia is viewed as a more encompassing disorder than in years gone by. The term "Dys - Lexia" actually means: difficult or impaired - word. And now does include Language in all forms. The Language of Reading, the language of Writing, the language of Seeing the written word, and the language of Hearing the spoken word, etc. To learn more, go to:

Visual Processing can be a part of dyslexia, but is not the whole picture. You will need to have her evaluated by a person trained to test specifically for Language Based Processing Disorders/Dyslexia. You can ask

through your public school, although they may balk. Your best bet may be to have this testing done in a private clinic, possibly with a Speech/Language therapist, then if it is true, take these results back to the school and ask for an IEP meeting to create a plan that includes an Orton-Gillingham based Reading Program for your daughter. She will need a multisensory approach. The best on the market right now I believe, and actually use with my own boy is Susan Barton's Reading Program. Absolutely terrific. Other than that, any Orton-Gillingham based program will be better than anything she has had in a public school, thus far.

At this point, and her young age, there is every reason to believe that your daughter, once diagnosed and treated with an appropriate program, can learn strategies to read and be very successful. May not be her strongest gift : ) but she can learn and improve more now, than ever before in our history with the research that has been accomplished these past few decades. The doors of opportunities and possibilities are opening for these kids.

In the meantime, there are school accommodations that should be made available to her, you will find on the Bright Solutions web site listed above.

Oh and one last thought? The same dysfunction in her left frontal lobe hemisphere that is causing her reading difficulty, is a strength in her right hemisphere, in other memory and creative centers of her brain. She needs to learn to read by a different route, simply put. And...many, many of these children are gifted in one or more area. As you find treatment and see her beginning to improve, do us a favor? And look for the gifts! You might want to read a bit more about what could be her unique learning styles here: Learning Styles of the Left and Right Hemispheres.

Good Luck!

Michelle Morris
Administrator, SPD International

Comments for Reading Problems

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 03, 2009
I understand!!
by: Anonymous

My sweet son has just started third grade. He reads at a BEGINNING first grade level. The school doesn't want to accommodate or recognize that he has a BIG problem. We are in the second week of school and he already cries when it's a school day. He gets so nervous at school he has become a selective mute. He won't say anything in front of the class!

The teacher doesn't understand why he won't ask for help and why he can't write cursive.... I have had him in OT and PT since he was 3. He spends a large chunk of his day at school with the OT/PT/Speech Path. but the regular classroom teacher doesn't want to modify or accommodate. Special Education won't recognize SPD as a valid diagnosis to qualify for services under Other Health Impaired.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to The SPD Q & A.