Phonological Awareness and Literacy
difficulties can present itself in your child who might be struggling to progress at school with reading, writing or spelling.
Phonological awareness is the understanding that words are made of smaller parts (ex. syllables and sounds). In order to develop reading and spelling skills, the child must recognise letters and sounds, blend sounds together and recognise whole words (sight words).
Research shows that a strong relationship exists with early phonological awareness skills and the development of reading and spelling. If left untreated, difficulties in other areas may arise including problems reading and comprehending written instructions, completing academic work and self-confidence.
Characteristics of phonological awareness or literacy problems:
Difficulties recognising and producing words that rhyme
Cannot hear the first sound in a word
Unable to segment words into sounds (p-a-t – 3 sounds)
Problems decoding words
What can be done?
Assessment: During a phonological awareness or literacy assessment, the clinician will gather case history information, deliver standardised assessment tools, score the results and write all of the information into a report. The information gathered from the assessment will determine if the child has difficulties with early phonological awareness skills or higher-level literacy difficulties.
Typically, the assessment lasts one to one-and-a-half hours. The clinician will recommend the best treatment approach based on information gathered from the assessment.
The treatment approach for phonological awareness or literacy skills involves developing the child’s ability to identify and produce rhyming words, syllable awareness, blending sounds, identify sounds at the start-middle-end of words, improving reading comprehension and improving spelling. Treatment sessions are typically one-hour in duration unless the child has difficulties sitting and attending to tasks. Home practice activities are given to parents during treatment visits.
Difficulties pronouncing words
Reads in a slow, laboured or dysfluent manner
Difficulties understanding what they read
Difficulties spelling and writing
If you are unsure if your child has a communication problem, please phone us at Little Star to speak directly to a speech therapist regarding your questions