Aug 19
Local speech pathologists help children become ‘literate for life’

The importance of having good literacy skills despite our increased use of technology to communicate is being highlighted during Speech Pathology Week (21-27 August)                      

“Poor literacy skills make it difficult to access an education, find a job and even take part in the community. Almost half (46 per cent) of Australians aged between 15 and 74 years do not have the literacy skills needed to meet the demands of everyday life. This shows how important it is to foster good literacy skills – regardless of age,” said Dubbo Speech Pathologist, Ms Eliza Webster.

Being literate means being able to understand and analyse what you read, as well as write in a variety of ways for different purposes including stories, text messages, lists and completing forms. Literacy difficulties can be due to an underlying communication problem, which may be impacting on someone’s written and verbal communication.

“Speech Pathologists have the specialised knowledge and experience needed to identify communication difficulties and to provide people with the help that they need to build critical language and literacy skills,”said Ms Webster.

Speech pathologists also play a vital role in the development of key speaking and listening skills, including awareness of the sounds in words and language comprehension. These skills provide the foundation on which literacy is built.

At Dubbo Community Health Centre, Speech Pathologists assess an individual’s speech and language skills, and help develop individualised recommendations and support that complement other literacy programs.

If you are concerned that your child might have literacy or communication difficulties, encourage them to visit a Speech Pathologist or make enquiries with their school or health service.

For more information about speech pathology and Speech Pathology Week, visit www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au.