Misconseptions About Reading

There are some common misconceptions about reading that are widely shared.  They include

  • All problems seeing print can be corrected with glasses
  • Black print on a white background is the best contrast for reading.
  • Everyone can easily read for an hour or longer.
  • Everyone can see groups of words clearly.
  • Everyone sees letters, words and numbers the same way
  • Good reading skills are all that are needed to read
  • Letters and words are always seen as having spaces between them
  • People who can't read aren't trying.
  • The print always remains still and never moves.
  • Reading never gives people headaches or makes them sleepy
  • White paper always looks white
Making these assumptions, or believing these misconceptions can result in overlooking a perceptual problem.

Things parents and educators can do to help

It is a good idea to look for patterns in the way your child approaches reading and how soon after beginning reading he wants to stop. In some cases, students and young children will know that after ten or fifteen minutes ,their eyes or head will start to hurt, and if they continue, they will get headaches or the words will become hard to see so they will start looking up or away from the page, need a snack, want to take a break or find some reason to stop reading. If this is a consistent pattern, consider it a red flag.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

Reading behaviour

Does your child

  • avoid reading?
  • dislike reading?
  • prefer reading under dim lights?
  • have difficulty understanding what he is reading?

When reading out loud, does your child

  • read word by word, or even by parts of a word, if the word is a long one?
  • read slowly and with hesitation?
  • misread words, skip words or reread words and lines?
  • confuse letters that look similar?

While reading, does your child complain that

  • the print seems to more or even disappear?
  • the print is fuzzy or blurry?
  • the page seems too bright or glary?
  • he has headaches, sore or watery eyes

Body Language

Does your child

  • move around trying to find a comfortable position?
  • shade eyes to help eliminate glare?
  • move her head across the page as she reads?
  • use a finger to mark his place on the page?
  • vary his distance from page?
  • become sleepy while reading?
  • become restless and loose concentration?
  • have a short attention span and take frequent breaks?

Written work

Do you see

  • an inability to write on the line-writing uphill and downhill?
  • unequal spacing?
  • errors in copying?
  • inconsistent spelling of the same word?
  • misaligned numbers in columns?

Gross motor skills

Does your child show

  • poor co-ordination?
  • problems with balance?
  • difficulty catching a ball?
  • difficulty judging distances?
  • poor depth perception?
  • problems using escalators and stairs?

Answering yes to one or more of these questions indicates that your child may be struggling to read because of Irlen Syndrome.

For an appointment please call 647-393-8047

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