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The Developmental Process of Reading

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The process of awareness, motivation, and acquisition of the art of reading originates in infancy with the perceptual motor system (in general) and the visual – motor system (specifically). There are many studies which demonstrate that even young children perceive, recognize, and identify written symbols, signs, and other forms of print and media before the age of two.

Infants show preferences for contour, familiar faces, and patterns in the first six months of life, while “words” have been easily learned by toddlers who see words as concrete, real objects. For example, the word “ball” drawn and outlined with bold thick lines can be carried around and played with along with the actual ball. Thus, a ball can be a round shape, a motion, a name, and any other attributes a child thinks about.

Young children read all the time. Here are a few milestones in the reading process which form the basis for a child’s natural inclination and ability to read:

At 12 months---

Blinks at a fast-moving object
Imitates sounds, imitates gestures
Interacts playfully with others
Points, turns pages of a book, labels objects by saying one word and accompany it with a gestures
Enjoy being read to

At 18-24 months –

               Verbalize needs and desires
               Speaks in 2-3 word sentences
               Follows 2 simple commands
               Helps read stories, points, says words
               Learns about reading, sees adults reading
               Writes by scribbling and drawing contours, lines, dots
               Uses fingers as tools, to put objects into containers and takes objects out of containers

Ask Dr. Susan