Who do we help?
- About 50% of children who had difficulties with speech and/or language development will have some problems learning to read and spell. This is because oral language is the basis for the child’s reading and spelling development. We think in oral language and pictures in our minds before putting them into written words. Difficulty in any areas of oral language will be reflected in the child's reading and writing skills.
- Children with literacy difficulties often present with the following:
- Difficulty in producing sounds
- Unable to hear the individual sounds in a word
- Not understanding the meaning of words
- Unable to remember familiar words
- Not knowing how or why to change parts of words to change meaning
- Not using or understanding the grammatical rules of language
How do we help?
- Besides formally or informally assessing your child’s oral/expressive language, our speech and language therapists will also assess his or her pre-literacy skills (phonological awareness). For example, we assess the child’s ability to rhyme, identify first and last sounds in words, break a word up into the individual sounds (segmenting), as well as putting them back together (blending).
- A child’s level of phonological awareness prior to school is one of the best predictors of their later reading development. When learning to read and spell the young student must understand that words are made up of sounds that can be sequenced, segmented, blended and rearranged.
- Good Phonological Awareness enables children to understand that there is a direct relationship between the sound of the spoken words and the letters that represent them in written language. It will also help them to break down and try to read and spell longer words that they might never have seen or heard before.
- For older children (5 years onwards), we assess their oral language skills, as well as analyzing a sample paragraph of their writing. Difficulties in areas such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar and sentence structure can also be targeted.