Learning how to read is a fundamental skill that every child should be taught. With children that have a speech delay, parents have a tougher time trying to get them to learn how to read. Speech problems do not have to impact on the ability to read.
With some simple strategies, parents can greatly help their speech delayed child start to read.
Reading is an important tool for everybody to possess, and parents can help their speech delay kids start reading through the use of a few helpful methods. A speech delay is not a reason to avoid reading, which is paramount to language development. Parents should be positive role models for their children when it comes to reading.
The first thing to do is to help your child to understand articulation. This is the act of moving your mouth in order to produce varying sounds. The lips and the tongue help to form different sounds.
Some sounds require your mouth to be open or closed, and your tongue moves about inside your mouth for many sounds, and outside for a few.
Your tongue moves around a lot during speech. By using an open mouth when speaking to your child, they will be able to see what they need to do in order to make certain sounds. Certain tricks such as holding a popsicle stick down on the tongue can help make certain sounds, such as "g" and "k", which can help the child to make the proper sounds while trying to read.
Reading children's books is an important tool to help kids with speech delays. Rote reading helps a child to learn, over an amount of time, what words mean, and how they are properly spoken. When reading with your speech delay child, you should constantly read the same few books.
This can be done several times throughout the course of the day, or over a longer period of time. Reading the same books over and over will give your speech delay child a chance to learn through memorization.
As you continue to read the same books, start to leave out words, usually at the end of a sentence, and have your child fill in the missing blanks. This will give them a sense of entitlement and empowerment over their reading skills. Switch up which words you leave out, so that they learn more words.
After they fill in the missing word, perhaps you could take a moment to try and figure out some words that rhyme, which will give them a chance to see how other sounds can work together to make similar sounds. This is an important step in learning how to read.
When reading, enjoy the illustrations in your child's book. The illustrators have crammed the pages full of detail, and should be given their just due. The pictures all help to tell the story, and this can be extremely beneficial to a child with speech delays.
Talk about all of the things that are going on in the picture, such as naming people. If there are pictures of animals, ask your child to talk like that animal. Seeing the relationship between pictures and words will help with the speech delay by allowing your child to make more connections.
After talking about the pictures on the page, find words on the page that correspond to the pictures. This will give your child another opportunity to make connections. When reading, go slowly. Point to each word and show which letters make which sounds.
Have your child try and repeat after you, and correct any mistakes by verbalizing the proper pronunciation. Do not tell your speech delayed child that they made an error, rather model the proper sounds repeatedly.
A speech delay can impact reading skills, but as a parent, you should practice every day to ensure that your child is not falling further behind in their growth and development skills.