With the change in seasons, utilizing our local libraries can provide enjoyable activities out of our home for our little ones.
Many libraries offer weekly story-times. Some even offer sensory friendly story times specifically for kids with ASD. Visit your local library’s website to see if this is available in your area. If not, it can always be beneficial to ask your librarians about beginning one!
These story-times are an excellent opportunity to generalize your child’s skills and have them practice learning in a group setting.
Learning opportunities provided may include:
Playing with musical toys, which can teach valuable imitation and group responding skills.
Preschool songs/nursery rhymes, which promotes following one-step instructions and imitation.
Group reading helps practice sitting quietly and listening.
It also helps your child to attend during sing-a-long songs if they are familiar with them from hearing them at home, so brush up on your Twinkle Twinkle and London Bridge!
Also, don’t forget to capitalize on the presence of same-age peers! Simply being around children your child’s age can help them become more comfortable in social settings.
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
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:
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: