A reader's mind is busy with many tasks. One is to monitor how well he's doing. Does he know what's going on in the story? Does he understand the words? An "active reader" also takes steps to clear up confusion—by rereading passages, reviewing earlier sections, and looking up unfamiliar words.
Many children with learning disorders don't read in an active way. They don't reflect on how well they're comprehending, nor do they use strategies that bring meaning to the text. They give up quickly when faced with a difficult passage—or just plow ahead, reading the words but not getting the message.
To help your child become an active reader, show her how it's done. Each time you read to her, pause occasionally to ask a question about the passage, to point out connections within the story, or to see if she knows the meaning of a difficult word. If her attention drifts, reread the section.
Talk about these strategies as you use them, and write them down for her to use on her own.
This article comes from the June/July 2006 issue of ADDitude.