Early literacy difficulties include problems with speaking and listening, knowing letters, and sounding out words. If your child is 3-4 years old and you notice these signs or you’re worried about your child’s literacy development, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.About early literacy difficultiesSome children with early literacy difficulties will catch up to their peers. But some children who make slow early progress often need extra help. If they struggle in the preschool and early school years, they can experience delays in literacy development over the long term. So it’s a good idea to seek professional advice if your child is 3-4 years old and you’re worried about:
If you have a family history of literacy difficulties, it’s also good to seek advice.If you need help or advice, you could start by talking to your child’s preschool or school teacher, your paediatrician, General Practitioner (GP) or paediatrician, or a speech therapist. These professionals should also be able to direct you to other services and support.Signs of early literacy difficulties: 3-4 yearsBabies and children develop language at different rates. For example, many children who are late to start talking have caught up by the time they’re 3-4 years old. This means that we can’t say that very early issues with words and language are signs of early literacy difficulties.But by the time children are 3-4 years old, you might identify some problems with words and language as signs of literacy difficulties.If your child is 3-4 years old, he might be having early literacy difficulties if he:
With reading, seek help or advice if your child:
Literacy difficulties: 5 years and overIn spoken language, your child might be having literacy difficulties if he has trouble:
In reading, your child might be having literacy difficulties if she:
In understanding print concepts, your child might be having literacy difficulties if he:
Helping children with literacy difficultiesIf your child is having literacy difficulties, it’s important to keep giving her lots of opportunities to experience language and print in all its forms. This will help prepare your child for reading and writing tasks at school.Here are some things you can do:
Once your child starts school, you can also check in with the teacher about your child’s progress. You might need to work with the teacher on a support plan for your child. The earlier you and the teacher step in to help your child, the better his progress will be in the long term.For more ideas, check out our articles on reading with your child and literacy activities that you can do together.