Q: When a child struggles with early literacy, what is normal and when is it time to get concerned?
A: “A lot of time parents automatically think it’s their kid — like if they’re reversing b’s and d’s, they should automatically be concerned. But actually that’s typical until first grade,” says Amy Erich, director of literacy development at Lawrence School. “The things they should be concerned about in the preschool and kindergarten range are difficulty with rhyming or listening to stories. Usually it’s a sign that their child needs more explicit, direct work with phonological awareness skills, those abilities to detect and manipulate sounds. Working to identify sounds, working to manipulate sounds in words, and increasing their exposure are great ways to work on that.”