Teaching autistic children reading skills can be a daunting task. Some children will never read, but many higher functioning children can learn to some extent and can end up being excellent readers.
Teaching autistic children to read has a very unique set of challenges that requires a parent or teacher to have a lot of patience. It can be like teaching children without autism but with the problems magnified.
Sometimes they can be very cooperative, but for the most part, autistic children have huge problems with attention span, lack any type of motivations to learn to read, and they have problems with figuring out the rules of reading and grammar when compared to children who do not have autism.
Learning to read should be fun for any child, but when it comes to autistic children, you have to reach them on their level, so make sure you chose a method that meets their needs.
For some children sounds are important and using music as a tool to teach musically inclined autistic children to read is a very good move. There are some programs out there on the market that will use music and singing to help a child with autism learn many things. Some also employ the use of games. These interactive methods usually help with attention span and interest, two of the biggest obstacles in this endeavor.
One important thing to remember when teaching an autistic child to read is that most reading requires creative thinking and this is something that many children with autism struggle with. This means that when learning, it is best to focus on materials that are based in reality. Stories about children like them going through their day might be a good place to start. Steer clear of stories that are full of fantasy people like princesses and talking animals.
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Anyone teaching an autistic child to read should remember that many think visually. This means they are more likely to learn about words and letters through visual stimulation. Almost every child has a special interest, and autistic children are no exception. If they like trains, you may want to use them as a visual guide to learning how to read. If they are interested in the subject matter they are more likely to pay attention for longer periods of time, and are more willing to learn because they will find it interesting.
Each child is different and will learn at a different pace and in a different manner. Don’t be afraid to make use of the reading programs on the market designed with autistic children in mind. These have generally developed either through experience or with strong science behind them. They may be the best way to go about teaching autistic children reading when it seems they have no interest in doing so.