The 9 Main Causes of Reading Difficulty

Take a free assessment to pinpoint what is causing your child’s reading difficulty.

Have you seen a child guessing easy, short words, rather than reading them? Yes, so have we… all the time!

Over the last ten years we have helped thousands of children to read with trainertext visual phonics through the online Easyread system. They were all struggling readers with different issues causing their difficulty. They all learned to read with the right help, often very quickly despite years of frustration.

Print out our free symptoms checklist to run a quick assessment on your learner. Then refer to the main patterns below for resolving each difficulty. Or, for more detail, you can buy our book, linked at the bottom of this page.

The 9 Main Patterns:

1. Guessing short words and poor spelling

Bright, visual learners are often in this group. It can be very quick to fix. Read more…

2. Skipping words and lines of text

Some children will skip words or lines, lose their place and complain of fatigue when reading. The right eye exercises can fix this in days. Read more…

3. Complaining of the words moving on the page

If your eyes are sensitive to contrasts you may find reading black text on a white background challenging. There is a simple solution to this too. Read more…

4. Rising frustration and/or tantrums

Stress patterns can cause reading difficulty. Look for meltdowns when reading, reading refusal, or avoidance tactics. Read more…

5. Struggling to decode long words

If a child struggles to remember 3 instructions, and has difficulty blending slightly longer words, then a slightly below-average working memory could be to blame. Read more…

6. Struggling to blend sounds into words

Blending difficulty, even with short words and after practice, is the hallmark of a weakness in how the brain processes sound. Read more…

7. Struggling to keep focused

This is a tricky one because difficulty to focus on the task is often labelled as attention deficit, when the real cause is eye tracking weakness or contrast sensitivity. But clearly some children do also have forms of ADD and ADHD. Read more…

8. Decoding accurately but without fluency

Another very rare cause, fluency block is a pattern of being stuck decoding every word, without moving on to fluent reading of words and sentences. Read more…

9. Decoding accurately, but with poor comprehension

The rarest of all, this issue shows up when a child can read by decoding (rather than guessing) but has very little comprehension. Read more…

Looking for more information? Buy the book!

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