Literacy skills involves all the skills required to read and write. Learning to read and write can be a challenge for some children. Speech-language delays might lead to difficulties in literacy skills.
If a child has difficulty in understanding or pronouncing certain speech sounds, they might also have difficulty with reading and writing these sounds. This might in turn lead to inability to decode and sound out words.
Children with language delays might not understand all parts of language e.g. grammar, syntax etc. this might result in inability to express ideas articulately and understanding any text
Role of an SLP in improving literacy skills
A comprehensive treatment plan is designed after assessments and evaluations by a speech-language pathologist. An SLP selects appropriate targets for therapy and treatment strategies based on the intervention goals to be addressed during sessions. They may achieve these goals through therapy with different activities or playing games. In addition to that an SLP might collaborate with teachers and parents of the child to facilitate a child’s learning progress.
An SLP usually aims to achieve the following steps when it comes to improving literacy skills.
- Prevention: An SLP assesses risk factors and warning signs and communicates these to the parents.
- Assessing: Selecting, implementing, adapting, and interpreting assessment tools and methods to evaluate skills in spoken language, reading, writing and spelling.
- Intervention: They develop strategies that contribute to reading and writing development of a child in collaboration with teachers and parents.
- Documenting Outcomes: Identifying literacy deficits and documenting outcomes of intervention that are the most suitable and those that do not work.
What can I do to support my child?
Reading is crucial for speech-language development. Introduce your child to books from very early on. Read stories and poems to them and get them to read some too. Reading books can help with speech and language development and help children overcome speech delays or challenges.
A consistent habit of reading might lead to improved literacy skills. Using books with colourful visuals and dynamic creatures attracts children to develop a reading habit. At bedtime do dramatic readings of books with your child to keep them interested in reading. In addition to that, let your child pick their favourite book and make them read multiple times. This repetition will aid vocabulary learning skills of the child. Allow the child to pick out a favourite story that they love repeating. Try pre- and post-reading explanations and activities to make it easy for your child to understand and make sense of whatever they have read.