We know that strong receptive and expressive language help determine children’s reading comprehension ability. But that is only after they can actually read words accurately and fluently. Children should not be stepping into their first day of kindergarten unprepared to learn to read or with unnoticed or unaddressed potential problems. Parents must be given essential information as early as possible to help prepare their children for this necessary life-skill.
In the first book of these beautifully illustrated graphic plays, the main character, Ms. Query, takes her youngest child to the pediatrician for his annual physical. This visit is different from prior visits because the pediatrician includes a “literacy checkup.” The conversation between Ms. Query and the pediatrician about language, literacy, and dyslexia is what every parent of my students tells me they wish they had had with their child’s doctor.
Unfortunately, in elementary schools today, intervention for reading difficulties and diagnosing developmental dyslexia are primarily viewed under a “wait-to-fail-approach.” Schools are delivering ineffective reading instruction in the classrooms, while unnecessarily delaying or denying services to struggling children, many of whom would not be struggling if they were taught correctly in the first place.
I have heard innumerable accounts from parents who were made to feel as though they were to blame for not adequately preparing their children to learn to read. So many of them have been asked, “Did you read to your child? Do you have books in your home?” And so many of them tell me, “Of course, I did, and of course, I do.”
The truth is there is just too much misinformation coming out of the education community about literacy development in the early stages based upon misguided but entrenched theories of how kids learn to read. Regretfully, schools and teaching colleges continue to promote reading instruction methods that have been consistently and thoroughly debunked by science.
Until they get on board with the science of reading and there is a paradigm shift in the way reading is taught, pediatricians must help parents identify children at risk for reading problems and provide them with the information and resources they need as early as possible.
A great book for parents and pediatricians alike! Look for all three titles in the "If Only I Would Have Known..." series!