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Reading is big in our family. We all love reading, and find ourselves diving into books any chance we get.
However, when our oldest daughter was diagnosed with developmental Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder (MERLD) at age 2, reading started to hold an even more important role in our family.
I am excited to have the chance to share our family’s literacy story as a part of Kellogg’s® Here’s My Story campaign, which supports the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and their mission.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is celebrating over 20 years of helping individuals learn to read, prepare for their high school equivalency, or learn English. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $140 million to nonprofit organizations and schools that have helped more than 9 million individuals advance their literacy and basic education skills.
Kellogg’s, whom you probably already know from their yummy cereals like Frosted Flakes®, Froot Loops®, Frosted Bite-Size Mini-Wheats®, and Rice Krispies® (all of which you can purchase by hovering over the image above), is encouraging everyone to share their own literacy story between now and October 22, 2017 for a chance to win a $50 Dollar General gift card.
If you’re interested in sharing your own literacy story, head here, share your story, and you’ll automatically be entered to win.
Our Literacy Story: Reading With Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder
A few years ago, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with developmental Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder (MERLD).
This speech disorder is diagnosed to those who have trouble expressing themselves through spoken word, and simultaneously have difficulty understanding what is being said to them. In other words, learning how to speak can be really, really challenging.
If I had to pinpoint one thing that has helped our girl make real strides in her language, it would be reading—hands down.
Although we had been reading to her on a regular basis since she was an infant, we made a few changes to the way that we were reading to really help her practice those language skills.
If you’re reading to a child with Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder, make sure you always:
- Go slowly. Don’t rush through the book. Take your time and let the child really soak in what she or he is hearing.
- Enunciate. Take the time to properly pronounce each word, and try not to jumble all of the words together.
- Have fun! Just because you’re going slowly and pronouncing each word correctly doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. Put some emotion into your reading to keep your little one engaged. Helping your child develop a lifelong love for reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
A few benefits of regular reading to a child with MERLD are:
- Allows child to hear spoken language more clearly
- Gives child familiar sentences to start practicing
- Creates a safe space for the child to try out novel ideas with content that is already familiar
Over the past two years since being diagnosed, our girl has made great strides with her language thanks to regular reading.
For any parents who have a child with MERLD, consider adding a few extra reading sessions whenever you can. While the benefits may not be apparent right away, over time small changes and improvements will likely present themselves. Keep going; breathing; keep reading.
You can share your own literacy story here for a chance to win a $50 Dollar General giftcard between now and October 22, 2017. Good luck and happy reading! 🙂