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Reading Disorder

Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in Reading is a failure to develop age-appropriate reading skill despite adequate instruction. Reading disorder may include deficits in word reading accuracy, reading speed or fluency, or reading comprehension.

Reading disorder is distinguished from normal variations in academic attainment, and reading problems persist in the presence of adequate educational opportunity and instructional exposure. Reading disorder is also distinguished from reading problems that are due to other medical problems, like intellectual disability, neurological or sensory disorders, and neurocognitive disorders. Finally, though reading disorder commonly co-occurs with other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. ADHD, developmental coordination disorder, autistic spectrum disorder) and mental disorders (e.g. anxiety, depression), reading disorder is distinct from and not due to those disorders.

Dyslexia is a specific subtype of reading disorder that is characterized by poor word reading and spelling.

Signs of a reading disorder include:

  • Inaccurate reading
  • Slow reading
  • Frequently guessing words
  • Trouble sounding out words
  • Poor spelling
  • Difficulty understanding the meaning of what was read

Reading disorder may be mild enough that the individual is able to compensate or function well given appropriate accommodations or support services. In more severe cases, difficulties are so pronounced that the individual is unable to become proficient in core academic skills unless intensive and specialized teaching is provided in school and at home.

Regardless of severity, however, it is crucial that the reading disorder be addressed. Individuals with untreated learning disorders show negative consequences across the lifespan, including lower educational attainment, higher rates of unemployment and under-employment, and higher levels of psychological distress.

I am trained in evidence-based reading interventions, including Orton-Gillingham, and I match the treatment to the primary cognitive deficit that underlies each individual’s reading difficulty.