Reading and Writing Difficulties

Learning to read and write is a complex process requiring explicit teaching, and is different to learning to talk which is a natural phenomenon. Children who have difficulty learning to read or write are highly likely to have underlying difficulties with hearing the sounds or words of spoken language and representing these sounds using letters. Untreated, reading and writing difficulties can have significant impacts on a child’s ability to access school curricula, and achieve academic success.

Difficulties with reading and writing in children in preschool-Year 3 may present as:

  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines
  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
  • Slow to learn new skills

For older children and adolescents, reading difficulties may present as:

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislike of reading and writing; avoidance of reading aloud
  • Spelling the same word differently in a single document
  • Poor organisational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganised)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Poor handwriting

Speech pathologists have expert insight into oral language and speech and can provide a comprehensive language and literacy assessment beneficial for identifying potential reading and writing difficulties. Following these assessments they can provide evidence-based, individualised therapy to address these problems.

The following practitioners at CPMG can be of service in helping determine the cause of reading and writing difficulties in children and adolescents: