Why reading aloud is important even when they don’t seem to be listening…
Yesterday I shared about the importance of teaching your child with autism to read. Be sure to check it out HERE. But something equally as important is making sure to schedule in time to read aloud to your children. Especially kiddos with autism.
Benefits of Reading Aloud
- A lot of children diagnosed with Autism have issues with speech and language. Even though we include our children in our daily life and chat with them, nothing exposes them to rich vocabulary like reading aloud to them.
- A great story includes conversation and dialog between character, modeling conversation a child with autism might not hear anywhere else. This helps a child learn how to have a conversation with another person.
- New words that are not used in the home regularly can be introduced. This helps expand a child’s vocabulary.
- Characters can share their feelings, which can help teach empathy. This can often provide parents a great segue to talk about how the characters might be feeling like the child is. Sometimes empathy and emotions are tricky for kiddos with autism, and any chance to talk about it can be helpful.
- Bonding time between parent and child. Honestly read aloud time is something I cherish with my kiddos. Since including bedtime reading into our schedule, bedtime has become my favourite time a day.
- Reading can become comforting. When we have a rough day, I can usually calm everything down by just sitting by my son and reading. He cannot help being pulled into the story.
What Should You Read?
What you should read is such a personal choice. But I highly recommend that you find something that both you can your child like. Read aloud time should be as enjoyable for you as it is for them. Pulling out books you enjoyed reading as a kid can sometimes be a great place to start.
Often I’m so involved in the story that when my son falls asleep just before the last chapter it kills me to wait till the next day to finish. I never cheat and read ahead, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to.
A few series we have loved that you might want to try are:
What Does Read Aloud Time Looks Like For Us?
Read Aloud time primarily happens two times during the day.
- We read aloud right before bed. It has become part of our routine. First we use the bathroom, take our vitamins, and brush our teeth. Then Zakari climbs into bed and I read to him till he falls asleep or I think it is late enough. No more fighting to go to bed.
- I always bring a book where ever we go. That way any down time can become read aloud time. Waiting in the car is no longer an issue, because we just dive right back into our book. If hubby is driving, I often will use that as a chance to read aloud. Often Travis will take the long way home because everyone in the van wants to hear what will happen next.
For us read aloud time is not a chore, it is a special and enjoyable time of the day to share.
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Great ideas, we love the Box Car Children
I love the point that it introduces new vocabulary…so very true!
I used to work with people on the autism spectrum and I read to them all time. I sometimes wondered about the import of it but one would occasionally pop up with a name or word from the most recent book. And it was like okay… this does matter. 🙂 NO different than little kids playing with toys as they listen.