7 Signs of Reading Comprehension Problems in Children and Adults

7 Signs of Reading Comprehension Problems in Children and Adults

Reading comprehension problems are lifelong issues that can truly hurt anyone’s learning process.

These problems can take many different forms, from ADHD to dyslexia. But, people with these learning issues typically show some of the same signs. It’s important to look out for these signs as an indicator of a comprehension problem.

If you believe that someone in your life is suffering from comprehension problems, there are always ways to recover. But, the first step to any recovery process is identifying that the problem actually exists. You can also schedule a free introductory call to get matched with a speech language therapist on our team who is experienced in supporting and improving reading comprehension. 

Here are 7 signs of reading comprehension problems that anyone, from adults to children, might show.

1. Showing No Interest In Reading

Avoiding reading and writing is one of the most basic signs of a reading comprehension issue.

Much of this avoidance actually stems from a lack of self-confidence within individuals that actually have a problem. These problems make reading and writing difficult and frustrating, to the point where people avoid them altogether.

One easy way to notice these issues among younger children usually comes with assigned reading.

As part of their school tasks, children may be required to read for a certain amount of time each day. If your child struggles to reach that mark on a consistent basis, this may be a sign that they are avoiding reading because of their struggles.

2. Difficulty Following Basic Directions

While following directions does not necessarily need to be a reading comprehension issue, it is a sign of comprehension problems in general.

For example, your child or family member may easily be able to understand and follow along with “go to the car”. But, when the instructions become, “Go to the car and grab me a water bottle” they may not follow all the directions.

This difficulty in following directions may be caused by what their brain perceives as an “overload” of information to process.

It may seem like the information goes in one ear and out the other. But, the problem really it is an inability to focus on all the information that is manifesting itself as a lack of attention.

3. Difficulty Pronouncing or Recognizing Words

One way that reading comprehension problems manifest themselves is as a difficulty when reading aloud.

This usually happens because people with these issues have a hard time understanding when reading. So, it is even more difficult for them to project these words out to a crowd or when delivering a message.

These signs may be detected when you hear someone reading a news story aloud.

You may notice that they take a very long time to read it, or that they may slip up on many common words. You might also see them struggle to convey the message in the way that it was meant to be read or conveyed.

4. Issues Understanding What Was Read

At its base, reading comprehension is an ability to understand what you are reading.

For example, if I describe a blue house to you, you can visually picture this house. People with reading comprehension often have a difficult time processing and understanding what they are actually reading and conveying it back in other ways.

One clear example of a problem with reading comprehension is not scoring well on a reading comprehension assessment.

Another example may be a difficulty understanding exactly what a corporate email is trying to say and following the directions or processing the details in this email. At Great Speech, we help improve a wide range of speech and language challenges including reading comprehension. Schedule a free introductory call to get started in your customized program today.

5. Taking Long to Solve Basic Tasks

Another sign of reading comprehension problems is an inability to complete basic tasks.

This is especially true when the instructions are something that is written. For example, if you find that a loved one has a hard time taking IKEA instructions on how to build a chair and putting them into proper action, this may be a sign of reading comprehension issues.

This issue is especially pronounced if the person you are looking after makes many mistakes in the process, especially things that may seem silly to mess up on. This may be caused by a difficulty understanding the instructions due to their comprehension problems.

6. Poor Penmanship

Dysgraphia is a disorder that makes it so that the person who suffers from it has very bad handwriting.

While some people simply seem to have bad handwriting, dysgraphia is special because it can be directly connected to other learning disabilities, especially those that impact the comprehension of words and letters.

Dysgraphia usually happens because patients have a difficult time writing and thinking at the same time. This is because of their learning disability, such as dyslexia, that makes it so that they need to focus more attention on what they are writing.

This leads to a lack of attention on the quality of the handwriting, which leads to significantly worse writing quality.

7. Family History of Reading Comprehension Problems

Unfortunately, one of the biggest telltale signs of reading comprehension problems is if there is a history of it in the family.

Most of these issues are passed down over generations and can even become more pronounced in the family over time. If you have a reading comprehension issue, it is fully possible that your child will too.

On the other hand, if you are noticing any of these signs in yourself, you should try to notice if your parents also showed signs of these disabilities. This may be a family problem that you should try to be prepared for and tackle as soon as possible.

Recovering From Reading Comprehension Problems

Though reading comprehension problems can be a difficult disorder to cope with, there are some good strategies out there that will help make them livable. In fact, working with professionals can often make these problems almost completely disappear or irrelevant.

If you’ve tried everything yet you or your loved one’s reading comprehension still doesn’t appear to be improving, help is here. Reach out to us here at Great Speech. We’ll help you identify your unique needs and goals, and put together an effective virtual speech therapy plan. Schedule your free introductory call today to get answers to all your questions regarding reading comprehension, and begin your program right away.

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