Reading is a habit that implies multiple benefits in the cognitive and emotional development of the child, helping him to know himself and the world around him, in addition to promoting the progress of his mental capacities such as: abstraction, memory, imagination or the language. Therefore, when parents consider that the child has more difficulty reading or writing than usual (he is taking a long time to learn to read, he reads very slowly, he does not understand what he reads, etc.) we considered the possibility of go to an expert. But, when is your intervention necessary and who is the right professional?
There are children who have difficulties when it comes to learning to read and write. Many of these problems disappear with the passage of time, since often due to varying rates of development that each child has. Instead, there are other types of learning problems that can affect them, such as language delays or certain specific disorders.
All children with such literacy difficulties perform poorly in school. Therefore, it is important that detect and diagnose the reason for your difficulty to be able to help you. It is also essential to do it as soon as possible to know if you need the involvement of professionals in your learning problems.
There are many factors that can affect literacy learning. Among them:
It is one of the most common. Dyslexia is a neural disorder that makes reading and language processing difficult. That is, when you suffer from this disorder, there is a difficulty to connect the letters with the sounds they produce. This affects fluent reading and reading comprehension.
2. Forced learning
The ideal age to learn to read and write is estimated to be around 6 years old. Before this age, the acquisition of literacy can be facilitated through games. However, they often fall into the trap of inadequate learning methods that force this acquisition and cause more difficulties than benefits.
Children with Attention Deficit and / or Hyperactivity Disorder have difficulty paying attention, in addition to having problems with executive functions - working memory, private voice of mind, flexible thinking, self-regulation - important for literacy. These kids will have trouble remembering reading rules, concentration problems understanding what they are reading and relating it to other texts. In addition, hyperactivity can make them want to finish the text as soon as possible and omit certain details of it.
They occur as a consequence of beginning to speak late, confusing sounds, mispronouncing, swapping or substituting phonemes, and shortening words. All of these features are normal when children begin to speak but disappear as they grow older. The problem comes when this does not happen.
5. Non-verbal learning disorder (NVAV)
It is a difficulty that affects social skills, abstract thinking and understanding of space throughout life. Their linguistic ability is good but they do not have the ability to classify the information that reaches them in an optimal way and they cannot understand general concepts. That is, children with this disorder perfectly read the text literally, but they do not understand the idea that is conveyed.
6. The environment
An environment without stimuli or that is socially unfavorable can lead to learning problems when it comes to reading and writing.
There are times when, due to the specific needs of each child, the intervention of different professionals will be necessary. Among them:
This professional will evaluate the child's cognitive, behavioral and emotional areas to define if the problem is specific or developmental. You will also have the power to find out if the problem comes from an unfavorable environment or, instead, is subject to a disorder.
This medical professional will be in charge of carrying out the relevant examinations and tests to evaluate the central nervous system at a structural and functional level to find out if the child's problem is biological, for subsequent evaluation and work in rehabilitation programs by the specific professional according to the results.
- Speech therapist
Specific professional who will be in charge of the problem of literacy if its origin comes from a problem in the acquisition of language.
If the origin of the problem is biological, he will be in charge of carrying out the necessary rehabilitation programs to deal with the difficulty.
But, in addition to a possible intervention by an expert, parents must continue working with children from home. In order to help the child, it is important that there is collaboration between the family and the educators so that the problem does not evolve and cause more serious difficulties in the child's learning. For this it is necessary that:
- Let's encourage effort. Even if the child believes that he is bad, parents must instill the value of effort to make them understand that with work and effort they can overcome this difficulty.
- There is family-educational center contact. From the school the teachers will inform about the different activities that can be worked on and provide the necessary material to be able to do it from home and, thus, improve the child's literacy.
- Read with him. Dedicating time to this activity daily produces a routine that facilitates reading and will end up being an enjoyable and shared activity for the child. Find children's stories that appeal to your child to make it a much more entertaining activity.
- Read out loud. It is an activity that facilitates reading, improves cognitive skills and expands vocabulary.
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