Recognize Struggling Readers


There is no “type” of person that has reading difficulties. Many often find it embarrassing to admit that they have a problem so they will go to great lengths to hide the problem. There are many common recurring signs that you might see in a person who cannot read. This list is of possible indicators of low reading skills.

• Passing paperwork on
• Writing very little or misspelling a lot of words
• Avoiding situations or participation in activities where he/she might have to read or write
• Ordering the same item whenever he/she is at a restaurant
• Ordering something that is not on the menu
• Having someone else order for him/her at a restaurant
• Saying he/she cannot read something because they forgot their glasses
• Trying to take paperwork home to fill out or get someone else to complete
• Rarely responding to written messages
• Paying bills in person, with cash and avoiding having to write checks
• Avoid using ATM machines
• Often mispronouncing or misusing words
• When giving directions, describing landmarks rather than signs or asking for a map rather than written directions
• Asking for directions when there are clearly marked directions
• Asking for verbal instructions when information is easily available in written form
• Apparent unnecessary collaboration with fellow employees immediately after assignments
• Refusal of advancement when one clearly has the talent to do a new job
• Slow performance after receiving a new assignment
• Having a short attention span
• An unwillingness to read aloud
• Making excuses so that others fill out forms or paperwork
• A dislike for classroom learning situations
• Getting angry with a person who is asking to have something read
• In some situations, responding to a question with a stare and then go on working without answering
• Claiming not to have received written correspondence
• Stating that one did not have time to read correspondence; blaming being too busy or too pressured with deadlines, and asking others to tell them what was written
• Claiming the print is too small
• Delaying giving a response to written correspondence to allow time for someone else to read and interpret the material
• Avoiding proofreading, then blaming others for erroneous material to which he/she places a signature
• Asking others to spell even common words
• Telling others "I am a ‘people’ person, not a paper pusher, so don’t write me a memo or note; pick up the phone or come by and talk to me.”

All of these can be indicators that someone cannot read or struggles reading. An estimated 12-16% of adults have these problems but there is help available. The Literacy Coalition offers free and confidential tutoring to adults who want to improve these skills. If you have a friend, coworker or relative who you think is struggling, tell them about our services.

Our office is at 107 W. Mulberry St, in downtown Kokomo. Our phone number is 765-450-8532 and we are open between 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday each week.

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