Reading Development

Risk Factors for Reading Problems

Get the facts on risk factors for reading problems to help put all kids on the path to reading success, right from the start.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does Nemours BrightStart!
help parents?

Nemours BrightStart! offers tools, resources, services and support to help parents understand early literacy development as they help their child build the necessary skills for reading success.

What are the warning signs of reading failure in younger children?
The warning signs of reading failure for prekindergarten and early elementary school children are:
  • difficulty learning letter names and letter sounds
  • problems with rhyming
  • problems separating and blending sounds within words
  • trouble reading simple, high-frequency words (cat, boy, who)
  • trouble with phonics
What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific type of learning disability, generally diagnosed when a child is about 8 years old or in the third grade.

What are the warning signs of dyslexia?

Warning signs of dyslexia for children 8 years and older include:

  • difficulty with spelling
  • trouble sounding out longer words
  • difficulty completing longer reading and writing assignments
  • slow, labored reading with poor comprehension
What are some other risk factors for reading failure?
Other risk factors include:
  • family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities
  • low parental reading level
  • preschool language disorder, especially language comprehension disorder
  • attention, behavioral or emotional problems that affect learning
  • poverty and attendance at schools with a high poverty rate
How does Nemours BrightStart! identify potential reading failure?

Nemours BrightStart! employs its reading readiness screenings. In about 10 minutes, a specially trained teacher will check the child's knowledge of print, letter names, sounds and listening skills that support the abilities required in learning to read.

Where do screenings take place?

Screenings can be conducted in child care settings, schools, libraries, doctors' offices and other community locations.

Will my child be upset or frightened by the screening?

Nemours BrightStart! reading readiness screenings are very child-friendly.

What happens after the screening?

If a child has trouble with reading readiness skills, Nemours BrightStart! may provide direct help with special reading instruction. They also offer guidance for parents and teachers to help the child build these skills and become better prepared for reading success.

Will my child be labeled or tagged as a poor reader?

It's important to keep in mind that Nemours BrightStart! does not "label" children. We identify those at risk of reading failure and offer early
instruction. Nearly all children receiving Nemours BrightStart! instruction
make great progress.

What are some of the tools, resources and services that Nemours BrightStart! makes available to parents?

Parents have access to workshops, guides, posters, brochures, pamphlets, presentations, newsletters, recommended reading and online resources.

Does Nemours BrightStart! work?

Each year, our research has shown that the Nemours BrightStart! programs improve the early literacy skills of prekindergarteners at risk for reading failure. Based on our long-term follow-up, we also have evidence that most of those at-risk children are making good progress with reading into kindergarten through third grade.