By: Alissa Talamo, PhD
Clinical Neuropsychologist, NESCA
Aside from allowing children to access school instruction, the ability to read provides a child with the opportunity to read for pleasure. Reading for pleasure has been shown to support a child’s cognitive development, improve concentration, increase a child’s vocabulary, expand a child’s level of creativity and imagination, improve empathy and provide the child with a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Here are some ideas to support reading for children of all ages:
- Develop awareness of different sounds
- For example, have your child look for things around the home that start with a certain letter sound.
- Play rhyming games.
- Sing songs.
- Read the same book to them daily for several days
- Point out and talk about different vocabulary words each time.
- Repetition helps build vocabulary and comprehension.
Early School Years:
- Practice rhyming
- Say a word and have your child see how many real or made-up words they can say that rhyme with that word.
- Practice reading
- Have your child read a page of a “just right” book aloud. Be sure it’s a page they can read with fewer than two or three reading mistakes.
- Have your student use their finger to ensure they stop and look at every word rather than guess or skip words.
- Another goal may be to pause whenever they see a period, since many struggling readers miss punctuation.
For All School Grades/Ages:
- Read books of interest aloud to your child that they may not yet be able to read independently. This will allow your child to enjoy more sophisticated stories and increase their exposure to complex syntax and new vocabulary.
- Continue to introduce a wide range of books.
- Let your child’s areas of interest(s) help determine the books you choose.
- Provide your child with experiences that help increase their background knowledge before reading about a topic, as this will then help with reading comprehension.
- Ask your child questions about what you’re reading as you go. For younger children, this may involve them retelling the story. Ask older students to identify the key points in the text.
Finally, here is a list of apps and websites that can provide activities and books for you to enjoy as a family.
If you suspect your child may have reading challenges, join Dr. Talamo for a webinar on how to spot those early signs on October 15, 2020, from 2:00-3:00 PM ET.
Register in advance for this webinar: https://nesca-newton.zoom.us/…/WN_4XOoaw4IS-e8xEkHt6ev_A
About the Author:
With NESCA since its inception in 2007, Dr. Talamo had previously practiced for many years as a child and adolescent clinical psychologist before completing postdoctoral re-training in pediatric neuropsychology at the Children’s Evaluation Center.
After receiving her undergraduate degree from Columbia University, Dr. Talamo earned her doctorate in clinical health psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University.
She has given a number of presentations, most recently on “How to Recognize a Struggling Reader,” “Supporting Students with Working Memory Limitations,” (with Bonnie Singer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP of Architects for Learning), and “Executive Function in Elementary and Middle School Students.”
Dr. Talamo specializes in working with children and adolescents with language-based learning disabilities including dyslexia, attentional disorders, and emotional issues. She is also interested in working with highly gifted children.
Her professional memberships include MAGE (Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education), IDA (International Dyslexia Association), MABIDA (the Massachusetts division of IDA) and MNS (the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society).
She is the mother of one teenage girl.
To book a consultation with Dr. Talamo or one of our many other expert neuropsychologists, complete NESCA’s online intake form.
Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is a pediatric neuropsychology practice and integrative treatment center with offices in Newton, Massachusetts, Plainville, Massachusetts, and Londonderry, New Hampshire, serving clients from preschool through young adulthood and their families. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-658-9800.