There are several types of comprehension difficulty. Most can be successfully remediated.

  1. Reading comprehension difficulty:

    Some children develop a reading comprehension difficulty in Year 3 because the books that they are reading have fewer pictures.

    Most people with a reading comprehension difficulty are not visualising from the words on the page. If you don’t visualise it is easy to miss the main idea of a piece of writing.

    Reading comprehension difficulties can affect both English and Maths (problems). It can affect the accurate reading of exam questions. It can affect accurate essay writing.

    Reading comprehension is a sub-skill of English and can be successfully remediated. It is unrelated to IQ. You can be very intelligent and have a difficulty with your reading comprehension.

  1. The words on the page are not read accurately: this is a primary reading difficulty not a comprehension difficulty.
  1. The person is focusing so closely on the words that they lose the meaning of the text: this can occur during oral reading, or if the person reading has had a lot of phonics remediation.
  1. Social comprehension difficulty is a lack of common sense or a failure to understand cause-and-effect. People with ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism often have this problem.
  1. Another type of poor comprehension is caused by a lack of understanding due to low intelligence, or as a result of poor hearing or poor vision. People who miss verbal comments or who don’t see body language may have a comprehension difficulty.

How can a comprehension difficulty be helped?

Rowena teaches Nanci Bell’s program: Visualising and Verbalising for Comprehension which may help with reading comprehension.

Learning English grammar may also help reading comprehension. Rowena can also help you with grammar.

A discussion about the meaning of a book or film before the book is read may help with the understanding of the text. Give the over-view first.

Testing for auditory or visual perceptual difficulties may make the reason for the comprehension difficulty clear. Rowena can provide the necessary testing.

Physical testing by an Ophthalmologist, or Developmental Optometrist to check on the ability of the eyes to see clearly, converge accurately, and track smoothly is important. Audiometry testing to ensure that the ears hear clearly is equally important.

When social comprehension is the primary problem, rather than reading comprehension, these difficulties may be helped by a psychologist interested in or specialising in this area.