Reading and Language Development 
Therapy Guide

How does reading and language development go together? Well, they go hand in hand! Without language, one can not read and vice versa!

What does a reading/writing language disorder look like?

At the word level, a child may have difficulty with:

  • Difficulty with phonology and morphology
  • Difficulty with decoding
  • Difficulty with spelling 

At the connected speech level, a child may have difficulty with: 

  • Difficulty understanding and using story elements
  • Difficulty with understanding and using grammar 
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension
  • Difficulty with writing cohesively

Click here to learn more about reading and writing disorders. 

Therapy for reading and writing disorders by an SLP

Now, on to the good stuff.

First things first, speech therapists work on reading and writing disorders. Just let that sink in.

There are many ways speech pathologists can work with children with reading and writing disorders. Below, I will outline a few.

Reading: Language Comprehension

This is the biggest one that most speech pathologists most likely already do since it concerns language. To target language comprehension, you will work on smaller units/goals such as:

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Story Grammar
  • Main idea vs details
  • Themes
  • Etc...

Writing: Organization/Planning

Before writing, it is imperative to plan out what you will write. Many children with language disorders will have trouble with these skills. Speech therapists can help children plan their writing by:

  • Using visuals for story grammar components
  • Make and practice using graphic organizers
  • Teach the skills of main idea and details
  • Etc...

Writing: Mechanics

To be a good writer, a child needs to:

  • spell, 
  • write grammatically correct sentences
  • use correct grammar

Therefore, like reading, a speech pathologist needs to work on these skills through writing and speaking. 


Spelling, yes, spelling! This may shock some of you but as speech-language pathologists, we are super equipped to work on spelling. After all, spelling is a language skills. Some ways to target spelling include:

  • Working on phonological awareness
  • Teach students about morphology
  • Practice working memory strategies such as visualization or mnemonics

Dialogic Reading

This teaching technique targets many skills!

Dialogic reading is basically shared reading. Instead of just reading a book word for word with a child, you make it more of an experience! 

Take turns describing pictures and “telling” the story. Ask WH questions, talk about pictures, and relate events to real life. 

If you want more information, check out our FREE ebook, How to Read to Your Toddler. It’s awesome.

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How To Help Your Child Today

If you are concerned about your child, please contact us for an evaluation or find a speech-language pathologist near you. 

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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech-language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series

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