You would be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees with the idea that reading is an essential life skill.
Beyond the ability to help you understand the world around you, reading helps to improve brain functioning, expands vocabulary, sharpens memory, helps improve communication ability, and much, much more.
While some children pick up reading fairly easily and seem to have their noses in books from early on, others may have some difficulty when it comes to this important skill.
There are many reasons for this, however, if your child requires speech therapy and reading learning disability intervention, it’s important to recognize there is help available.
Here at District Speech And Language Therapy, we provide a range of different pediatric speech therapy services for reading and learning disabilities.
Let’s look at some techniques you can use to help your child learn to read.
1. First, Understand The Core Skills You’re Teaching Them
Reading involves a variety of different skills, and successfully learning to read means being able to use them together.
These skills include:
- Phonics: making the connection between sounds and the letters which make them
- Phonemic awareness: being able to manipulate sounds
- Vocabulary: learning words, definitions, and contexts
- Reading comprehension: Understanding how text comes together to create meaning
- Fluency: Being able to read with speed and accuracy, both aloud and silently
Understanding how these items work together, as well as how to develop each one individually as your child learns how to read will help set the foundation, they need in order to read on their own.
2. Play Word Games With Them
Playing word games can help your child to listen carefully in order to identify sounds in words.
You might ask them questions such as “What sound does the word start or end with?” and “What other words rhyme with this word?”.
3. Use Flash Cards
Flash cards can be useful for helping children learn to recognize “sight words”.
“Sight words” are those which are difficult to sound out and should be recognizable at a glance.
Some examples of sight words which occur frequently include: we, am, that, have, they, and was.
4. Play With Letter Fridge Magnets
Using magnets to spell out words can be useful for helping your child master middle vowel sounds.
Have them say vowel sounds out loud while pointing to its corresponding letter, and then use those to spell out short CVC, or consonant – vowel – consonant words.
Learning these middle vowel sounds can be difficult, and this activity can act as a helpful tool for learning them.
5. Use Songs And Rhymes
Nursery rhymes and songs are more than just a fun way to play and bond with your child.
They are also useful for phonemic awareness and helping children learn to recognize syllables and sounds in words.
Using nursery rhymes and songs with your child will help them develop reading and literacy skills needed to read independently.
6. Read With Your Child And Engage With Them
There are quite a few benefits of reading to your child.
You’re modeling how to sound out words, expanding vocabulary, and developing comprehension skills.
Perhaps most importantly, reading with your child fosters a love of reading which they will take with them throughout their life.
7. Fill Their World With Words
While reading to your child is one way to expose them to words, there are ways to do this while you go about your daily life as well.
The more children see words on media such as signs and posters, the better they will get at making connections between letters and sounds.
8. Above All, Be Patient
Some children will naturally learn to read at a faster rate than others.
As you’re working with your child to teach them how to read, it’s important to recognize this fact, and not compare your child’s progress to their peers, or siblings, especially if those peers or siblings developed reading skills at a faster rate.
It is, however important to recognize signs of reading and learning impairments, which may require intervention.
We’ll look at this in the next section.
What Happens If They’re Not Progressing?
While we know every child will develop reading skills at their own rate, there are some signs of reading and learning impairment to watch for which may require further intervention.
Some signs of a learning disability may include having trouble with the following areas when it comes to reading:
- Remembering the words to a song
- Recalling words
- Learning the alphabet
- Adding new words to their vocabulary
- Connecting sounds and letters
Some learning disabilities include:
- Dyslexia: Difficulty with recognizing words, spelling, reading, and writing
- Dysgraphia: Not being able to write in an understandable way
- Hyperlexia: Inability to understand the words they are reading
If you suspect your child may have a disability which is preventing them from learning to read, then you should…
Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today
At District Speech, we can help with the diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities for your child.
By recognizing issues early on, and intervening early, you can set your child up for future success.
If you notice your child is struggling with language development, book your appointment as soon as possible.
This is because early intervention in speech and language disorders has been shown to produce much better results than waiting to treat later.
For pediatric speech therapy services in Washington DC and area, contact us today to set up a consultation.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.