Think About This the Next Time You Read to Your Child

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Think About This the Next Time You Read to Your Child

This Easter, you’re probably looking forward to hunting for eggs, spending time with family, watching the kids run around for chocolate, and - well, dealing with the sugar high that follows. Tired at the end of the day, you’ll likely find yourself trying to put your kids to sleep using toys, bedtimes stories, or whatever else might work, including bribes from the Easter Bunny.

Whichever method works best for your family, there is a little known but very important impact bedtime stories have on a child’s development.  And so, every time you read to your child, I want you to think of this.

Once upon a time, there was a prominent study that looked at why children enter school with different levels of skill in language and learning - even before any formal education.

Well it turns out, not only are language skills foundational to children being ready to learn (aka ‘school readiness’), but it also affects language growth, cognitive development, literacy, and academic achievement down the road.

So, what is the crucial part of parenting that is critical to a child’s early language and learning?

One of the most important aspects of parenting that influences a young child’s language and learning skills is early and consistent learning activities, including:

  • Shared book reading
  • Storytelling
  • Teaching the letters of the alphabet

There you have it. The next time you read that bedtime story with your child, know that you are doing more than just trying to settle her down to sleep after a whole day of eating chocolate. Think about how you are actually setting the stage for her growth, her achievement, and ultimately her success and opportunities in life. And knowing that you are doing a fabulous job, go ahead and indulge in your own fair share of chocolate this weekend. You deserve it!

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What Parents Are Often Surprised to Learn

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What Parents Are Often Surprised to Learn

Parents often come to me with a problem, sometimes it’s the #1 thing on their mind. Their 8 year old can’t say the ‘r’ sound, they’re not sure if their 2 year old is speaking enough, or they’re biting nails over whether their 4 year old will be ready for kindergarten. So, they come to me to help their kids talk.

But did you know that children with a history of preschool speech/language problems are also more likely to have difficulty with reading/writing as they grow up? In fact, research has shown a correlation between low speech and language scores of 4 ½ year olds and poor reading test scores as they get older.

Check out the article here: Preschool speech, language skills, and reading at 7, 9, and 10 years: etiology of the relationship.

The parents I work with often recognize the challenges their child is having with reading & writing early on. This becomes more apparent throughout the primary school years and sometimes it’s hard to know where to turn for help outside of the school system and its resources. So, who can they turn to?

The answer is one parents are often surprised to learn. Reading skills are closely linked to a child’s ability to recognize sounds, understand language, and use language effectively. Meanwhile, writing skills are closely linked to a child’s ability to understand words, and thoughtfully use language to express themselves. So, if speech & language are at the root of developing reading & writing skills, it makes perfect sense that SLPs are uniquely suited to help with all of it. In fact, it’s what we do best.

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