Literacy involves all the skills required to read and write. Early literacy development begins with children looking at books and listening to their parents read. Song books are a great way to support early literacy. Children can sing along while using their finger to follow along in the book. Songs also repeat words and create predictability which allows children the ability to learn new vocabulary. Rhyming and sound patterns are also an important part of early literacy, as children learn to manipulate word and letter patterns. Learning the alphabet, and playing with letters and sounds using games and puzzles is great preparation for later writing. It is important for children to know the shape and names of letters, as well as develop sound-letter correspondence. These skills foster their later word level reading and writing skills.
Learning to read and write can be a challenge for some individuals. The individual may struggle to acquire pre-reading skills (phonological or phonemic awareness) or may have difficulty applying those skills to accurately decode words when reading or spell words when writing. Other individuals may struggle to generate longer texts such as a written report or essay for school.
A Speech-Language Pathologist can assess and treat reading and writing challenges at any age.