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Possible Reasons for Problems With Reading

Updated on December 17, 2017
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Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

There comes a time in your child’s education that you realize that they are truly having trouble reading. They are not in the early learning stages. They should be further along, but they seem to be a grade or more behind. What could possibly be the problem?

It could be their eyesight. It could be something deeper. There are many reasons you need to check into. The following are a few to get you started on your search for a cause.

Eye Sight

Your eyes are used all the time. We need them every moment of everyday when we are not sleeping. They help us navigate our world. When they aren't working at full strength, every part of our lives are impacted.

Many times a child has trouble reading and performing well in school because they need glasses. It can be that simple. Though they should get regular exams each year at the pediatrician, taking them to an ophthalmologist is not a bad idea. If they need glasses, it is easy to correct and get them back on track for reading. If it not reading, then you have ruled that potential problem out.


This is a common learning disability that can really interfere in the education of your child. If this goes undetected, children can grow up unable to read and struggle in completing school.

They have trouble deciphering the words and letters on a page and connecting them to sounds and meaning. If your child is stumbling through their reading, talk with the teacher to see if a test can be run to see if dyslexia is the issue. If so, then their education can be adjusted to account for this.


Yes, hearing can affect reading. If the child is hearing incorrect sounds associated with letters and letter combinations, what he reads will be basically an entirely new language. It won’t hurt to take them to the doctor and have them run a simple test to see if the auditory system is working at full power.

My son had a hearing problem that impacted his speech. He would speak the way he heard us talk which was garbled, weird sounds. It impacted every part of his life including how he acted at home. He struggled with reading and tried to avoid it all costs.


The subject could be the problem. Maybe there has not been a book chosen that interests them at all. Give them a book n their favorite topic and see if that makes a difference. Children today have to be interested in what they are reading. If they aren't, they'll ignore it or mess around until you just give up. There are dozens of things vying for their attention.

If they like sports, find a sports magazine. If they like animals, there are many magazines that talk about them. Whatever their interests, you will probably find a magazine on it. Crafts, fishing, travel, and even history are just a few of the topics magazines publish on.


Unfortunately, your child could be struggling because of their teacher. There are thousands of excellent and gifted teachers, but a few do not always click with a student. Explore that possibility. If it is the teacher, see about changing classrooms, schools, or even homeschooling.

Not every teacher clicks with every student. Their teaching methods might not be how your child learns. I remember some really great teachers who inspired me and others who did nothing for my learning.

If you are already homeschooling and struggle, it still might be you. But don't take it negatively. Your ways are not always the ones that get through. Find online help to connect with your child and encourage reading. If your teaching methods are not the key, adjust them. True learning is for the student and the teacher.

Need for Mentors

A mentor might be what your child needs. Their world is full of electronic influence. Who do they see actually reading? In today's world, that might not a large number if any.

Start with those in your house. Do you read? If you say you do but mainly ebooks, stop it for a bit. Pick up a real book and read it where your child can see you. Don't force it. Just let them see you doing it. Then talk about your ebooks when you have their attention. Get others in your house reading. It can be newspapers, magazines, or books. Just read. Kids want to be included in what people are doing. Let reading be what you are doing.

Don’t just assume that things will right themselves. Be proactive and correct whatever issue is preventing your child from enjoying the wonders between book covers.


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