I am often asked, “Why do I need a speech therapist, there’s nothing wrong with my child’s speech?” The answer is it’s not speech; it’s language.
Rather than being trained on a specific product or curricula such as Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood-Bell, of Barton Reading, a speech-language pathologist is knowledgeable to lay the oral language foundations of listening and speaking that build the written language skills of reading and writing. We may also utilize any of the programs mentioned but will individualize and supplement according to the specific language needs of the client.
Dr. E. D. Hirsch Jr., a highly regarded literary critic, founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, and professor emeritus at the University of Virginia highlights the different dimensions of learning to read from neuroscience to vocabulary, oral language, and early literacy to the relationship between the code and the brain processes connected, to creating a simulated language stream for comprehension. He focuses on building the code (encoding and decoding), vocabulary, and background knowledge necessary to make connections in reading and writing.
This developmental process depends on what he calls the “life learning trajectory” and does not happen automatically. Once decoding is mastered and visual symbols are turned into language, the language comprehension process is essentially the same when heard phonetically by the ear as when decoded phonemically by the eye. When visual symbols are turned into language the requirement to comprehend is the same. In other words, language is language whether oral or written.
The speech-language pathologist can be your best asset as we are highly trained in stimulating the skills of vocabulary, morphology, phonology, higher level processing, and pragmatics used in every day oral and written language.
We help by identifying and supporting evidence based and effective speech, language, reading, and writing interventions that positively impact children with dyslexia and other language-based learning issues.
Early intervention produces the best results. Contact us for help or to answer any questions you may have.