In this episode of The Speech and Language Kids Podcast, speech-language pathologist Carrie Clark discusses what speech therapists can do to help with literacy (reading and writing) skills in children and adolescents.

What is Literacy?

  • Pre-reading skills like phonological awareness and basic language skills
  • Reading skills
  • Writing skills

Why do Children with Speech and Language Delays have Trouble with Literacy?

  • Children with repaired phonological (speech) problems still have underlying problems that can come back up with literacy skills (more likely to have reading problems later).
  • Children with language delays are missing a grasp of how to use their language for a variety of different literacy tasks.

What Does ASHA Say About our Role?

Roles for Speech-Language Pathologists

Prevention—Communicating risk factors to teachers and parents, and working with them to develop programs to help children acquire explicit, age-appropriate knowledge, skills and strategies of the components of language that contribute to reading and writing development.

Identifying At-Risk Children—Assisting in development and implementation of screening (e.g., instruments and teacher observation checklists) and referral procedures for very young children, as well as older school-age children, including modifying procedures to reduce bias (e.g., dynamic assessment techniques and criterion referenced tasks) for culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

Assessing—Selecting, implementing, adapting, and interpreting assessment tools and methods to evaluate skills in spoken language, reading, writing and spelling.

Providing Intervention—Collaborating with teachers and families to plan intervention goals and activities, as well as modifying curricula to keep students progressing in the general education curriculum.

Documenting Outcomes—Establishing a tracking system for identifying new or re-emerging literacy deficits and documenting outcomes of intervention goals and plans.

Program Development—Directing or participating in teams to develop school or system-wide strategic approaches to early identification and intervention for children with reading deficits.

Advocating for Effective Literacy Practices—Providing information about literacy development to state and local agencies that plan and evaluate curricula, establish comprehensive assessments and set related policies; educating them about relationships between spoken language and written language (i.e., reading, writing and spelling) and the benefits of collaborative instructional approaches.

Advancing the Knowledge Base—Conducting scientifically-based research on early literacy development.

Free Pre-Writing Organizers:

Need more resources for helping children with literacy?  Check out our free pre-writing organizers here:

Click Here to Download Your Free Pre-Writing Graphic Organizers