3 Critical Literacy Signs You Might Have Missed

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

There are 3️⃣ critical signs to be watching for in your child’s literacy development, but if you’re like most moms and even some SLPs, you’re probably missing them. 📖

It’s week 3 of our Better Hearing and Speech month, and this week Amy is interviewing Denise Wagstaff, M.S. CCC-SLP. Denise is a certified speech-language pathologist very experienced in literacy development, and in private practice in the Ontario area. She has spent 30 years working with kids in speech sound development, language skills, literacy, presentation, and overall communication skills, and even training parents. 🤓

Are you a little overwhelmed by being thrown into “Crisis-schooling?” 👩🏻‍🏫

Or maybe you’re having a hard time figuring out if your kids are on track with their literacy skills.

Or it’s also possible you’ve been wondering why some kids have such a hard time learning to read. 📚

In either case, you are worried you’re going to miss something important, and it’s going to be a big deal down the road.

Or maybe you’re listening to the consensus that says you don’t really need to worry about it until 3rd grade. (Or it isn’t a big deal until middle school.)

But the truth of the matter is when your kids get to third grade the concepts and the volume the vocabulary they will work through are going to accelerate, and if you wait to address them when they get there then it’s too late. ⏳

The best time to start figuring things out is right now. ⏰

As the person in charge of figuring out what’s going on with your kids, you want to make sure you get it right. 👩🏻‍🏫

With 30 years of helping kids with literacy, speech sound development, language skills, and overall communication skills, Denise may be just the resource you need. ☑️ Whether it’s dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, or even just weak phonological skills, reliable signs are evident as early as four years old. Denise is going to show you 3️⃣ critical skills to be watching for.

If you're ready to have simple, actionable steps you can take to help you assess where your kiddos are and make a judgment about how to move forward, find out how she’s shifting her practice during this time and her advice to others doing the same, keep on reading - or watch the full interview at the end. 👇🏼👇🏼

A: First of all, why speech pathology?

D: When I was studying abroad, I found myself coaching students learning English and they would ask me how to say certain words. My friend, whose mom was an SLP, kept telling me "that's what my mom does". So I got more interested in this field.

A: So tell me how you got started focusing on pre-literacy and literacy skills for kids.

D: When I was working with students, there were some tools being used that just weren't working. I found that most teachers and even reading specialists have not been trained and have not seen the research or know the earliest signs to look for even at 4 years of age. Many school boards have no training on how to detect these early warning signs. 17% struggle with literacy, and of those 70-80% have dyslexia.

A: Talk to me about the 3 critical signs you help parents with surrounding these questions and challenges.

D: 1) Rhyming - recognize and create them. By five years of age, a child should be able to do this.

2) Memorizing - children should be able to recall names of letters by age three. Remembering names and memorizing common sequences about themselves.

3) Being able to recognize the word that they just learned. (ex. reading the word "ran" and recognizing the word again on the next page)

A: Clarify the difference between phonics and phonological awareness?

D: Phonics is about a certain shape represents a certain sound. Symbol = sound

Phonological Awareness - the ability to hear specific sounds in words. Word awareness. It has nothing to do with the written letter or word.

Phonics - written vs Phonological Awareness - what you hear

A: How have you and your family had to PIVOT during this time of social distancing?? What is your best advice for someone who is wondering how to change the way they do business during these strange times?

D: I'm been learning how to do teletherapy and green screens. I'm learning how to keep little ones entertained through the screen. Definitely learn about green screens and materials to keeping your practice going. Get good with your tech stuff!

A: What the next best step for parents to take?

D: Check on family history.

Reach out to Denise via Facebook here. She has parent coaching options available to you.

To see my full interview click the link below & grab the resources below.

Resources & Freebies:

Phonological Awareness Activities

Warning Signs for Dsylexia

Rhyming Test