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Literacy and speech pathology

Find out more about what literacy is and how a speech pathologist can help

Classroom with utensils

What is literacy?

On the surface – literacy is about reading and writing. But if you consider its purpose, it is about communicating messages that help us navigate the world around us.

You wake up in the morning, check your phone, grab your cereal (or other breakfast item), brush your teeth, sign a form for school, look at your calendar, pack lunches & school bags, get a message that it is actually a non-uniform day, change the kids and somehow manage to get out the door and to drop-off. Let’s not forget a caffeinated beverage of choice.

At every single step you have had to read something, a message, a packet, a calendar, a sign, a menu. You had to write your name, write a message, write a to-do list, write a note.

As your child develops literacy skills, they’re not only learning how to read and write, but how to communicate and confidently interact with all aspects of life.

What is a speech pathologist?

A speech pathologist, also known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), specialises in assessing, diagnosing, and treating communication and speech disorders.

They work with individuals of all ages to address difficulties in speech, language, voice, fluency, and swallowing.

Speech pathologists create personalised intervention plans, provide therapy, and offer strategies to improve communication and overall oral-motor function.

They may work in various settings, including schools, hospitals, clinics, or private practices, helping individuals enhance their communication skills and quality of life.

What has a speech pathologist got to do with literacy?

Speech pathologists are communication specialists. Speechies play a crucial role in literacy development by addressing the language and communication challenges that impact (or are impacted by) reading and writing skills.

Speech pathologists are uniquely placed – bringing together specialist knowledge of speech-sounds and language (including written language) to build pathways to successful communication.

Speech pathologists also have the benefit of coming from a rigorous scientific background, with a focus on evidence-based practice – no snake oil here!

Cute Girl

Do I need a
speech pathologist
or a tutor?

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