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Autism news: Sneak peek from upcoming book on teaching your child to read
February 01, 2022
How do you teach children with autism to read if they are fixated on something else?
What special techniques would be helpful for children with autism?
What pitfalls do you need to avoid when teaching reading to children with autism?
Help! How do I teach my child with autism to read?
If any of these concerns sound familiar to you, I have good news. Soon I will be publishing a book entitled,
Reading Revolution: How to Teach Children with Autism to Read
Besides the fact that I am super excited since this is my very first book, I am also super excited to get this in the hands of parents and teachers who have been searching for this information.
During my research, what was really surprising to me was that there are very few books on the market that teach this information. So I knew I had to write this book.
To give you an idea of what you’ll learn, here is an excerpt from the book:
From Chapter 3: How you can use interests (and even obsessions) to teach your child to read
Does Your Child’s Fixation on One Thing Interfere with Learning?
Parents of children with autism are all too familiar with fixations or obsessions. Kids take an interest in something and then latch onto it, sometimes focusing on that one thing all day long every day. Some parents may find it hard to get their children to even look at anything else. But what if I told you that you might be able to use that obsession to teach your child to read? Or that you might even be able to create an interest that will aid in the learning process?
Dale Carnegie once said, “There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”
When my son was learning to read, I bought stacks of blank index cards and used washable markers to write a letter on each card. We reviewed those until he knew them, and then we progressed to letter combinations, such as sh and ch. Once he knew those, we moved on to short words. I kept adding words, and soon he had a large supply of word cards.
I’m convinced that his fixation on flashcards boosted his chances of success in reading. He loved using flashcards so much that he practiced a lot by himself, improving his skills on his own time in addition to the lesson time we spent together.
Materials for Teaching Reading
I outline a list of materials that can work well for teaching reading below. Which materials you choose will depend on your child’s interests and your own budget.
Flashcards worked very well for us, so using them was an obvious choice. Here are the advantages we found:
- They are inexpensive.
- They are easy to make.
- You can use a variety of colors if you choose.
- They are portable. My son used to carry them around all day, and he even brought them to church one Sunday.
- They are easy to use.
I used to make our own flashcards using a variety of different-colored markers. They didn’t look very professional, but my son didn’t care. He loved them!
If you have experience using Photoshop, you can make your own professional-looking flashcards, if you prefer. Many programs or apps are also available that allow you to make your own flashcards.
If flashcards don’t work well or your child just isn’t interested in them, I would suggest experimenting with other ways to review letters and words.
My suggestion is to find a material your child likes and use that to teach reading. Try experimenting with other mediums using one, two or even three different materials. If some of them don’t work out, you haven’t wasted much money. As I will discuss later, they can come in handy when you need more than one way to review the information.
If you’re on a super-tight budget (and believe me, I’ve been there), you can try to use what you already have on hand. (I’ll be listing some learning aids for reading lessons in just a moment.) Or you can opt for some less expensive materials that I’ve listed. Many are fairly inexpensive and if you already have them, they’re free!
Next week, I plan to send you a sneak peek from instructions in the book on how to go about teaching the reading lessons.
Until next time,
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