Literacy in the broadest sense means reading and writing; using graphemes to represent sounds, which come together to form words (phonology) and structure which has meaning (semantics). It is the transference of oral to print form. One firstly has to delve into their internalised language system to access what they want to write, then formulate this with whatever graphic system is required (English, Maori, Japanese etc). When individuals experience difficulties with reading and writing, speech, language and literacy therapy can help the student develop these essential skills.
Sometimes there can be difficulties with:
- sight. One needs to be able to see the print. This can include Irlen syndrome, which presents as accessing print through use of altered lighting or colour to enhance sight.
- hearing. Children need to first hear the words to begin to know how to order the letters.
- ability to formulate what someone wants to write
- access to the motor system (to type or handwrite. Technology has developed significantly in this area)
- understanding or comprehending what is written (as in reading) or what an individual will write themselves- making sense of print.
Blended Speech, Language and Literacy Therapy
In my private practice as a speech, language and literacy specialist, I have woven these areas together as they are all linked on a continuum. At any point, from the young baby to the oldest adult, difficulties can arise which involve my services to assess the problem and provide speech, language or literacy therapy assistance to intervene.