We all hunger for expert advice, so I've borrowed some
from Autism Key . Just because these tips come from
reading experts does not mean they are the best ideas
for your child. See the note from the author below
about how well audio worked for one boy.
That said, these tips sound good to me and echo
what I've said here, and heard and done myself.
• Set aside a specific time each day to read.
• Choose non-fiction books rather than fantasy.
• Read books that prepare them for events and/or engage their special interests.
• Choose book with a tactile component such as different textures or a pop-up format.
• Ask frequent questions about the story.
• Have them recount the story to you after you’ve finished reading it.
• In advance prepare pictures of nouns in the story that your child may not know so that you can show rather than tell him or her what they mean.
• Use flash cards for phonics.
• Emphasize simple rhymes.
• Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
To this, I would add a personal story. One of my sons with autism is dyslexic
and didn’t begin to read until he was in the fourth grade.
His breakthrough came when he got an audio book of a story set in colonial times.
He holed up in his room and read the paperback version as he listened to it
being read over and over again every day for two weeks.
After that, he could suddenly read and was beside himself with excitement and joy.
So while visuals are important, sometimes it’s the audio component that switches
on the light inside the autistic brain.
(see more and read about the authors at Autism Key)
I would add, keep a dictionary and picture encyclopedia handy. If your child
is like mine, there is no way you can prepare pictures for every word that may
give trouble. Sometimes parents use smartphones or tablets, but those results
may be less predictable.