Techniques for slow readers to read faster?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  jackTKD 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #55016


    My daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was 8. She did a remedial reading program and managed fairly well through high school.
    Now in university she is really struggling with being able to read everything she needs to even with accommodations.

    For tests, she mostly studies from the lectures instead of reading the texts and gets by that way. The problem is that when she needs to write an essay, she has to read a lot of academic papers to know which ones to use for her essay and which aren’t important. It takes her at least four hours to read one paper so she ends up only reading the abstracts which results in sub-par papers.

    In the early years she could split her courses between those that need a lot of reading and those that need little. But in upper years there is a massive amount of reading that needs to be done in her psychology courses and she can’t manage it. While she wants to go to graduate school, it seems like an impossible task for her right now.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  • #55017

    Robin McEvoy

    It sounds like she is doing a tremendous job with such a challenge, but she does need to avoid burnout and feeling overwhelmed. We need people like her to persist in psychology because we need diverse practitioners in order to provide better quality care. Your daughter is obviously willing to make the efforts needed. Given that, she should meet with an academic counselor about seeking additional accommodations and modifications. There may be alternative approaches. Some professors may be willing to work with her individually to explore other ways to process or explore the material. She should also explore additional assistive technology, possible some of the handheld reading scanners or online readers used by the visually impaired to read material. This might speed processing. LearningAlly may also have some suggestions for college age students who are now working with research journals instead of books.

    • #55047


      Thank you! That’s very helpful.

  • #55113


    I agree with Robin. There is an art to reading scientific papers efficiently and this can save a huge amount of time if learnt. I have completed a psychology degree and I understand completely. I would recommend that she approaches an academic she eels comfortable talking to and discusses it with thethem. If their advice doesn’t work, try someone else else. It is possible to ‘skim’in order to find the right papers and info and then only have a select few to read in their entirety. It’s not an uncommon problem for undergrads, so although its much more difficult for those with dyslexia or adhd, but the same techniques should still be helpful. Best of luck.

  • #55122


    I’m a history professor with ADHD and I often recommend __How to Read a Book_ ( to my undergraduates. It is an old book (1972) but remains remarkably current, and suggests practical ways to read in various disciplines depending on what you need to take away from the work. In basic language it teaches effective skimming.

  • #55203


    Turn ON Subtitles for everthing your tv, smartphone, computer screen plays Guaranteed to improve speed and comprehension!

    I promise it works on all ages (little ones through adults and even non-native English speakers).
    It works for 2 reasons: 1. Our eyes can’t resist watching the words. 2. Our mind can’t resist matching the text and audio.

    Seriously, watch the news, movies, videos, even tv shows with subtitles ON and she will pick up pieces while merely walking through the room. I PROMISE IT WORKS!

    To do it: Go into account settings of your TV provider/streaming channels (cable, roku, netflix, YouTube) look for Closed Captioning (usually under Language). In America, choose the default or CC1.

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