Recognize Early Signs of Trouble

For almost 40 percent of kids, learning to read is a challenge. So in addition to talking, reading, and writing with their child, families play another important role — being on the lookout for early signs of possible trouble.

Language or speech problems

Children who talk late, who say very few words, who have trouble pronouncing words, or who have difficulty expressing feelings verbally may have trouble learning to read.

Hearing impairment

Children who have difficulty hearing the individual sounds in words may have trouble understanding how those sounds connect with letters in written words.

Other warning signs

Kids who might have trouble learning to read also may show some of these early warning signs:

  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Difficulty learning the alphabet, numbers, or days of the week
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions
  • Difficulty telling or re-telling a story

See also: Get Ready to Read! — a quick screening tool for parents and caregivers of four-year-olds

Reading Rockets (2009)


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"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. " — Neil Gaiman