Difficulty with short words tends to be a very common symptom of dyslexia. A student with dyslexia may be reading a paragraph fairly well, only to stumble when they approach a short word like “for”. Why is this? There are many mysteries about the dyslexic mind that researchers are still trying to solve, and this is one of them.
If your child struggles with short words, it is important to keep certain things in mind. First of all, struggling with short words is a normal, and very common, symptom of dyslexia, and not an issue of a student with dyslexia being “lazy”. Additionally, difficulty with short words should not be taken as evidence that a dyslexic student is regressing; even dyslexic students who have reached a very advanced level in reading still struggle with short words from time to time.
What is the best way to handle this issue with your dyslexic child? First of all, two of the best things that you can provide are patience and support. If your child stumbles on a short word, or simply freezes when they come to one, remind them to use the decoding knowledge that they are gaining during dyslexia tutoring. For example, if they are struggling with the word “for”, ask them to tell you what the “f” says. Once they tell you that, ask them to tell you what “or” says. Then you can have them put both sounds together to create the word. This may seem very basic, but by reminding them to use the proper skills and avoid bad reading habits, you will be helping them pave the way for more progress.
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