Literacy refers to the skills of reading and writing. It is an important part of everyday life as it forms the basis of everything we do. If the right foundations aren’t in place, then it can set your child up for difficulties and challenges later in life. We all hope that our children are developing as expected, but what should you do if you feel something is not quite right?
Here are some signs that your child may need help with their literacy skills.
Speech, language skills and literacy are all closely linked. To be able to read and write successfully, you need to have a good understanding of how to say and understand words. Warning signs that your child may have difficulty grasping literacy include finding it difficult to pronounce words clearly, inability to identify rhyming words or general delays in the development of speech.
If your child shows these signs, it does not mean that they won͛t be able to read or write. All children develop at differing rates and require different support to ensure that they have the tools to be able to read and write successfully.
Difficulty forming letters demonstrates a lack of recognition and identification of letters of the alphabet. This, in turn, can result in a delay in the ability to read. It is expected that by the time a child reaches the first year of schooling that they should at least be able to recognise, if not write, their own name.
Interestingly a focus on writing can also improve reading and in particular comprehension ability. By writing down their interpretation of a text they have just read, a child can develop their ability to comprehend and therefore improve their reading skills.
Learning to read requires two main skills – word recognition and reading comprehension. Signs that your child may need help in this area include guessing words instead of sounding them out, not recognising the same word on the same page and not being able to remember ‘sights words (words that can’t be sounded out).
Comprehension refers to your ability to interpret what you have read. Signs of poor comprehension may include a lack of concentration whilst reading, inability to connect ideas, glossing over details when asked questions about what they have just read or confusion about the meaning of words and sentences.
Reluctance to read out loud also often indicates that a child finds reading challenging and may need extra encouragement to continue improving on their reading abilities.
Physical mobility, behavioural and mental capacity
When your child is engaged in physical activity, do they display poor co-ordination or seem to be constantly tripping over their own feet? These actions can indicate possible learning difficulties that make grasping literacy concepts difficult.
In addition, difficulty in processing instructions or remembering sequences can be signs of learning difficulties, which could make reading and writing challenging for your child. Behavioural signs include being easily distracted, problems dealing with new things, ‘naughty’ behaviour or inappropriate responses to questions or situations.
If your child shows any of these signs it is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible so that any issues can be rectified. Remember, all children develop at differing rates and there are many activities you can incorporate into everyday life to improve their skills to ensure academic success. At Leap into Literacy, we can help your child with confidence and new skills without them even realising that they are working towards improving their literacy!