What is Reading Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

Reading disorder badly impacts the learning capabilities of a person, and dyslexia is one of its types. In fact, people use dyslexia and reading disorders synonymously. Today, we’ll discuss what is reading disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Reading Disorder? 

Reading disorder is a form of learning disorder that comprises a person’s impairment of comprehension, speed, and reading accuracy to such an extent that it disturbs the daily activities and academic achievement of life. The reading skill of such people with this condition is below the level relevant to physical health, educational opportunities, and general intelligence that a person usually assumes.

Reading disorder is a type of learning disorder characterized by a great difference between the reading skill of a person and his/her general intelligence. Learning disorder also goes by the name of academic skill disorder. It focuses on poor academic performance and learning difficulty when mental retardation, lack of learning opportunities, lower intelligence, or physical issues like hearing/vision deficit don’t explain the poor performance.

Language processing disorder, written expression disorder, and mathematics disorders are some of the common forms of learning disabilities. As the name implies, it causes problems in the reading and ultimately impacts your performance in academic work. Reading disabilities is completely different from mental retardation or slow learning issues.

The reading disability condition creates a gap between actual performance and expected performance. The condition has many causes and they exhibit in various ways and it can happen on various levels. Some of the common that people with this condition experience are as follows;

  • The limited vocabulary of sight words
  • Problem with decoding with certain single words and syllables relevant to the particular sounds and phonics
  • Reading the words or letters in the reverse order
  • Omitting some words
  • Poor understanding while reading silently or aloud
  • Reading speed is slower

Symptoms of Reading Disorder 

Some of the main symptoms of the reading disorder are as follows;

  • Reading at a slow speed either silently or orally
  • Poor understanding of reading
  • Using the substitute words or omitting it
  • Changing the place of letters in words
  • Difficulty in spelling
  • Difficulty in comprehending the rhymes, sound order, or sounds in words
  • Problem with recognizing single words

Additionally, children with this condition often experience learning problems and other forms of delays. It comprises of following signs;

  • Written expression disorder
  • Mathematics disorder
  • Confusion with opposites (early/late, and up/down)
  • Direction confusion with or right/left-handedness
  • Spoken language delays

Causes of Reading Disorder 

The process of learning to read is a difficult task. It needs the following elements;

  • Spatial orientation to comprehend words and letters
  • Eye muscles coordination to follow the line of print
  • Analyzing and categorizing capabilities
  • Understanding grammar and sentence structure
  • Sequencing capabilities

The condition can happen when there is a disruption in any of the abovementioned processes. Additionally, the brain combines visual images with memory and attaches them to particular sounds, and those sounds should have certain meanings. While narrating the passage or sentence, you have to understand the meaning for understanding.

Inherited from Family

It is difficult to isolate and point out the root cause of the problem because the condition is different among different people. Researchers have found evidence of partially inherited elements in this condition. They conducted a study on a large family comprising 80 members of 4 generations in Norway in 1999 that had the reading disability condition. It allowed the researchers to recognize the specific gene mutation that was causing this condition.

Functional Problem

Half of the people with this condition do not inherit this condition genetically, and their families don’t have a history of such types of problems. Many studies have shown that there is a functional problem in various areas of the brain causing this condition.

The human nervous system is very complicated; it’s possible that it would have various problems in the brain functions relevant to the problem of learning to read. According to an estimate, 90% of the children are diagnosed with language deficit and reading disorders condition. Researchers have found a connection with subtle visual problems that impacts speed.

Treatment of Reading Disorder 

Reading disorder falls under the category of federal IDEA (individual with disabilities education act). The definition of reading disabilities is different in various states, and some schools are more open to recognizing this condition as a disability than others. However, any child diagnosed with any type of learning disabilities is eligible for IEP (individual education program), because it focuses on customized guidance and instructions in specifically designed schools.

Some of the main treatment approaches are as follows;

  • Visual Stimulation
  • Special Diet
  • Customized Education
  • Cross-disciplinary educational approach

Some of the successful programs that deal with the readings needs of the person are as follows;

Sound/Symbol Based

It means dividing the words and breaking them down into smaller visual elements and attaching the sounds and letters with them.


It focuses on developing and strengthening the mental link with a kinesthetic, auditory, and visual mode of stimulation. The children can say, feel, and see the association of sound and symbol. Remediation starts at the single-letter-sound level, and moves up to the digraph, syllables, words, and then sentence in a proper systematic fashion.

Conclusion: What is Reading Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is reading disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized learning disabilities are difficult to diagnose and treat. If you’re experiencing its symptoms in any of the children or students, then you should consult with the therapist in your area.