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Reading and Writing (Literacy)

Is your child struggling with different subjects at school? Are they having difficulty achieving sufficient reading success? Do you feel that your child is not optimizing on his/her potential? Then, it is very likely that they are experiencing literacy difficulties.

Did you know that Speech Therapists (who specialize in literacy disorders) can identify children who are at risk of developing learning difficulties (reading, writing, spelling, Maths and comprehension difficulties) from as early as preschool age, early intervention can significantly alter your child’s outcomes and set them on a path of academic success.

Literacy skills are strongly linked with phonological awarenes (explicit awareness of the sound structure of words) and PA skills are in turn strongly linked with communication (speech and language) skills. So you can say that literacy skills are very much linked to speech and language skills.

Research has found that literacy skills are pegged on how well a child’s PA skills are and further propose that children first learn to read a word through the phonological route. PA can be categorised into 3 areas: rhyme, syllables and phonemes (sounds). Mastery of all 3 of these areas is fundamental in ensuring literacy success.

Successful reading and spelling depends on the following skills:


- Ability to recognize a letter and relate it to the sound it makes
- Ability to blend individual sounds to make a word (e.g. c-ar → car)
- Ability to recognize whole words that cannot be sounded out (e.g. ‘have’)
- Ability to separate individual sounds from words (segmentation)
- Ability to recognize and come up with rhyming words
- Ability to manipulate sounds in words (phoneme awareness skills)
- Ability to identify parts boundaries in words (syllable awareness)
- Ability to understand the meaning of words
- Ability to successfully apply word attack skills into reading and spelling

Successful writing depends on the following skills:
         
- The ability to relate a sound to its letter shape and be able to write it
- The ability to convert a formulated word into its individual sounds
- The ability to convert a formulated sentence into its individual words
- The sound knowledge of what governs correct sentence formations
(grammar, tenses, sentence structures, etc.)
- Adequate vocabulary and language skills

Therapy that targets speech, language and phonological awareness skills directly impacts on their literacy development.

Our comprehensive assessment can pinpoint areas of strengths and weaknesses in your child’s literacy foundation and tailor therapy solutions based on age and skill level. We treat children of all ages from preschool years to high school.

You can also check out our blog for articles written by our very own senior speech pathologist Lorna, specifically aimed at supporting parents to make more conscious decisions that optimize their children’s communication and learning. 

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