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Reading Comprehension Disorder in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is a reading comprehension disorder (RCD)?

An RCD is a learning disability that prevents your child from understanding what he or she reads. A learning disability means your child has trouble with an academic skill even though tests show he or she is intelligent. Your child may be able to read words easily but not be able to answer questions about what he or she read. Reading comprehension problems can range from mild to severe.

What causes or increases my child's risk for an RCD?

Your child may have trouble concentrating long enough to get the full meaning from what he or she is reading. Your child may have memory problems that prevent him or her from remembering new words. He or she may have trouble recognizing the sounds that form words.

What are the signs and symptoms of an RCD?

How is an RCD diagnosed?

Your child's teachers may notice that your child reads well aloud in class but cannot answer questions about what he or she read. He or she may give simple answers or not be able to give examples on a test or in an essay. Your child's word accuracy will be tested and compared with his or her comprehension accuracy. If your child's accuracy score is high but his or her comprehension score is low, your child may have an RCD.

How is an RCD managed?

What can I do to help support my child?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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