At this time of year, every year, parents find themselves asking if their child will be ready for the brand new world that is primary school. It’s certainly a big step up from pre-school and not just because of the uniforms and shoe-lace tying. Formal schooling presents many new challenges to children in terms of the increased demands on their speech and language skills.
Here is what the experts say:
According to Gail Mulcair, CEO of Speech Pathology Australia, “Children who enter school with language difficulties are at risk of literacy problems, poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, social and behavioural problems and reduced employment options”.
An Australian study in 2008 showed that teachers are reporting up to 21% of children are entering school with difficulties expressing themselves to others through speech.
A report out of the Child Bank Data Centre in 2012 concludes that “Children who enter school with early skills, such as a basic knowledge of math and reading, are more likely than their peers to experience later academic success, attain higher levels of education, and secure employment.”
So what can you do to ensure your child is ready for “big school”?
- Look at our norms for communication development to see if your child is tracking ok;
- Chat to the team at Communicate Speech Pathology to arrange a school readiness test for your child at home or at their preschool or day-care centre;
- Book a school readiness talk for your pre-school/daycare group with one of Communicate’s highly trained therapists to learn more about what it means to be school ready;
- Check out our Facebook page for lots of suggested games, activities and Apps to promote your child’s speech and language skills at www.facebook.com/CommunicateSpeech;
- Talk to your child’s preschool teacher.
If you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language development please speak to your child’s Teacher or Centre Director or feel free to contact us on 9328 3444 or email@example.com.