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Patterns of the 8 Causes of Reading Difficulty

Reading is a neurological process. What goes wrong in the process for each dyslexic? That is effectively the question we need to ask, in order to find a solution for each dyslexic.

We routinely see the patterns of 8 different underlying causes of difficulty. See if at least one of these sets of patterns is familiar:

Sight-Reading Strategies / Optilexia Patterns:

  • Lots of guessing, particularly with the short words
  • Can read a word on one page, but not the next
  • Transposes one word for another word with the same first letter
  • Atrocious spelling
  • Poor comprehension
  • Very weak decoding ability with unfamiliar words

More Information: Sight-Reading/Optilexia

Eye-Tracking Weakness Patterns:

  • Skips words or whole lines of text
  • Gets word endings wrong
  • Worse at reading when tired or towards the end of the day
  • Feels overwhelmed by a full page of text
  • Is better with large fonts
  • Reads better with a finger on the page

More Information:Eye-Tracking Weakness

Contrast Sensitivity Patterns:

  • Complains of the text moving around on the page
  • Lots of rubbing of the eyes or watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to bright lights and strong contrasts

More Information:Contrast Sensitivity

Short-Term Memory Weakness Patterns:

  • Finds decoding long words particularly hard
  • Finds it hard to follow the meaning of a sentence
  • Tends to find remembering things in the short-term very hard
  • Cannot recall a string of more then 3 or 4 digits

More Information: Short-Term Memory Weakness

Attention Weakness Patterns:

  • Has real difficulty remaining focused on the task
  • Lots of fidgeting and general mobility
  • Reacts to any potential distraction
  • Can perform similar tasks well when truly engaged

More Information:Attention Weakness

Stress Sensitivity Patterns:

  • Often starts OK but shows quick deterioration of performance
  • Reacts poorly to critical comments
  • Reading sessions end in tears, rantrums or sullen silence
  • Can read proficiently with one person, but not another
  • Performs far worse in a test scenario than home reading

More Information:Stress Sensitivity

Rapid-Word-Recognition Weakness Patterns:

  • Can decode OK, but never becomes fluent
  • Decoding just gets faster and faster

More Information:Rapid Word Recognition Weakness

Auditory Processing Weakness Patterns:

  • Great difficulty decoding and blending words
  • Difficulty hearing or distinguishing the sounds within words
  • Weak speech patterns

More Information:Auditory Processing Weakness

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