Skipping words when reading

Posted by: jolip

Skipping words when reading - 02/26/19 10:48 AM

Is it normal for a 7 year old (1G) to be skipping words when reading out loud? A few days ago, when my DD7 was reading one of the Harry Potter books to me, I noticed that she often skips small words like "the", "a", etc, sometimes even short 2, 3 word phrases. Occasionally she also reads wrong words (mostly adjectives) - I think she is guessing instead of reading them. She also reverses some things, for example: instead of reading "Hermione said" she'd read "said Hermione".
Posted by: aeh

Re: Skipping words when reading - 02/26/19 12:05 PM

Since it is not "normal" for first graders to read HP fluently, I assume your question is actually whether this is cause for concern considering her general reading level. It is within the range of normal for fluent readers, or it can reflect a reading or visual issue. If this is the only reading or visual concern you have, then I think the only small intervention I might try would simply be to cue her to read a little bit slower when reading aloud. Or, "read so the person listening to you can understand you." It may be that she is taking in several words at a time (not unusual for fluent readers reading silently), and not quite keeping up with the oral-motor end of reading when producing those words orally. I have known several early, very rapid readers who exhibited similar oral reading behavior without any particular underlying pathology. If her accuracy improves noticeably when her pace slows a little, then it's probably just a developmental mixture of carelessness and slower oral-motor speed. Mind going faster than mouth, IOW.
Posted by: jolip

Re: Skipping words when reading - 03/01/19 10:07 AM

Aeh, thank you so much for your feedback. Besides skipping words I have not noticed any other signs of a problem. However, reading/spelling issues run in the family so I am a little paranoid. I will test if she skips as much when reading at slower pace or easier text.
Posted by: ellemenope

Re: Skipping words when reading - 03/01/19 10:24 AM

My dd did this and has many dyslexic tendencies including dysgraphia but still reads above grade level. By itself I wouldn’t be concerned. My dd had a lot of other things going on.
Posted by: puffin

Re: Skipping words when reading - 03/02/19 06:20 PM

I do this myself sometimes. I have never found it to be a problem except when one of the kids is reading over my shoulder.
Posted by: Platypus101

Re: Skipping words when reading - 03/03/19 05:18 AM

With dyslexia in the family, I'd keep a close watch on this. Verbally-gifted kids have some astounding super-powers of compensation, and can fake it to an incredible level, for an unbelievably long time.

As others note above, there's two common - an opposing - explanations for what you see. I am myself a fast and good reader, and quite often when reading aloud to the kids, my attention drifts a few sentences ahead. Which means I am speaking more from memory than text (and I am an old lady whose memory skills fall way behind my reading ability). So sometimes I mix word order, change a sentence tense, or substitute synonyms, because my eyes have moved on and I am recalling more than reading.

Dyslexics also skip a lot of words. They typically focus on the big, meaningful words, and jump over the little bits, articles and suffixes especially. These tend not to be big enough to have easy recognition by shape, or unique content.

My best suggestion is to look for hints as to whether she is summarizing vs. guessing/ skipping. Some things I would consider red flags, from our own experience: Missing words, especially articles, that result in her speaking a sentence that isn't grammatically correct. A tendency to particularly substitute words that start with the same sound or letter (suggesting she's guessing the word at the time, rather than just substituting a synonym in recall). Turning sentences into present tense, especially if she does a bit of hesitating/ backtracking/ re-stating part-way through (trying to reword the sentence to fix the fact that she's left off verb suffixes like "ing" or "ed"). Similarly, stumbling more on adverbs, and maybe trying to re-structure the sentence to make sense after using them as an adjective (adverbs tend to have extra suffixes like -ly or -ment, and missing them tends to turn them into adjectives). More trouble around names or other proper nouns (or spells smile ) she hasn't seen enough to sight read. Unusual resistance to reading out loud vs silently.

When DD was in grade 3 (and supposedly reading on grade level - in two languages), we started a remediation program. Page 1 was a three-column list of three-letter words. I was stunned at how many she got wrong. No context, very little shape, not much there to help her fake it. It was a lot easier to see the guessing. Most commonly, she added a letter (such as turning fog into frog; cap into clap). An exercise like that might be a quick and dirty way to help you get a better sense of how much guessing your DD is doing.
Posted by: jolip

Re: Skipping words when reading - 12/14/19 11:39 PM

Thank you all for your support and sharing your wisdom.

Just a quick update. We did not go through any testing but I am a lot less concern about DD7's reading. She is now in 3G (skipped 2) and her new classroom is right next to the library. She spends nearly every recess there and while at school she reads ~300 pages - one Warriors book - per day! She is a fast reader, so hopefully that's what caused her to skip words and I was worried for nothing.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Skipping words when reading - 12/16/19 11:29 AM

Thank you for the's good to hear she is doing well!