Reading is an important component of intellectual development. Reading is not limited to receipt of linguistic information from text; its scope is much broader. Reading develops thinking skills and broadens the scope of knowledge of the educated person. A skilled reader develops much differently than a person who has difficulty reading. Reading develops intellectual tools for consistency of thought and gathering nonverbal information. Writing transforms the data into meaningful knowledge.
Reading develops new skills which were previously absent including, decision making, value judgments, prioritization, and focus. Reading with comprehension facilitates strengthens thinking abilities skills such as the ability to summarize and to make intelligent choices. Reading difficulties are likely to block a number of learning processes. In general we understand successful reading as a product of cognitive processing.
A comprehensive reading assessment must investigate the cognitive processing of the client which includes three stages: input, processing, and output. We emphasize the processing stage since the input and output stages are dependent on processing. This is the stage of cognitive processing of information necessary for thinking.
Processing is responsible for almost all of the human functions. For example: speech takes place at any moment thanks to the cognitive processing. The processing in a fraction of a second extracts the correct information from among myriad bits of information and connect that information to action. The brain produces the right data in response to what was said or done previously. Reading problems are frequently a result of lack of coordination of information between the stages of reading. Cognitive processing is a function of thought which is a focus of assessment and treatment in cases of reading difficulty.