Dear Teagan, My seven-year-old is falling behind in literacy, what can I do?
Most 7 year olds are in around grade 2 of primary school. If your child is experiencing speech, language, literacy or social difficulties, it starts to become more apparent as they progress through the primary school years.
Some children with these difficulties are finding specific subjects difficult to learn, or they may be having generalised difficulties like following instructions, responding to questions and completing their classroom work.
Many parents notice around this time that their child is having persistent difficulties with their literacy. When children begin school, they learn to read. Around grade 2 or 3, the focus shifts from learning to read, to reading to learn. Children are expected to have consolidated enough literacy skills in order to continue to learn their new curriculum, which increasingly requires children to read independently, comprehend and draw information from the text.
Speech pathologists are able to investigate why learning literacy is difficulty, and provide really specific support to the underlying skills that are lacking. They can teach children strategies and techniques to overcome their barriers to literacy success.
By the time children are 7, there should be little to no speech (articulation) errors remaining. There may be the occasional difficulty with ‘th’ but generally most children have mastered this. This is important as children are learning to sound out words for spelling!
Some children with underlying language difficulties can begin to show oppositional or defiant behaviours, especially at school. Some children begin school refusal as the workload becomes increasingly harder, and they can notice the gap between them and their peers increasing. Behaviour is a way of communicating, and it’s important to look into the cause of the behaviours, and what the behaviours are telling us! Is school difficult? Why? Most learning difficulties have underlying language difficulties.
If you are concerned about your child’s academic progress, their ability to speak clearly, or their ability to efficiently get their message across, give us a call at Talk Time and we’ll talk about how we can help.