Reading to our children is a time-honored parenting tradition. Experts in education and child development are continuously touting the benefits.
These research based benefits include*:
- increased communication skills,
- a larger vocabulary
- stronger child-parent bonds
- enhanced imagination
Although they are eager to share this bonding experience, parents of children with autism can often be at a loss when it comes time to engaging their children during story-time. Here are a few of
the techniques we have found to be successful with many or our earliest learners and most resistant little readers:
- Limiting distractions
- Sitting face to face
- Reading while your child is seated in a confined space such as a high chair or child-sized desk
- Read developmentally appropriate picture books – Children with ASD tend to be very visual and vibrant pictures may be needed to capture their attention
- Touch and feel books are great for making reading a multi-sensory experience
- Make sound effects when narrating the story – Remember we all learn best when we are having fun!
- Pull-tabs and books with flaps can be a great way to keep a little one engaged with a story while working on fine motor skills
- If you are working on eye contact and your child is highly engaged in the story, pause when it’s time to turn the page and wait to see if they will make eye contact as a request for you to continue
- This is a great time to work on following a point as you gesture to interesting images on the pages
Recommended Children’s Books with Toddlers with ASD:
This list of children’s books is courtesy of the text “An Early Start for Your Child with Autism“.