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How can I handle my son's reading problems?

Q: My son is 10 years old. I am concerned about his reading speed. He seems to be a very slow reader. Observing his slowness as compared to his peers, I had put him in a reading programme last year. Since then, he made some improvement, but not to match with average children of his age. I have made the following observations - many times he reads 'b' as 'd' and some times 'd' as 'b' and loses track on sentence as he realises his mistake. He confuses whether to use 'C' or 'K' sound for words involving ce, ca, ci, cu, etc. Many times, he reads 'is' as 'in' and 'then' as 'when', etc. When I ask him to spell out longer words, which he cannot read, he spells wrongly, like C as S, H as T and different things different times. He's good with mathematics. He can solve arithmetic problems up to his grade level. He can also solve all logical problems pretty well. Please advise.

A:I must congratulate you on the detailed observation you have made of your son's reading abilities and errors. From what I can see, he seems to have dyslexia, which is not uncommon and does not continue as a problem. If you have access to a Psychologist or Counselor in the place you live, a consultation might help. However, here are some general words of advice. Do not compare him with other children. We usually do it to show where the deficiencies are, not the strengths. For instance he may be good at drawing or music or football. If he is, emphasizing the strengths will also help him. Finally all children get interested in reading when they read stories. Comprehending a story is the motivation (and spelling or pronouncing is only incidental)! Silent reading is the best way to make a child read a lot. Dyslexia is something that seems to largely disappear, as the child grows older. Major cities in India have some professional organisations to help children with dyslexia. The Internet will have many sources too.

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