A recent report came out explaining that it is “Never too young” to read to your kids. You can read it on NPR.org here.
This is a great article for many reasons. Reading to babies and toddlers can dramatically help to improve a child’s readiness for reading by exposing them to vocabulary, all the complex sounds in our language, help with their abilities to infer, make predictions, and many other important components to reading. There have been countless research studies done on the differences between children who were exposed to many books when they were young, and children who had been deprived of all this oral and written language. If you want to read about the importance of this practice, Dr. Maryanne Wolf ‘s book Proust and the Squid (2007) does an excellent job. Here it is on Amazon.
Ok, so now to the point of this blog. A parent of a dyslexic child posted on Facebook that she was furious about the NPR article above. Why would she be furious? Here’s why:
When her child was struggling to learn how to read in school, many teachers, reading specialist, special education teachers, administrators, and her pediatrician kept saying, “You need to read to him more” and asking, “How often do you read to him?” This mother read to her child constantly, and these comments made her feel like all these people thought she was a bad mom because her son was struggling to learn how to read. He was struggling because he was dyslexic not because there was a lack of reading in his home.
If a child is dyslexic, it does not matter how much a parent reads to their child, that child will still be dyslexic. Reading out loud to a child does not cure dyslexia, and will not teach a dyslexic child to read. A dyslexic child needs a very specific type of reading instruction to learn how to read well, and spell correctly. You can read more about this on our “Reading Tutoring for Dyslexics” blog.
Do not misunderstand. Reading out loud to a dyslexic child is a great thing to do! It will help increase their vocabulary, comprehension skills, grammatical structure skills, and many other important components to reading. BUT, and I repeat; it isn’t going to teach them how to read.
So in a campaign to help disprove the myths that reading out loud to a child will cure their dyslexia, and that dyslexia is caused by a parent’s lack of reading out loud to their young child; I am joining the #ShowMeYourBookCase #Dyslexia campaign. Snap a picture of your bookcase filled with all the great books you have read to your child, and post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler, Flicker… or whatever is your favorite social media platform. Hashtag #ShowMeYourBookCase and #dyslexia and let’s show the world how many books are in the lives of dyslexic students!