Early reading skills & school readiness
Starting school is an exciting time for young children! It often means making many new friends and being exposed to many new learning experiences, including reading and writing. For some children, extra support is required in order for them to become confident in their reading abilities. There are a series of important foundation skills that must be developed first in order for children to develop strong reading skills. These are called ‘Phonological Awareness Skills’. Phonological awareness refers to the child’s ability to recognise sounds and have the ability to identify and manipulate different sounds and words. It also involves the ability to recognise and generate rhyme. These skills develop throughout the later preschool period and are a strong predictor of later reading and spelling success. Speech Pathologists are trained in assisting children to develop their phonological awareness skills.
Why is it important to see a Speech Pathologist for difficulties with early reading skills?
Often difficulties with early reading skills are identified in children with speech and language difficulties. Just as they require extra support with their speech and/or language, they may also require extra support to develop their early reading skills. With strong early reading skills, children are more likely to be more successful in reading and spelling throughout their school years. The ability to read and spell allows children to participate fully in classroom tasks and gain further knowledge through reading.