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speech delay and learning to read

(10 Posts)
zebramummy Wed 10-Jun-09 10:41:09

my son (age 3, nearly 4, bilingual) has had speech delay but is now rapidly closing the gap. i have heard that around 70 percent of children who have had this delay go onto develop problems with literacy. i was just wondering if this was true and whether there are any early signs to indicate that they may need extra help. ds has always had an insatiable appetite for words, books, songs and poems. he will also act out scenes from books and derives a huge amount of enjoyment from them - even when he was stuck on single words from age 1-3 he would always finish off the last word and recognise and treasure his books. he knows the alphabet and is really into sounds 'what sould does that make? 'i found a sound' but gets frustrated by the mention of phonics - 'no phonics again!!!' can be heard from several houses away IMO! he recognises his name but not consistently and enjoys art although his mark making is not as developed as some of his peers. does any of this indicate that he may be ok with picking up the necesssary skills? also, is there a particular approach best suited to children who have had a delay? i have had a look at the usual suspects - phonics-based schemes (yawn!!!), headsprout (too computerised for us) and i am still not sure - i am leaning towards sight reading schemes as it was the way i would have learnt to read (i was reading confidently at three). i worry about him being left behind esp as we live in a part of london with huge class sizes and loads of non-english speakers so i want to give him a headstart because i dont have much faith in the school (despite its outstanding ofsted rating, there is a large value added element imo). your opinions would be most valued

gladders Wed 10-Jun-09 11:08:02

opened this one as my dd (near 3) also has speech delay...

i studied bilingualism at uni - it's quite normal to be delayed in both languages for the first feww years and then to get everything straight by about 4 or 5. your ds sounds completely normal in that regard?

if he's not 4, then his love of books and knowledge of letters is a great start. IMO he's a little young for phonics or any kind of structured reading programme? my ds is 4.5 and complains loudly abutt ing forced to do any structured work as he would rather play.

if the school has an outstanding ofsetd rating then they must be doing something right?

personally i wouldn't force reading on him at the moment - he sounds like he's already ahead of most of his peers. you have somt itme before he starts school yet anyway - if he shows some interest later on perhaps you could try again?

peanutbutterkid Wed 10-Jun-09 12:32:46

What is his speech delay like, OP?
I expect your child will be fine, just monitor his progress.

DS4yo has a moderate speech delay and has done very well at literacy. Even though he's left-handed with a summer birthday! The TA was saying very complimentary things only yesterday about his "lovely reading"!
I really don't know HOW that happened.
I have 3 other children so it's not like I could have given him much special attention, anyway. He didn't know any letters before he started school, except maybe the first letter of his own name (but he could recognise his own name before starting school, a very useful skill).

BonsoirAnna Wed 10-Jun-09 12:34:18

zebramummy - how was your DS' "speech delay" diagnosed? It doesn't sound like speech delay at all from your description...

Northumberlandlass Wed 10-Jun-09 13:45:20

My DS (6 in Sept) has delayed speech which was picked up on very early and he still sees the SALT in school. His issues are pronunciation of certain sounds (J / G / V / W)and endings of words. TBH sometimes it is laziness !! DS is in reception and in a very pushy school, but I think he is coping really well with his reading. He is exactly where he is supposed to be for his age. I can't really say whether or not his reading has suffered because of his speech delay, we encourage him, if he gets the sounds wrong we repeat it back to him correctly. The Jolly Phonics system actually helped quite a lot and the repetitive 'drills' they do in class corrected some of the sounds that were a bit off. DS Teacher has been fantastic in helping too.

noideawhereIamgoing Wed 10-Jun-09 13:59:54

My Ds has been having Speech & language therapy since he was three for a speech delay and a speech disorder. He's never had any probs with his reading - in fact, despite him starting in January, being summer born & not knowing any sounds when he started school he is now one of the best readers in his class.

zebramummy Wed 10-Jun-09 20:03:42

my ds was diagnosed at around his second birthday - i took him to a nursery rhyme singing session run by a speech therapist and she noticed that he didnt really want to join in and got upset if i did not accompany him out of the room in which it was taking place (circle of around 30 people). she then visited my house a few times to assess him and give advice. i decided not to implement some of the advice (drop all naps immediately, stop breasfeeding him now, start potty training now etc.) because i felt it was absurd and irrelevant. at 3 years he had 2.5 hours of salt input (half hr/day for one week) and similar at 3.5. ds is v shy/only child/had not yet started nursery - during the sessions, i would always point out that he knew a lot of the things he was failing to demonstrate and that theses words were part of his spontaneous vocabulary but the salt was not convinced and after a while i reckon that she thought i was completely deluding myself into believing that he was anything other than mute. in reality, despite his lack of chaining words together he was communicating non-stop as best he could from the start and had developed a beautiful relationship with books from age 1 (dh having witnessed all of this too!). fast forwarding a few months, he now has very clear pronunciation and well constructed sentences - most sentences are around 4-5 words although i am still working on extending some 'too short' replies - occasionally we get really long sentences too with a wide-ranging vocabulary. he is desperate to learn and learn which is why i am considering teaching him to read - i am honestly not pushy at all; i simply believe he is telling me that he is ready

Lizipads Wed 10-Jun-09 20:30:44

In answer to the original question, there seems no reason why a speech delay, in terms of when he strted, would necessarily lead to problems in literacy. I'd have thought if he has significant speech issues when he gets to school, then that would be different.

Given what you said about phonics, imo he is telling you he is NOT ready to learn via any form of structured route, not that he is.

What's wrong with just exploring the words you see all around you - shop signs, on buses / trains etc. My dc's could read (and understand) "This train terminates at Wembley Park" pretty much before anything else and certainly before they had heard the word "phonics".

Save yourself the stress on the reading and just carry on talking, sharing books and expanding his thinking. Love of words will have more of an impact than school, most probably.

His frustration, which you are interpreting as him wanting learning pushing his way, could just be frustration with not being able to express himself as he'd like. Just a thought.

BonsoirAnna Wed 10-Jun-09 21:02:00

zebramummy - is English your DS' dominant language?

zebramummy Wed 10-Jun-09 21:19:19

yes - my dh speaks a european language which ds understands quite well and is starting to speak albeit vv slowly

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