Reading, Writing & Literacy
Oral language and written language are impacted by language-based learning disabilities. A child with speech and language impairments may experience difficulty acquiring literacy skills. Early phonological awareness skills include identifying sound symbol correspondence, phoneme blending, phoneme segmentation, phoneme deletion, syllable deletion and segmentation, rhyme production, and sentence segmentation. Difficulties with identifying individual sounds in words, as seen in children with poor phonological awareness, impact a child's ability to break down written language. For some students, reading difficulties aren't detected until the later elementary school years (ie. grades 3-6) when the role of literacy in education shifts from success with decoding to success with comprehension. When there are difficulties with processing written information, the ability to reflect on and organize information in a written language sample is negatively impacted.
Difficulties with attention, organization, working memory, auditory memory, and visual memory will influence how an individual learns to read and write. If there is a breakdown anywhere in the system, then reading and writing disabilities can arise.
Therapeutic interventions for reading and writing disabilities are most effective when they are individualized. Given that the nature of a diagnosis influences the course of treatment, it's essential to any effective reading program that it takes into account the learning style of the individual. Multi-sensory, structured, and systematic approaches such as the Wilson Program, Orton-Gillingham, and Lindamood Bell are highly effective for students with dyslexia and reading comprehension deficits. Individuals with Intellectual Impairments may benefit from rote learning approaches that utilize the learning of whole words, rather than teaching with a phonological approach. The ability to determine what type of learner an individual is (visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic) is key to a successful intervention program.