Effects of early teaching of reading and writing skills in kids!

Kids are learning to read and write at a very early age in today’s times. Thanks to over ambitious parents aspirations!

I came across this interesting article which will definitely open our parent’s mind. This article is written by Susan R. Johnson MD, FAAP, 5/7/2007-

There is a widely-held belief that if we just start teaching children to write, read, and spell in preschool, they will become better writers, readers, and spellers by the time they reach the first and second grades. This is, however, not true. The truth is that children only should be taught to write, read, and spell when their neurological pathways for writing, reading, and spelling have fully formed. There are many neuropsychologists, developmental specialists, occupational therapists and teachers who are concerned that our current trend in this country of pushing “academics” in preschool and kindergarten will result in even greater increases in the number of children, particularly boys, diagnosed with attentional problems and visual processing types of learning disabilities.

In order for children to be able to sit still, pay attention, and remember abstract shapes, like letters and numbers, they first need to have developed their proprioceptive system. In my clinical practice, I see children who are being asked to sit still at a desk who can’t yet “feel” where they are in space. They have to keep their muscles and body moving all the time or sit on their feet or wrap their feet around the legs of their chair in order for their mind to locate the position of their body. They also have difficulty balancing on one foot while their eyes are closed. Their drawing of a person is more like that of a younger child, being stick-like in form and lacking hands and feet. These children are often given the label of Attention Deficit Disorder because they appear fidgety in their movements, have difficulty paying attention, and have poorly developed fine-motor skills. In addition, these same children are often labeled as having learning disabilities in visual processing (for example, dyslexia or other types of non-verbal learning disabilities). They have difficulty recalling letters, numbers, and shapes that are shown to them, and they are unable to recognize letters, numbers, and shapes that are drawn with a finger on their back. These children have difficulty remembering the orientation and direction of letters and numbers when writing, reading, or spelling. They often will confuse the letter “b” with the letter “d” and may write the number 2 or number 3 backward and not even notice.

The proprioceptive system is strengthened by physical movements, like sweeping with a broom, pushing a wheelbarrow, carrying groceries, emptying the trash, pulling weeds, or hanging from monkey bars. When children do these types of activities they stimulate pressure receptors within their muscles, tendons, and joints, thereby allowing their minds to make a map of the location of these various pressure receptors within the body. A connection is made between the mind of children and the various parts of their physical body. In this way, children develop a sense of where their body is in space (proprioception), and even if their eyes are closed, the children will be able to feel or sense the location of muscles, joints, and tendons within their trunk, arms, legs, fingers, and toes.

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *