Home Test to Identify Reading Problems

child-reading-book-in-the-libraryImagine not being able to read. Your academic career would not venture further than high school, seriously hampering your chances of ever working your way up in the world. You could never apply for a job without assistance, being incapable of filling in an application form. You couldn’t email your friends, read for pleasure or read road signs and maps on long journeys. In essence, you would be severely disabled in a reading world.

Unfortunately, reading problems are a reality for at least one in five children. These children, who understand the spoken word and love to listen to stories, struggle to decipher the same words when they are written on a page. They read slowly and haltingly, and words that they read correctly in one sentence may be misread in a subsequent sentence. Reading aloud may be particularly painful. Eventually they grow frustrated and disappointed.

Fortunately, identifying a reading problem is relatively easy, and help is at hand. If you suspect your child has a reading problem, do the following reading test with him:

Ask the child to read aloud a few pages from his school reader. Select passages that your child has not read before. Measure the time it takes and watch out for any of the pointers mentioned below. Afterwards, ask the child a few simple questions on the passage, to test if he was able to comprehend what was read.

Pointers to reading problems:

  1. Does he reverse letters like b and d when reading, or does he sometimes read words like rat for tar or won for now?
  2. Does he invert letters, reading n as u, m as w, d as q, p as b, f as t?
  3. Does he put letters in the wrong order, reading felt as left, act as cat, reserve as reverse, expect as except?
  4. Does he omit letters, reading words like cat for cart, wet for went, sing for string?
  5. Does he misread little words, such as a for , the for a, from for for, then for there, were for with?
  6. Does he add words that aren’t in the sentence?
  7. Does he read slowly and hesitantly?The following are the number of words per minute (WPM) learners should be able to read correctly at the end of each year:.
    • Grade 1: 60 WPM
    • Grade 2: 90 WPM
    • Grade 3: 115 WPM
    • Grade 4: 125 WPM
    • Grade 5: 135 WPM
    • Grade 6: 140 WPM
    • Grade 7: 150 WPM
  8. Does he ever lose his place?
  9. Does he make good use of punctuation?
  10. How good is his comprehension?

If your answer is negative to the first eight questions, positive to the ninth question and he could answer all the questions correctly, indicating a good comprehension, you can presume that he does not have a reading problem.

Edublox clinics specialise in cognitive training that makes learners smarter, and help them learn and read faster, easier, and better. The classes address:
  • Concentration: Focused and sustained attention.
  • Perceptual skills: Visual and auditory foreground-background differentiation; visual and auditory discrimination, synthesis and analysis; form discrimination; spatial relations.
  • Memory: Visual, auditory, sequential, iconic, short-term, long-term and working memory.
  • Logical thinking: Deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • Reading, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension.


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