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Reading Programs & Resources for Dyslexia & Struggling Readers 
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Reading Programs & Resources for Dyslexia & Struggling Readers
Reading Programs & Resources for Dyslexia & Struggling Readers
Orton-Gillingham Reading Programs & Resources for Dyslexia & Struggling Readers
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Fluent Reading & Dyslexia

Once a child can easily read a word based on its sounds (phonemes) , then that word is eventually stored away in his or her memory. Then, in the future, when the child comes upon this word, decoding is no longer needed. When enough words are tucked away in the child's brain, then the child will be able to read fluently, reading becomes automatic. 

According to the National Reading Panel, reading fluidity comes from reading out loud in a consistent manner with feedback. That means sitting down with your child on a regular basis, having the child read to you. If your child gets stuck on a word, give him or her a chance to decode it, offer help when needed (avoid frustration as much as possible).

You can't fluently read what you can't pronounce. If you've ever read medical abstracts (unless your a doctor or in the medical field) then you most likely came upon words you didn't recognize. Most people skip over these large, strange sounding words. This is what it's like for a dyslexic child with words they can't pronounce. They would rather skip the word and move on, which can change or lose the meaning of a sentence. To overcome this, make a list of words that your child has trouble pronouncing and go over them daily, until they're mastered. It's a good idea to keep a pad and pen with you when you are reading together, this way you can jot down the words the child has trouble with.

What is an appropriate reading level?

An appropriate reading level is when the child can read 19 out of 20 words. This means that the child should read approximately 3 or 4 sentences missing only 1 or 2 words on average. Check with your child's teacher, or check the reading level on any books that they are able to read to get an idea. There are also on-line reading assessment tests that you can administer from home, such as DORA (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment).


Schools often use the Fountas/Pinnell system of classifying reading level. See the chart below.

Fountis and Pinnell Reading Chart

Fountas-Pinnel leveled book lists:

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Click here for the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Choosing What to Read

On-line book stores, brick and mortar stores and libraries can be overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. Before making your selection, ask around for suggestions, visit sites like Amazon.com to read reviews. Just be aware that your dyslexic child is probably reading below grade level (one, two or even more years), so choose accordingly.

If your child wants to read a book that is above his or her reading level, try it, however, make sure to jump in when a word comes along that he or she has trouble with. If reading becomes too difficult, read the larger paragraphs while the child follows along. Let him or her read the smaller paragraphs. Remember, you want to show that reading is fun and interesting. Even if you end up reading the entire book, you're showing that books can be fun and interesting.

 10 Tips for Reading Improvement

  1. When reading together, use your finger as a guide; when your child mispronounces a word, tap your finger on the word so (s)he knows to back and try again. If the child can not get the word, cover it up with your finger, only revealing the parts (one part at a time), get your child to sound out the syllables.

  2. When you no longer need to guide your child (using your finger), it is convenient to have two of the same book, so you won't need to share when reading together.

  3. When reading to your child, make it interesting and set a good example; use inflections in your voice, laugh when you think something is funny, get excited about the story. Ask your child questions, such as what they think will happen next, or if they think the main character made the right decision.

  4. After reading a book rent the movie (if there is one) and watch it together. Ask your child if he or she imagined the story like it was in the movie. Ask what was different and which version they liked better.

  5. Preview the chapter beforehand, writing down any words you think will be unfamiliar to your child (such as "peer", "reluctant", "vast", etc.) and talk about these words before reading (better yet, look them up in a dictionary together). Point out these words when you come to them in the book.

  6. Once your child has become confident in decoding, try to get him or her to read independently as much as possible.

  7. Bring your child to the library or book store; make them participate in selecting a book to read. Also, pick up a magazine that they would find interesting. Use your computer; there are many great web sites that are great reading and writing motivators.

  8. Increase your child's vocabulary; watch documentaries, visit museums, engage in quality conversations.

  9. Be a role model; read books yourself. If you enjoy fiction, tell your child about the book you're reading. Let them know what's going on in your story.

  10. Encourage your child to write about what he or she read. Have him/her draw pictures and explain to you what the story was about. This is a good time to introduce concepts such as plot, climax and resolution. Discuss the characters; who was the good or bad "guy". Basically, open up a dialogue so your child can share what was read.

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