Written By: Melissa Gagnon, Owner and Speech Language Pathologist
I remember when I was a child in elementary school, I struggled with reading. I really don't ever remember being taught how to read- it was something that you just 'learned'.
My struggle to read impacted many areas of my life - it created anxiety, it disconnected me from my peers, and it resulted in me having a smaller vocabulary. Let's unpack this for a moment, shall we? First of all, the anxiety that came with reading was present all throughout my elementary, high school, and even university years. When I was called upon to read out loud in class I would become extremely anxious, as I knew I would have difficulty with sounding new words out. Now, as a Speech Language Pathologist who has knowledge in the Science of Reading (SOR) and teaches the rules of reading, I have increased confidence in my abilities to read because I understand the HOW! It is truly amazing how powerful knowledge can be! It also brings me so much joy to watch the confidence of each reader grow as they learn how to read!
Circling back to my elementary school days- because I was not a strong reader, I did not particularly enjoy reading in my spare time and would only read when it was necessary. This created a disconnect between my peers and I. Many of my peers would read popular novels and discuss them together. Unfortunately, I would not be able to add to these discussions because I generally would not have read the books. I primarily gravitated towards the 'easy' books; which sometimes would result in comments from my peers.
Reading books below my grade level also resulted in being exposed to less vocabulary. This made reading comprehension difficult and negatively impacted my ability to follow conversations in a social setting. To this day, I recognize that my vocabulary is lower than same aged individuals and this continues to impact my life. This is way I am so passionate about helping support kids to become better readers at a young age- so that they don't face the same struggles that I did! I now know that I was probably one of many students who would have benefited from being taught the rules of reading and HOW to read!
I have taken multiple continuing education courses in the area of Literacy over my 12 years of being a Speech Language Pathologist and continue to develop my skills in this area. I have learned so much about the Science of Reading, understanding more about how the brain develops literacy skills and how to best support students using a research based approach. I know now how important a structured literacy approach is for students. Without it, only 30% of students will learn to read. Fifty percent require explicit and direct instruction in foundational skills to learn to read, and a further 15% require additional attention and support. I was one of those children who required this support.
If you feel that your child is not receiving the support that they need in order to be a successful reader, reach out to us today! We offer one to one support and are excited to be offering our first ever summer literacy program! Contact use today to learn more!