Reading Difficulties – Processing and Memory

Reading difficulties make learning hard for young student.

Reading Difficulties

To get a better understanding of reading difficulties, I am a firm believer in cutting through the noise and getting to the root of the problem. To do that, I find it helpful to take away any unnecessary distractions that may divert my attention elsewhere.

For a moment, let’s just ‘unknow’ what we know about reading difficulties. Let’s strip away all the elements of instruction, close the lesson books, put away the learning screens and look beyond your child’s difficulties. Beyond what the eyes can see, and the ears can hear, lies a widely known (but somewhat hidden element) that is critical for learning. Unfortunately, this may be slightly overlooked when parents think about their child’s reading difficulties.

And no matter what else you think may be going on – common sense tells us if this one vital element is missing then reading difficulties are likely to ensue.

When we take away the surface noise, the one thing that effective learning hinges on comes down to how effectively information taught can be processed, and transferred to the long-term memory.

When you question why reading is hard for your child, it makes a lot of sense when you look at it through this lens.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg and there’s a lot more to it than just that.

Processing and Long Term Memory

What it does though, is provide a base from which to work back from and the question of ‘but why’ beckons for a closer look.

In a perfect world, where all brains are structured equally, this would not be a problem. However, the reality is that brains have structural differences and for some children this affects the way they learn and process information.

If the learned information cannot be retained long enough to be effectively processed and transferred to long-term memory, a child may appear confused, or it may seem as if they’ve never learned the information in the first place. This is especially true when a child has reading difficulties.

Interestingly this was something I noticed consistently with both of my children. It used to baffle me how they could be taught very simple sight words during the school day.  Then a few hours later come home with their sight words and have little to no recall of the words or how to sound them out.

This had everything to do with the way their minds processed information.

No matter whether your child is dealing with dyslexia, attention difficulties, or is simply a struggling reader, if the information cannot be held in mind long enough to be effectively processed to the long-term memory, they will likely have difficulty recalling the information accurately when needed.

More information about The Reading Switch and our Dual Code Reading System can be found on our website 

About Author

Brylee Langley

Founder of The Reading Switch,
Mum of Two Dyslexic Children, Lived Experience,
Parenting Dyslexic Thinkers

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