Literacy involves the ability to:
• Read – decode and comprehend written words and texts;
• Spell; and
• Write – from single words to phrases/sentences as well as essays and stories.
Developing these skills requires a solid foundation of verbal language and later results in a cyclic relationship where improvements in either area enhances the other.
As children start school and progress through to adolescence and adulthood, literacy becomes a central aspect of their learning and communication.
Difficulties with literacy requires a team-based approach which should start with an in-depth assessment by a speech pathologist to identify areas of strengths and weakness in both verbal language and literacy. Following this, a plan should be made with input from the parents, teachers, speech pathologists and any other people working with the child (Occupational therapist, teacher’s aides, psychologist) to ensure that all the child’s needs are being met to improve their literacy and encourage ongoing development.