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Reading problems: how to train reading difficulties


The Aldu Support Center for Children and Adolescents explains today in the blog reading problems, the most frequent reading difficulties and how to work on reading problems

Aldu:  what do we do?

Aldu is a neuropsychological therapeutic center, where we treat and work on motor and developmental problems derived from the development of children and adolescents, as well as learning difficulties and problems derived from the academic environment. To this end, we have a complete group of professionals from different therapeutic fields to provide a comprehensive and complete response to these difficulties.

We start with a complete evaluation of all those areas that can influence development, with the aim of finding out where the problem is in order to adapt the therapy to the specific focus that generates these difficulties.

The importance of reading in the academic environment: children with reading problems

Reading is the cornerstone of learning, without a good development of the reading process it is difficult to obtain good academic results in the rest of the competencies. It affects most academic areas.

Learning to read is a continuous process that goes through different phases. We understand it as an obstacle course.

Phase 1: Pre-reading processes

In this obstacle course the exit is those processes previous to the reading, but necessary so that the learning of this one is carried out without impediments. Such as a good development of the processes related to motor development, the definition of laterality, the correct evolution of both vision and hearing, etc. In short, it is necessary to have a good basis for the reading skill to develop normally.

Phase 2: Phonological awareness

Following the simile of the race the second phase would be to develop a good phonological awareness. It is a previous condition to start the phonetic phase

Phase 3: Phonetics

In the phonetic phase the decoding process begins, this phase is definitive to achieve a quality reading. The process until reaching a good decoding is long but necessary, the better the decoding, the faster the reading.

Phase 4: Semantics

With the reading speed we would reach the goal of our race, where the reading is done in an automated way and where there are no obstacles for a good comprehension of the text we are reading. We call this phase the semantic phase.

There are many factors in the reading process necessary for a quality reading, and they are closely related. The better the decoding of a text, the higher the reading speed, and this fact improves comprehension. Because the cognitive processes in charge of this task focus on the semantic aspects of the text when the phonetics are carried out automatically.

A good reading, agile and of quality, substantially facilitates the study, since we invest less time in this task and comprehension is easier. It notably helps to smooth the way for learning.

Most frequent reading problems: when there are reading difficulties

One of the most frequent reading problems that we encounter in consultation is that of mastering reading, acquiring the necessary strategies for this skill is not always easy, the acquisition of a semantic quality reading involves a process that we represent as a continuum, with three different phases:

  • Pre-reading (phonological awareness)
  • Introduction to reading (letter recognition)
  • Reading (from the phonetic phase to reading automation or semantic phase).

Symptoms related to reading difficulty

In these phases, various symptoms may appear that are directly related to the reading process, such as difficulties in phonological awareness, in decoding, expression, reading accuracy, lack of speed, poor comprehension of texts, etc.

How to detect reading problems? Reading difficulty tests

But these are only symptoms of inherent problems that need to be located for a successful and effective intervention. As an initial step for an accurate diagnosis it is important to make a review of the information input pathways, vision and hearing, also assess the laterality or hemispheric dominance and motor development, as well as higher executive functions, cognitive flexibility, planning and organization, language etc. In addition, it is also important to evaluate the neurological bases necessary to achieve quality reading competence in all areas.

Once the relevant tests are done and the problem is located, we start with the therapy or training. To do this, it is necessary to work where necessary and on those parameters required to achieve the aforementioned reading competence.

Regardless of the traditional methods used in consultation to work on the process of improving reading, it is also necessary to work on those concepts related to reading that are important to master in order to achieve adequate reading, such as:

  • phonological awareness
  • a good decoding
  • work the expression
  • improve reading accuracy (error-free reading)
  • understanding of the material we are reading, as well as the interpretation, inference of the texts.

Benefits of training reading problems with NeuronUP

Since we started working with NeuronUP, the platform, a few months ago, this complex task has become much easier, since with its numerous activities we can stimulate those capacities that reading requires, such as visual acuity, letter localization, the process of phoneme repetition, expression, etc.

NeuronUP also promotes the reading and discrimination of both words and pseudo-words and helps create visual pathways necessary for optimal reading ability.

The process of acquiring a quality reading is complex and long in time. And when difficulties arise in achieving this goal, the process becomes even harder, so it is important to keep the child with high levels of motivation. In this sense, NeuronUP helps to achieve this, since all its activities are based on play and from a playful perspective, which hinders motivation and adherence to therapy.

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A child doing the NeuronUP activity “Copy the Letters”

Another important benefit of Neuronup is the possibility of working daily with all these components from home. This implies working from the security provided by the home and has the advantage of being able to train in reading every day. This aspect is of vital importance as it provides a repetitive pattern necessary to achieve automated reading.

NeuronUP offers levels of increasing difficulty, which makes it possible to program an adequate treatment to the level of each child and to progress with an individualized rhythm adapted to the circumstances and moments of each child. It is like making a tailor-made suit therapeutically speaking.

Working with NeuronUP also makes it possible to learn how to read with children who are behind in their development, as it offers a comfortable, easy and fun way to meet the world of letters.

The discovery of approaching reading in a different way

When we started working with NeuronUP we did not see the program as a therapeutic option to work on reading problems, but rather as a cognitive stimulation treatment for disorders of a more neurological nature.

When we learned about the program and its activities we observed that we could also approach the domain of reading, because NeuronUP has specific activities to work on the cognitive aspects inherent to reading, which could favor its improvement. During these months we have obtained very good results and we have managed to accelerate the process of reading automation for many children.

NeuronUP offers us another different and complete way to work on reading difficulties

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