WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27: Good morning,
I am here today with a reminder for parents and guardians of children entering Government Primary One classrooms this September.
If you were not able to participate in the testing of two year old children offered by the Department of Education’s Child Development Programme, you should take advantage of the free speech and language screening available to their children through the Department of Health.
Parents and guardians who attended P1 Parent Orientation meetings have already been advised of the screening, which will take place from July 2 to 13, 2012.
Those who still need to register must make an appointment by calling the Coordinator for Speech and Language Services with the Department of Health, Susan Price Barrett, at 278-6429. Appointments will be on a first-come, first-served basis and parents and guardians are encouraged to make their appointment as soon as possible.
It should be noted that parents or guardians will be required to accompany their child to the brief screening session and a therapist will be on hand to discuss any concerns.
I would like to stress to parents the importance of this screening to ensure that their child’s communication readiness skills are developing at the appropriate level for success in social interactions, classroom activities and the development of literacy skills.
Language provides the foundation for learning. Every subject on the curriculum– mathematics, social studies, science - has its own set of vocabulary, concepts and ideas. If we cannot access the rules and “codes” for spelling and reading to access these subjects, learning can be a struggle.
There are also rules that are intrinsic to social communication, at every age. This includes the ability to take turns talking, to keep a conversation going, and to use language that is appropriate to a social situation.
Good communication is, therefore, not only the key to interpersonal success, but also to academic success and vocational opportunities. It is one of the tools for building a healthy community.
For most individuals, the skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking, emerge as expected. But for some, there may be gaps in development, which might negatively impact the child’s classroom success.
These screenings, carried out by the speech and language pathologists from the Department of Health may detect communication weaknesses…and early detection allows for early intervention, possibly reducing or preventing a negative impact on the child’s classroom success.
In fact, research has shown that the earlier that a language-learning difficulty is identified, the earlier that a specialized program can be put into place, and the better the outcomes of remediation.
In closing, I would like to stress the message again, that, “all parents and guardians of children entering Government Primary One classrooms this September should take advantage of the free speech and language screening available to their children through the Department of Health”.