Dyslexia and Improving Reading Comprehension

For children, teens and adults with dyslexia, reading comprehension can be a big struggle. Even after a a student with dyslexia has made progress with reading, through a dyslexia tutoring and dyslexia treatment program, these difficulties with reading comprehension can still persist. So, how do we help an individual with dyslexia improve their reading comprehension?

One of the best ways to help a child with dyslexia improve their reading comprehension is to help them improve their reading accuracy. Lack of reading accuracy is a commmon symptom of dyslexia, and it results in poor reading comprehension. The best way to help a child with dyslexia improve their reading accuracy is to enroll them in a dyslexia tutoring or dyslexia treatment program that uses a phonics-based method, such as the Orton-Gillingham Method. Experienced dyslexia tutors are skilled at helping children with dyslexia improve their reading accuracy.

Another way to help a child with dyslexia improve their reading comprehension is to help them improve their vocabulary. Due to the reading difficulties that dyslexia can cause, children with dyslexia often do not develop a core of necessary vocabulary like other children do, simply because reading is so problematic for them. For this reason, many dyslexia tutoring and treatment programs incorporate work on vocabulary into their dyslexia tutoring, just as we do in our online dyslexia tutoring program. Dyslexia tutors are skilled at incorporating vocabulary work into reading, spelling and reading comprehension activities. There are also many enjoyable ways to work on vocabulary at home. You can have your child work on learning one new word per day. Then, challenge them to use this word a few times in real situations! This provides great reinforcement and also helps the child get a feel for the exact definition. It can also lead to some pretty humorous attempts to use the new words! You can also find a variety of games, calendars and exercises that help teach new vocabulary.

Teaching a student with dyslexia to read for content is also very important. For many students with dyslexia, decoding words can be so difficult that they get in the habit of ignoring content completely. This issue can even persist after a student has made progress through dyslexia tutoring and treatment. The reason for this is that they have gotten in the habit of ignoring content, because decoding words was so difficult for them. One way to help them break this habit is to have them read aloud and stop them regularly. When you stop them, ask them for information about what they just read. What was the main point? What information did they learn? If they are not sure, you can have them go back and find the information in the section that they just read. This will help them develop the habit of looking for content. Another strategy is to have them stop at the end of each paragraph and summarize the paragraph in their own words. This assures that they are internalizing the material and can reproduce the information without simply reading it back to you. If it is too difficult to do this with a full paragraph, you can have them do this after one or two sentences, until they become more comfortable with reading for content.

These are tips that can help a child, teenager or adult improve their reading comprehension.

6 thoughts on “Dyslexia and Improving Reading Comprehension”

  1. My school district is exiting my daughter midway through the Wilson dyslexia, due to above average and a average test scores. They believe that she is ready to exit but still has problems with reading comprehension. Her IEP is now rewritten with reading comprehension help, but she will no longer receive Wilson for dyslexia. Will she have a problem mastering reading comprehension without completing the entire Wilson program?

    1. Dyslexia Connect

      Hi, Jen. That’s a great question. It may depend on your daughter’s current level in Wilson, as well as her reading fluency.

      We offer a free trial session, if you are interested. We provide a trial session report afterwards that may answer your question. If you would like to sign up for a trial, you can use any of the “Free Trial” buttons on our site. Have a great day!

  2. My daughter is a voracious reader. She LOVES reading and was alway above grade level in reading, but she re-reads books constantly and is lagging in comprehension in her school English course. She’s not failing, but receives C’s and B’s. She now has a D in history. There is dyslexia in my husbands side of the family. Is there any chance she could have dyslexia, or does her love of reading (at grade level) preclude her from having it?

    1. Hi, Lori,

      Thanks for your question! Yes, it is possible that your daughter has dyslexia. Some students with dyslexia developing coping mechanisms that they use for reading that make their dyslexia more difficult for parents to detect. However, those students often reach a point when they start to struggle with reading comprehension, due to difficulties with reading accuracy (related to dyslexia). We would need to work with your daughter to verify that this is the case, but it is a possibility.

      If you are interested, we offer a free trial session with no obligation. Once it is complete, we send a report with information about the areas a student is struggling in. You can sign up for that here on our site, if you would like to.

      Have a great day!

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