Dyslexia, a language-based learning disorder that affects reading and writing skills, impacts 1 in 5 people worldwide. To fully understand the speech-language pathologist’s role in diagnosing and treating Dyslexia, it is important to realize the connection between language and the development of literacy skills.
The Simple View of Reading
At its core, reading can be simplified into two main components: language comprehension and word recognition.
Language comprehension encompasses vocabulary knowledge, verbal reasoning, and grammar skills. These skills in understanding language lead us to the ultimate goal of reading which is to understand and make sense of written text.
What may not be as apparent is the profound role that language plays in word recognition. Written words are, in essence, a visual representation of spoken language. To read fluently and with understanding, our brains must quickly connect letters (symbols) to the corresponding sound they make. The ability to do this starts before we even learn our letter sounds. It begins with developing phonological awareness, the ability to recognize and manipulate sounds in words. These strong processing abilities in the sound system of language are crucial for developing fluent reading skills.
The connection between speech-language development and literacy skills is undeniable. Children who struggle with speech-language development are at higher risk of encountering difficulties when learning to read and write. This connection highlights the vital role that speech-language pathologists can play in diagnosing and treating Dyslexia. Here’s how SLPs can make a difference:
In a nutshell, reading is not just about the letters on the page; it's about connecting those letters to the speech and language centers of our brain. Kids with Dyslexia can overcome their reading challenges with the help of a variety of professionals including speech-language pathologists, who are experts in language and how we learn it.
If you are looking for support for your child feel free to reach out for a free 30-minute consultation.