Other Related Reading Disorders
Students who have difficulty with reading comprehension have issues with language. They have difficulty understanding word meanings, which, in turn, causes difficulty with more complex text. They also have difficulty tying information throughout a text together and making inferences with that information. These students may also have difficulty with basic reading skills, but their main issue is comprehending information. These students will have difficulty comprehending information given to them either orally or through writing. Students with difficulty in basic reading skills alone understand information given to them orally but are not able to gain information through text because they cannot pronounce the words and attach meaning to them. On the other hand, students with reading comprehension difficulties may be referred to as “word callers” because their decoding is adequate but their ability to answer questions is poor. When a student has difficulty with reading comprehension, further assessment will be needed to rule out a problem with basic reading.
Students who have the ability to decode but who do so in a laborious fashion are disabled in the area of reading fluency. This learning disability category was added in 2004 with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disability Education Improvement Act (IDEIA, 2004). Students who fit this profile may also have a processing disorder which causes them to be slow in reasoning. It is important to note that assessment of reading fluency should include rate, accuracy, and prosody while reading orally.
Students with a written expression disorder have difficulty getting their thoughts down on paper. The student may be able to answer an essay question orally but cannot write the answer to the question in the same manner. Students may also have difficulty with the basic mechanics of writing such as grammar, punctuations, and capitalization. A student who has extreme difficulty forming letters, fails to differentiate between lower and upper case letters, omits spaces while writing, and has difficulty spelling words, even with the target word present, is considered to have dysgraphia.
Students with a disability in oral expression have difficulty putting their thoughts into speech. A student may also have difficulty remembering a word when needed, or being able to recall the formal names of objects. These students tend to overuse the word “thing” when trying to do so. A student with this disorder understands language that he/she hears and reads but will have difficulty summarizing the information efficiently.
Students with a learning disability in listening comprehension have difficulty with the input of language. These students cannot put the information together to understand the meaning of sentences, to make inferences, and to have a general understanding of the information as a whole and their reading comprehension and written expression may also be compromised. Students with attention issues may appear to have difficulty with listening comprehension, but their difficulty revolves around the ability to focus when someone provides information orally and to retain that information for later recall. Students with attention issues have adequate reading comprehension because they have the text as support.