Childhood Reading Problems
When children have difficulty reading, parents often think
poor vision is the problem. If a visit to an ophthalmologist rules out any
medical or vision problems, it may be a learning disability.
A learning disability is a disparity between a person's
ability and performance in a certain area. It has nothing to do with
intelligence or IQ. A learning disability can make it difficult to succeed in
school and, if untreated, gets worse, causing a child to lose self-confidence
and interest in school.
Identifying the learning disability is the first step in
treating it. Dyslexia, a reading disability that may involve reversing letters
and words, is one of the many learning disorders that can affect reading.
Exercises have been used to improve the coordination or
focusing of the eyes. Since poor reading is not usually an eye problem, these
exercises rarely prove helpful. Colored lenses, special diets or vitamins,
jumping on trampolines, or walking on balance beams have also been prescribed
without much success. Over time, these methods have tended to fall out of
Children with learning disabilities benefit from various
educational programs, in or out of school. Parents also play a vital role. They
can support their children by reading with them at home. Children with learning
disabilities need to be encouraged to develop strengths and interests so they
can fully develop their unique talents and abilities.