Mental Health and Literacy

What's the connection?

Mental Health and Literacy

What does it feel like...how does it feel for children, to be constantly not good enough, day after day, month after month?  Not good enough at something they know is important, something that's causing them to fall behind.  How does it feel that they can't seem to get good enough at achieving, year in and year out? How does it feel to be not good enough at reading?

Children can become ashamed of their minds and their ability to learn.  When you're not good at something, you can end up avoiding situations that lead to that feeling of shame. 

 

What happens to our learning when we feel ashamed of not learning well enough...

Research has shown that children with reading difficulties are at elevated risk for both emotional and behavioral problems.  

It also shows that if children begin to avoid reading activities both at home and in school, they will further limit growth in their basic reading skills, comprehension, and, eventually, cognitive functioning.

 

The result... inability to meet their academic demands.

 

And then what?

How about feelings of frustration, agitation, withdrawal, and social isolation, which can interfere even more with children’s learning.

Studies have also concluded that poor readers are at risk of not communicating feeling angry, sad, lonely, anxious and therefore poor literacy does impact substantially on socioemotional maladjustment.

When reading is slow and a big effort, it can be an anxiety-provoking experience.

When literacy difficulties cause children to repeatedly experience failures at school, they may develop a fear of failure and negative self-conception of their own ability.  It can also result in developing an anxiety disorder or depression and behavioral problems.  

Literacy difficulties can often result in failure at or absenteeism from school, which can then have consequences for professional education and for psychological wellbeing in adulthood.

Many children with difficulty in learning to read develop a negative self-concept within their first two years of schooling.

It’s that serious for children that can’t read!  Swim For Change wants to see children thrive and not just survive and we know that mental wellbeing is everything.  We know that we can't solve all the problems but we also know that we are part of the collective solution and that is why we are doing what we can to improve literacy.  

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