Monday, February 6, 2012

Reading Disabilities and Comprehension

From a comment to Dyslexia's Silver Lining, in the NYTimes:
Eastern WA

This is something I've noticed over the years with my students with a reading SLD (specific learning disability, about which there is absolutely nothing specific except the kid). Usually they have other marked strengths; it makes sense to me that visualization would be one of them. Often they also adept at anything hands on. In a school setting these kids almost uniformly test as behind in reading comprehension along with decoding, but I have found that almost uniformly this is not the case. It's a result of the test used to assess comprehension; the child, who may have little to no decoding skills at all, is required to read a passage and answer questions about it. If they could just figure out the words, most of them could answer just fine. So they are stuck in silly (for them) comprehension programs when they should be spending all their time decoding.

I think this describes my Younger Daughter. The school is always doing comprehension exercises with her, when, in my humble (!) opinion, the real problem is decoding. I don't think she has any problem with comprehension.

1 comment:

  1. Comprehension seems to be the big focus of "whole language." What's so strange about that to me is how can anyone comprehend something in writing if they can not read. You should have seen the exercises that I was supposed to do with my daughter last year so that her reading was "smooth," "even" and with appropriate "expression." Once again if you can read, the comprehension should fall into place as well as reading fluently.