Sunday, March 28, 2010

Illustrations for Children with Autism Starting to Read

Most children learning to read do better with well illustrated books.
My librarian friends assure me that they look for books where the
illustrations show what is happening in the story, especially for
struggling readers or for children for whom English is
a second language.

What always astounds me is how often pictures do not
reflect the story at all, or reflect what happened pages ago or
what will happen in the next chapter.

My boy still wants pictures, but he has gone through phases
since first becoming an independent reader.
I'll talk about phase one today.

Phase 1 (Ages 5-7) Picture Books and Easy Readers

At this age my boy wanted a picture on every page spread.
Just as important, the pictures had to be in color.
At this point his favorites were two classic authors
I've already mentioned:

Madeline series/Bemelmans
Dr. Seuss

Easy Readers also offer color pictures and he would read
some of those on his own as well. These usually have their
own section in the library. At about age five, I started
steering my son away from the board book section to
the Easy Reader section.

Arthur series/Marc Brown
Clifford series
Mr. Putter and Tabby series/Rylant

My boy still plops down in the Easy Picture book section
to leaf through books.

His ability to understand visual abstraction has long
interested and puzzled me. Kids with an autism diagnosis
supposedly have deficits in this area, and in general I have
found this true. But in his own art he makes very abstract
representations and at the age of three he recognized that
a very abstract back massager represented a dolphin.

Yet he is only just beginning to accept black and white
pictures in books.

More colorful choices to come . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment