Reading is an acquired skill that your child must gradually learn how to do and an art that has to be cultivated and practiced over time. Though it will take your child years to learn how to read a book themselves, they are ready to hear you read to them from almost the beginning of their lives. As they grow and the two of you continue to share the experience of reading together the bond you share will grow, too. Being read to from an early age conditions your child’s brain to associate the act of reading with pleasure. And children who enjoy books have a greater desire to learn how to read on their own.
It is really never too early to begin reading to your child. Babies respond to the sound of your voice from the moment they are born. As we’ve seen, infants need to hear language spoken long before they develop the capacity to understand words. In time, toddlers start to associate words with pictures in books and make a meaningful connection between what they hear and what they see on the page. This is a giant and very necessary step in the growth and development of your child’s listening skills.
And yet it’s estimated that only twenty percent of parents read to their children on a daily basis. We have become so busy trying to manage all the activities in our lives that we are losing opportunities to connect with our children in one of the most meaningful and beneficial ways available to us.
The time you spend reading can be a dynamic listening and language lesson that will enable your child to build specific skills. There are very simple reading exercises that you can do to strengthen a child’s auditory memory, auditory sequencing and auditory cohesion. These are some of the prerequisite skills that all children need in order to read on their own. For a child with an Auditory Processing Disorder, reading aloud is their way of hearing and learning vocabulary with built-in visual support.