Reading Help for Teens

Does your teenager struggle to remember what’s just been read? Does he or she read a page, then struggle to answer questions on what it was about? Does your teen need to read things more than once for the ideas to “sink in”?

Most of the time, when a teenager is struggling with reading comprehension, the source of the problem is weak cognitive skills. Because reading comprehension requires strong cognitive function in a variety of skills, if even one skill is weak, it can cause problems.

Here are a few examples of how weak cognitive skills can make comprehension more difficult for your teenager:

Attention: Weak attention skills can keep your teen too distracted to even begin to grasp what is being read. In other words, comprehension never gets a chance, because not enough information is being absorbed for other skills—like memory or visual processing—to even kick in.

Short-Term Memory (or Working Memory): It’s possible that your teen has strong attention skills, but weak working memory skills. If working memory is weak, your teenager can start off reading a page with great gusto, only to reach the bottom of the page and realize that it’s hard to remember what was read at the start of the page.

Visual Processing: Your teen’s brain uses this skill to create mental images of what he or she is reading, which can be tremendously helpful when it comes to grasping and remembering content. When this skill is weak, reading comprehension really suffers.

Better Comprehension Through Cognitive Training

Researchers have concluded that 85% of reading struggles are caused by cognitive weakness in one or more skills. This is actually very hopeful for struggling readers because weak cognitive skills can be strengthened through a process called cognitive training, or brain training.

Here’s what the brain training process entails:

  1. First, identity the weak skill or skills causing your teenager’s struggle. A full cognitive assessment takes about an hour, and will give you detailed information each one of your teenager’s cognitive skills. Reasonably priced cognitive assessments are offered at LearningRx, the largest provider of one-on-one brain training in the world.
  2. Next, based on the outcome of the assessment, strengthen cognitive weaknesses with one-on-one brain training.One-on-one brain training is a form of cognitive training that pairs every client with his or her own trainer. Programs are customized to meet the unique needs of every students, and consist of fun, challenging mental exercises done face-to-face with a trainer, about an hour a day for 12 weeks or longer (depending on the program). Improvements in cognitive performance after brain training are lasting and often dramatic.

Reading provides too much enjoyment—and too many benefits—to have your child spend a lifetime struggling with comprehension. Memory, attention, and visual processing are just three of the many cognitive skills that LearningRx brain training targets and strengthens.

Give us a call to schedule an assessment at one of our centers at (972) 267-8900.