The Literacy Team
Identification, Intervention and Support
The Early Connections Literacy Team includes special education teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists and occupational therapists.
We offer early assessment and evidence-based intervention for children aged 4 – 12 with learning difficulties.
When to seek professional literacy support
Are you concerned about your child’s reading, spelling, writing or handwriting skills?
- Has your child been identified by the school as having a specific learning difficulty?
- Do you have concerns about your child’s progress at school?
If you answer yes then it’s important to seek early intervention and evidence based instruction as soon as possible.
Early assessment and evidence-based intervention for children with learning difficulties is the key to success.
AVAILABLE IN PORT MACQUARIE HASTINGS REGION
*** Please note as a new service you may be placed on a waiting list until a place becomes available for your child. We aim to accommodate all families as soon as possible.***
Pathway for NSW Mid North Coast parents
Check your child’s hearing
- Visit the Community Health Centre or an audiologist.
- A referral from your GP under a Care Plan reduces cost.
- A hearing assessment is recommended even if your child passed their hearing screening test before starting school.
Check your child’s vision
- Visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
- This is recommended even if your child passed their vision assessment before starting school.
Discuss concerns with classroom teacher, learning support team or school counsellor.
- Ask if your child can participate in small group evidence based intervention targeting areas of weakness.
- If small group instruction is not available at your school seek professional support early.
- If your child has received six months or more of consistent learning support and you still have concerns seek professional support.
Early Connections special education teachers can tutor your child individually or in groups. Our professionals are trained in programs including Sounds Write and Talk for Writing.
Literacy Team speech pathologists specialise in reading and writing difficulties.
Consult a speech pathologist if you have concerns about articulation of speech sounds, auditory comprehension, expressive language, sound awareness skills, reading, spelling and handwriting including letter reversals.
Speech pathologists can provide an individual intervention plan including accommodations and adjustments recommended for school.
Consult an occupational therapist for handwriting, attention difficulties or sensory issues.
Occupational therapy can help with low muscle tone and postural issues as well as motor planning deficits.
Occupational therapists can diagnose and treat motor-based dysgraphia or developmental coordination disorder.
Developmental or Educational Psychologist
Consult a psychologist if you have concerns about inattentive or hyperactive behaviours, ADHD, emotional difficulties or possible autism.
Psychologists can diagnose specific learning disorders including dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
Consider an assessment if your child has difficulty with:
- reading and comprehension
- written expression and handwriting
- grammar and punctuation
- organisational skills
Consult a paediatrician for medical checks to rule out neurological conditions, inattentive or hyperactive behaviours, ADHD, autism and other medical conditions that may affect learning.
Ask your GP for a referral to a local paediatrician.
Useful Links and Resources
- Auspeld Understanding Learning Difficulties Guide for Parents
- Auspeld Understanding Learning Difficulties Guide for Teachers – available as a FREE download on SCOOTLE.
- Learning Difficulties Australia Position Statement on Approaches to Reading Instruction
- MUSEC Briefings factsheets on special educational topics from the Macquarie University Special Education Centre (now archived at Spelfabet)
- Speech Pathology Australia Speech Pathology in Schools
- Five from Five Alliance – promoting evidence-based reading instruction. Parent and teacher resources.