Resources for readers who struggle

There are many reasons why some people struggle with reading. Some have been diagnosed with learning disabilities or dyslexia. Some have trouble with comprehension or decoding. And some just haven't had the time or the intervention they need to keep up with classmates and instruction levels. No matter what the cause, when our children struggle with reading it can be difficult for both them and for us. There are many resources available to help, though. Keep reading to learn more about struggling readers and some common misconceptions about reading challenges. For some tips for parents and family members from reading expert Dawan Coombs, click here. For community resources, click here

Dawan Coombs, reading expert and assistant professor of English at BYU recently spoke with EveryDay Learners about common misconceptions people have about struggling readers and ways that we can better support them. Here's what you should know:

  • “Struggling readers come from every demographic. There are kids in every school whose parents have done everything ‘right’, but who still struggle.”
  • “Just because a child or adult struggles with reading, it doesn’t mean he isn’t smart. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite.”
  • “It’s important to keep the big picture in mind. It can be overwhelming, frustrating, and very discouraging working through day-to-day challenges and not seeing quick results. However, your efforts are making a difference. When the successes come, celebrate them.”
  • “There are really successful people in almost every field who have had or still have difficulties reading. Just because your child struggles with reading doesn’t mean that she can’t do what she wants to professionally; she might take a little longer to do it or she may do it differently, but she can still be successful.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to share your experiences because that can help others.”
  • “Learning to read well changes the way struggling readers see themselves. It can shift their perception of their own potential. It opens up possibilities in terms of careers, life opportunities, and futures.”

To read more from Coombs in our Daily Herald column, click here.