Does a ‘wait and see’ or ‘check and see’ approach matter when it comes to seeking help for early literacy difficulties?

Parents may have observed their child struggling with early literacy in preschools. Sometimes preschool teachers give feedback that a child is trying to catch up or taking a longer time to complete literacy tasks in class. There could be many possibilities such as limited language exposure, lack of educational experiences, or risk of dyslexia or developmental delay in early literacy, regardless of the reason getting help is most crucial. The Dyslexia Association of Singapore has received feedback from teachers and parents on preschoolers who need additional support in early literacy. Here is what feedback from a recent preschool teacher looked like:

A “wait and see” approach often means the adults in a child’s life are watching and have decided to wait till the child is older before doing something about it. Adults who are waiting to see may eventually seek additional early support during the last leg of the preschool year or wait till the child is in Primary School before seeking additional specialised literacy support. This also means that a child who is experiencing substantial early literacy difficulties continues to experience more struggles in school as the literacy gap continues to grow wider and wider.

Whereas, a “check and see’’ approach recognises that a child with substantial early literacy weakness needs close monitoring and help as soon as possible. The adults in the child’s life make an informed decision by checking a child’s early literacy weaknesses with an early literacy checklist, and by asking for feedback from the child’s teachers. In addition, they seek advice from professionals from hospitals and specialised learning support providers such as the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. The earlier a child receives additional literacy support, the lesser the struggle in school. This will give the child the best chance at catching up with peers in school and it further fosters the child’s positive self esteem, self confidence and motivation to learn.

DAS conducts free preschool screening to identify preschoolers (N2 or K1 in 2021) with early literacy difficulties. Our Educational Therapists will administer a short 10 to 15 minutes screening to identify your child’s literacy profile, and provide advice based on a child’s literacy weaknesses. Please call our customer service at 6444 5700 if you are keen to arrange for an appointment or find out about an upcoming screening.

Kelly Bijay 
Programme Manager, Pre-School Early Literacy Programme
Rex House Learning Centre

Weng Yiyao
Senior Educational Therapist (Preschool)
Jurong Point Learning Centre

Learn more about Kelly and Yiyao!