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Stacking Blocks

What is Literacy?

Literacy skills are the abilities to read and write. Reading and writing are highly complex skills that are the results of multiple skills and systems working together.


Here are some areas related to literacy:

  • Print awareness

  • Letter knowledge

  • Phonemic awareness (sound awareness)

  • Phonics (relationship between sounds and letters)

  • General phonological awareness

    • rhyming

    • segmenting/blending sounds or syllables

  • Morphological awareness
    • derivation (such as prefixes, suffixes)
    • inflection (such as verb tense, plurals)
    • compounds​
  • Decoding (sound-symbol knowledge to blend sounds into words)

  • Fluency (reading text smoothly)

  • Comprehension

    • Vocabulary

    • Inferencing

    • Summarizing

    • Figurative language

  • Grammar (combining words into phrases and sentences)

  • Visual tracking

  • Working memory

  • Long term memory

  • Thought formulation, or planning

  • Sequencing and organization

  • Expressive language

  • Fine motor skills

  • Attention

  • Interest level

  • Cognition

  • Metacognition (self monitoring, self reviewing)

My family member has a history of speech or language delays. Will they have trouble learning to read or write?


Not necessarily but it is important to be proactive about promoting emergent literacy skills such as:

  • Rhyming

  • Talking about letters and sounds

  • Talking about pictures in a book

  • Listening to your child's ideas and encouraging them to share their thoughts

  • Letting kids practice "writing" by making marks on paper and scribbling

What is dyslexia?


Dyslexia is a difficulty with word recognition. It is expressed as difficulty reading despite reading instruction and typical cognitive or neurological abilities.

Who can target literacy skills?


Reading and writing are under the Speech-Language Pathologist scope of practice. Difficulties with these skills are often language based, but a coordinated therapy plan may involve other professionals such as a pediatric neuropsychologist, an occupational therapist, an ophthalmologist for vision related concerns, as well as your family member's school team. 

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