As caregivers, there are many questions that tumble around our brains at all hours of the day or night.  They can consume us, keep us up at night, send us down weird internet rabbit holes. We know. We have been there too. But if one of the questions you are asking yourself is “Does my child need reading services?” then this is the blog post for you!  In this post you will find just a few of the signs or “red flags” that indicate your child might need additional reading support. And, if, at the end of this post you think “Yes they do!” or “I’m still not sure…” then click on the buttons below. You can schedule a free consultation with our Orton-Gillingham trained therapist and get more answers!

“Red Flags” for Early Reading Development

  • Trouble rhyming
  • Trouble clapping syllables 
  • Trouble determining what sound a word starts with 
  • Trouble blending together sounds to make a word
  • Trouble remembering letters and their sounds
  • Avoids reading
young child in rainbows reading a book about fish

Reasons You May Be Seeking Reading Support

  • Your child dislikes reading and avoids it 
  • Your child has trouble recognizing sight words 
  • Your child has difficulty sounding out and blending new and familiar words 
  • Your child has difficulty segmenting and spelling new and familiar words 
  • Your child has difficulty understanding and participating in sound games that include rhyming, alliteration, and syllable clapping 
  • Your child has difficulty answering comprehension questions about an oral or written passage 
  • Your child sounds stilted with little variation in their intonation
Speech-language pathologists reading with a young girl

Why choose a reading tutor who is also a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech-Language Pathologists have extensive knowledge of and experience treating many other challenges related to development of reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension, including:

    • Language and its subsystems, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics
    • Phonological Awareness, such as rhyming, alliteration, blending, and segmenting 
    • Speech-Sound Disorders
    • Higher-order thinking skills 

Reading disorder also frequently co-occurs with other neurodevelopmental disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), anxiety and depressive disorders, and conduct disorders. Speech-Language Pathologists have received extensive training in working with individuals with a range of needs and comorbidities. 

ASHA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Reading and Written Language Disorders states that connections between spoken and written language are:

  • Well established in that spoken language provides the foundation for the development of reading and writing
  • Spoken and written language have a reciprocal relationship, such that each builds on the other to result in general language competence, starting early and continuing through childhood into adulthood
  • Children with spoken language problems frequently have difficulty learning to read and write, and children with reading and writing problems frequently have difficulty with spoken language
  • Instruction in spoken language can result in growth in written language
  • Instruction in written language can result in growth in spoken language.

What Does a Typical Reading Session Look Like?

  • Each session will start with visual and auditory/kinesthetic drill of previously taught concepts in order to support memory and automaticity 
  • Then, your child will be taught a new concept and practice knowledge and application via personalized multi-sensory experiences, reading, and spelling activities. 
  • When your child starts reading sessions, they will be provided with a take-home folder and “tool kit” to assist with daily at-home practice. You will be provided with a script and list of tips for supporting your child.

Related Blog Posts

Common Autistic Communication Differences

Some Autistic individuals (and many other Neurodivergent individuals) communicate differently from Neurotypical individuals. Under the medical model of disability, this type of communication is thought of as disordered and something that requires direct intervention...

Autistic Masking

Autistic masking is when an autistic person hides or alters their natural responses in order to appear more neurotypical. In the past, some therapists, educators, and families may have explicitly taught masking behaviors in order to help the individuals that they work...

How to Prevent the Speech Therapy Summer Slide

With school ending and summer beginning, many families will be taking vacations, starting summer camps, or changing up their routines. Here are some ways to support your child’s speech and language development over the summer:One of my favorite ways to develop or...

Gestalt Language Development

There are 2 types of language developmental processes: Analytic Language Development and Gestalt Language Development Analytic Language Development: We learn words as a single unit and slowly expand our utterances with time Here is an example of how you may see an...

Using Pretend Play to Support Language Development

As Speech-Language Pathologists, pretend play is one of our favorite activities to support language development. Pretend play has a number of great benefits for children’s development of language skills. Several key benefits are outlined below:Building Conversational...

The Process of Getting a Speech Generating Device

If your speech therapist or your child’s speech therapist recommends a speech generating device (SGD), the speech therapist will guide you through the entire process. Here is what that process generally looks like:Trial First, the therapist will trial devices with you...

Making Reading Fun

Supporting your children in literacy work can feel like an impossible task.  Beyond sounding things out, where do we begin if our kids are having trouble learning how to read?  Before racing to the library, there are a few important phonological awareness skills that...

Speech Generating Devices and Vocabularies We Use

Speech generating devices (SGDs) are a great tool for communication. While “SGD” refers to the physical equipment, “vocabulary” refers to the language program on the SGD. Here are common SGDs and vocabularies we use at Emerge.DevicesAccent This device is made by...

Developing Higher Order Language Skills for Preschoolers

What is decontextualized language? Why is it important for your preschooler? Decontextualized language is language that does not refer to the “here and now.” While lots of parents and professionals are aware of the importance of language skills such as vocabulary and...


Happy Dyslexia Awareness Month! Many people think of dyslexia as a disability that causes your brain to flip letter order or orientation, but dyslexia actually has a much broader definition! Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability, which means that it affects...

Related Videos


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.