A recent statistic came out saying one in every 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder—which is no small number. For that reason, as a librarian, special needs teacher, or parent, it is helpful to know the ways in which reading can help these kids. Here are five ways in which to effectively use books to help autistic children not only learn to love reading, but also use it to effectively help them cope with their disorder.
Choose books that have clear drawings of faces. This will help autistic children become more aware of emotion, and recognize what those emotions look like on the people around them. If you’re reading with the child, make sure to point out and make sure he pays attention to the drawing.
Read the same story multiple times. As the child becomes familiar with the story, they’ll have a chance to get a better grip on the language, and with the emotional levels of the story. Repetition also tends to be a comfort to autistic children, so they may look forward to reading the same story, even at the same time each day.
Find books with buttons to press/different textures to touch/or make sound. Autistic children are typically very sensory-driven, and being able to touch and interact with books will keep them more interested in reading.
Read aloud. It is always better for you to read to the child or have them read to you, so you can talk about the story, ask them questions to be sure of their comprehension, and keep them more focused on the book.
Are you the parent of an autistic child, or a Special Education teacher? Leave your own tips for reading below!