Reading Difficulty - Tips and Strategies for Parents.

Reading difficulty can occur even when your child is reading a familiar book.

When your child is reading a storybook they may miscue a word without realising their error. Quite often the child will plough ahead not realising that the miscued word can substantially alter the meaning of the passage.

For example, in the text 'the sun shone for a moment...' could be miscued as 'the sun shook for a monkey...'(I heard a student miscue like this recently!)

As we can see from the above example 'the sun shook for a monkey' makes no real sense and is not related to the author's intended meaning.

When this occurs, it's necessary to return to the miscued word and see if your child can decode and understand the word independently. If the child has difficulty decoding the word it may be best to intervene.

A useful intervention technique is to restate the sentence and place the miscued word in context, and demonstrate that the word 'shook' makes little sense in the context of 'the sun shook for a moment.'

For example...

Parent: 'Let's have another look at these words,"shook" and "monkey."The sun shook," doesn't sound right to me. Instead try, "The sun sh..."(cloze procedure)

Child: 'The sun shone.'

If your child continues to have trouble identifying the miscued word then reveal what the word is i.e. 'shone.' Trace your finger over the word and slowly sound it out. Also, look up the word in a dictionary, explain its meaning, then move on to the next word.


DeKemel, K.P. (2003) Intervention in Language Arts: A Practical Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Wallach, G.P. (2008) Language Intervention for School-Age Students: Setting Goals for Academic Success. Mosby Elsevier

Content Last Updated 8/11

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