Monday, April 19, 2010

Books for a Non-Verbal Reader

Big Board First 100 Animals (First Words)
We know a ten year old  with autism who 
is non-verbal. He is a sweet kid who is 
making progress in a lot of areas, 
but so far he is not talking.

I asked his dad if it would be okay
 for me to discuss his son’s 
reading habits on this blog and he very generously agreed to tell me a little about ‘D’ and books.

As a toddler, D started with typical boy toddler 
preferences. He liked playing with trucks, diggers, 
and trains and he liked books about them too. 
He let his dad read to him and seemed interested 
in the books. He always loved Touch and Feel 
books and still does.

At about age four or five, D started resisted having 
his dad read to him. He took the books and flipped 
the pages on his own. 

D  has a lot of board books to try to encourage him
to slow down and look at the pages.

D is very visually and musically oriented
and videos became his preferred activity.
He stopped playing with vehicles and lost interest
in books about them, but he didn't lose interest
in books entirely.

Instead, D picked books about animals or characters
featured in favorite videos, like Barney, Blue’s Clues,
and the Wiggles. 

At about age six or seven he began to let his dad
read to him again.

D has an extraordinary visual memory. He goes right 
to his favorite pictures. His dad will ask for a picture 
on a different page, and D will turn to that and will 
point out pictures in answers to questions.

D’s dad hopes that D can use these abilities to find
pictures to improve communication as they
use the Picture Exchange Communication System 

I find D’s page flipping, his resistance to listening
to a parent read,  and ability to find a given 
page interesting. You may remember my boy
has these traits (I don't think I've talked about
the page flipping yet .  .  .) or do you
recognize them from your own kid?

D is wonderful and unique. But his likes
and dislikes may give us a clue about 
how other kids with autism read or what
they would enjoy reading (premise of this blog).
Please, tell me (and by me, I mean us) more.

and Touch and Feel Horses and Ponies/Bryant.

Books for Children on the Autism Spectrum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  1. It's good to see that there are support websites like this. Keep up the good work!

  2. Great website. Pet therapy does wonders in helping autistic children and to help them become more verbal. Our dogs, Brandy and Val work with autistic children and we've seen great progress over the semester. We're currently working on developing a program with books and dogs together to foster conversation and interaction.