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Learning Disabilities

Reading Strategies

family with bookSome of the following suggestions and strategies may help children who are experiencing problems with decoding, comprehension, or reading retention. Many of those listed are accommodations that work around a child’s differences by offering alternative approaches at home and at school. Look for those that you think might work best and, when applicable, talk to your child’s teacher about using some of them in class.

  • Play word games.
  • Word games and puzzles are fun and also build vocabulary and word understanding. Try crossword puzzles, word bingo, Scrabble®, or Boggle®.

  • Read aloud every day.
  • Encourage children to read directions, labels, and signs in the classroom, at home, in the car, and at stores or shops, and have them take turns reading aloud with a classmate, parent, or sibling. Discuss in class or at home what you are reading.

  • Model reading as an enjoyable activity.
  • You might informally discuss what you are reading with your child or let him or her see family members or teachers enjoying reading. Have DEAR time several times a week where everyone “Drops Everything And Reads” for 20 minutes.

  • Put learning to use.
  • Help children remember by having them explain, discuss, or apply information they have just read, letting them “teach” you facts or ideas they have learned from their reading, or encouraging them to act out characters from their reading selections.

  • Listen to books.
  • Your child may benefit from listening to his or her textbooks and trade books on tape or by using assistive technologies like screen readers.

  • Read to your child every night.
  • Read novels above his or her reading level to stimulate and enrich language, creativity, and interest. Ask structured questions and encourage your child to predict multiple endings to each chapter.

  • Engage children’s senses while learning.
  • Children with learning disabilities learn best when they use many of their senses to get information. Multi-sensory instruction allows the child to see, hear, touch, and act out words. For example, to learn letters children may read the printed letter, say the letter name, shape the letter out of clay, trace the letter onto paper, and form their bodies into the shape of the letter.

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