My assumption had been that when children use incorrectly spelled words, poor grammar, change the way words look in print, and substitute symbols and images (e.g. emoticons) to communicate, it will have a negative effect on their spelling, grammar, and reading and writing skills. Logical, don't you think?
I have been trying to avoid writing this piece for fear that I will sound like a grumpy old lady which, by the way, I am not. Even as I hear myself discuss this issue I remind myself of my high school English teacher, who was a miserable little thing in case you were wondering, yet I still feel compelled to introduce the topic.