A phonemic awareness assessment can help your child identify a weak cognitive skill which is necessary for learning. Weak cognitive skills are a large factor in the majority of learning disabilities which affect people from all walks of life. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and analyze discreet sounds. It is the cognitive skill that allows us to connect speech sounds to the letters in words. There are various stages that your children will go through in their learning development, and you can notice if they lack phonemic awareness during each of these stages. If you notice any of the risk factors which indicate a lack of phonemic awareness in your child you are highly encouraged to schedule a complete phonemic awareness assessment at a qualified learning training center.
Students as young as Pre-K to Kindergarten age can lack phonemic awareness. Warning signs to watch for include a difficulty recognizing rhymes, trouble remembering names of friends or classmates, and a difficulty with the development of normal speech. At the end of first grade the warning signs to watch for include those mentioned above and if your child has difficulty with spelling common words, reading aloud, sounding out words, blending sounds, and trouble applying the mechanics of sounds within words to reading and spelling.
At the end of second grade you will continue to see warning signs that will indicate weak phonemic awareness skills. If you find that your child has difficulty recalling simple facts and details it is important to get them tested. Other factors affecting your child at the end of second grade may be a difficulty spelling previously studied and commonly seen words, difficulty reading aloud, and difficulty using phonics to sound out words.
By the age of five, phonemic awareness is typically established in around 80% of children. The other 20% will continue to show warning signs past the age of nine and into the teen years, and beyond. The common signs to watch out for are a history of reading and spelling struggles, a dislike of reading, not wanting to read aloud, or having to spend extra time doing homework. If you see any of these symptoms in your child schedule a complete cognitive skills assessment. A phonemic awareness assessment will be included in this overall assessment at a quality learning training center. This test will also indicate any other weak cognitive skills that may become, or already are a problem for your child. By running this test you will help avoid future learning disabilities, ensuring your child healthy learning for the rest of their life. The learning training center will map out a plan for strengthening this cognitive skill.
To further emphasize the importance of strong phonemic awareness skills the Institute of Health and Child Development discovered that 88% of reading difficulties were a result of weak phonemic awareness. This was found during a ten-year study from 1985 to 1995. Make sure you get your child tested if you notice any of the warning signs and struggles listed above. Their future depends on your action.
By Ken Gibson