How Speech and Language Affects Your Child’s Reading

How Speech and Language Affects Your Child’s Reading


Many children who struggle with speech and language difficulties also have trouble with the acquisition of literacy skills. Articulation deficits, for example, may impact a child’s phonemic awareness (the ability to recognize and analyze the sounds in words), which is a vital component of learning to read.  Children who have difficulty recognizing different syllables and sounds may have trouble sounding out words as they read.  Delayed language development may also contribute to a limited vocabulary which can cause difficulty with reading comprehension.  In school, these students often have difficulty with reading and demonstrating their understanding of material to teachers, both verbally and in writing.

Since spoken language provides the foundation for the development of reading and writing, it makes sense that instruction in spoken language, or speech-language therapy, may result in the growth of a child’s reading and writing skills. The early support of a speech language therapist can impact a child’s development of basic literacy skills in areas such as phonemic awareness, reading fluency, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension.

On-going reading and writing problems may contribute to an older student’s difficulties in using language strategically to communicate, think, and learn. Speech therapists have specialized knowledge and the experience needed to identify communication problems and to provide the help that children need to build critical language skills so that they can be successful in school.

Speech language therapists are often the first professionals to identify root causes of reading and writing problems through the child’s difficulty with language. With their help, children can build the skills they need to succeed in school and in life. A speech language therapist’s knowledge of normal and disordered language acquisition, their understanding of sequential skill development, and their clinical experience in developing individualized programs for children prepare them to be an important part of the reading instruction team.

If you believe your child may be delayed in language development or literacy, do not hesitate to reach out to us for an initial consultation.


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  2. I never knew that it’s possible for your child’s reading comprehension to be affected when they have delayed language development. My son is turning 5 next month, and I can say that his speech development seems to be not normal since he can’t speak with clear words. Since I want him to not have any issues in learning academically and understanding his lessons, I’ll be sure to consult a speech therapist for him. Thanks!

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