Hello! My oldest daughter is 12 and in sixth grade. She has dyslexia but until this fall her reading level was close to grade level. She has an IEP and gets Barton tutoring weekly. Recently, she seems to be struggling more with reading, particularly reading out loud. She reads words from all over the page and makes more sight word mistakes. We don't know why this is happening. Can you suggest any articles or legitimate websites that may help us with this? Is there any research that shows a link between puberty and a decrease in reading fluency? It took me awhile to find your site but I have bookmarked it now and will use the resources on there. Thank you.


Dr. Pierson's Response: 

I checked with my colleague Dr. Lauren Katz on this one because I was not aware of any literature on puberty and reading; and she verified this.

That said, there is an increased demand on the amount of reading as a student progresses through school; and there is a particular increase when a child enters middle school. The demands are greater when having to deal with many subjects taught by different teachers, students begin reading different genres, and vocabulary increases and becomes more difficult.

It is not unheard of for children who were succeeding at an earlier point in school to begin to have challenges in late elementary, middle school, high school, or even college. I suggest working with the school reading specialist or a private practitioner to get her some help navigating these waters, so to speak. She may need strategies to decode more difficult words, understand how to read different genres of text, study for a test, write a technical paper, etc. and some specific guidance may be helpful.

Let me know if I can be of more specific help.