I’m worried about my child’s speech/language/reading development, but I’m not sure if an evaluation or treatment are really necessary. How do I know if this is something my child will “just grow out of”?
Speech pathologists recognize that all children are individuals that grow at their own pace. While they primarily focus on speech and language development, they also use other aspects of development (in addition to informal and formal assessment measures) to help decide whether a problem truly exists. For some children, an evaluation may lead to a “monitor” status instead of the initiation of treatment. This status helps parents feel empowered to have a professional on their child’s team (in addition to their pediatrician) that is monitoring their child’s development and can help them decide when formal intervention may be necessary.
Why should I choose a speech pathologist to address my child’s reading, spelling, and writing difficulties?
Speech pathologists spend considerable time in their undergraduate and graduate studies devoted to the study of language development as well as phonetics (the study of how humans perceive sound). One of the primary problems in dyslexia is phonological awareness, which centers on the ability to discriminate and manipulate sounds at the sound, syllable, word, and sentence levels. It is not unusual to see children who have articulation difficulties in their preschool years begin to have difficulty learning to read and write as they transition to elementary school. Speech pathologists are uniquely positioned to address the underlying contributors to both problems, especially when articulation difficulties are occurring along with reading and spelling difficulties. In addition, speech pathologists are trained to identify language problems that may also be contributing to reading comprehension difficulties.
I have been searching online and noticed that there are an overwhelming number of programs designed to treat reading and spelling difficulties. How do I know if I am choosing the right one for my child?
The simple answer to this question is that the treatment being delivered should be targeted to the problems a child is experiencing. If the treatment being delivered isn’t tailored to those specific problems, the child is unlikely to make substantial progress (regardless of how effective the overall program may be at helping other individuals).
After your literacy evaluation is completed, Lauren will go over which specific areas of difficulty your child is having, and how weaknesses identified on testing are contributing to your child’s reading and/or spelling difficulty. Parents are always included in the goal setting and treatment process so that they can play an active role in their child’s treatment.