How to Teach an Autistic Child to Read: 8 Tips

Teaching autistic children to read can be quite a feat if it’s done the right way. Would you like to learn how? As parents, our main duty is to give our children the best chance they deserve despite their condition.

This is why it is important for you to learn effective ways to teach your children with autism to read. Please feel free to continue browsing through the text to find out more about some effective techniques on teaching autistic children how to read.

A Healthy Reminder

Before even beginning to teach your child, you have to know more about the condition. You should do your homework on autism and what it entails to properly understand how you can help your child deal with the challenges of reading for the first time.

By arming yourself with knowledge, you will not have difficulty interacting with your child as you teach him how to read eventually. The key here is being as patient as possible. If you’re able to do this, then you will not have difficulty educating your child despite his condition in the long run.

Now that you know some of the important reminders that you should keep in mind when teaching an autistic child how to read, here are some of the additional tips as follows:

8 Tips to Teach Your Autistic Children to Read Properly

1. Teach the Children in an Empty Room

First, you have to make sure that you teach your children how to read in a quiet and peaceful environment. Autistic children are sensitive to sounds so if you want to capture his full attention, it is important that you do it in a silent room, free from distractions.

The library, his bedroom or anywhere else that has sufficient ventilation and space will do. What is important is that you are able to retain his attention by studying in a room that has no distractions.

2. Utilize Books with Pictures

Another way for you to teach your child to read effectively despite his autism is to make sure that you use picture books. Autistic children are normally drawn to pictures instead of words. So if you choose a picture book that has colorful images when reading, you will definitely be able to capture the child’s attention and teach him or her what she needs to learn about the book.

3. Read Books with Heavily Textured Pages

In addition to this, you also have to look for heavily textured books. In this particular instance, a popup will surely be of help. That way the child will be able to touch the pictures and enjoy the experience of reading much more.

Why is this an effective way to teach them? Autistic children are extremely tactile individuals. They like to touch everything that they see. If you use heavily textured books are popups, they will find your activities more exciting.

4. Let the Children Be Mobile

Let the children move around as you teach them how to read. Because children with autism normally have short attention spans, chances are they would have something else capture the attention within their own in just a few minutes. Let them roam around the room and teach them about every object that they see in the room itself.

This way, you will not have difficulty letting them absorb information at their own pace. Do not force them to read if they don’t want to. You will not succeed in your endeavor if you do this.

5. Keep Reading Time as Short as Possible

It would also help you to keep your lessons short. This goes back to autistic children have a short attention span. If you are able to keep your lessons under 5 to 10 minutes, you can be assured that the children will be able to absorb what you are trying to teach them despite their limitation.

6. Make It a Colorful Experience

Make sure that the children would be able to see color everywhere. They love colorful scene objects so it would be best for you to use this to your advantage by providing them with colorful books to read as well.

Additionally, you have to choose a color palette that is not too strong but not too dark either. Pastel colors like beige and yellow will definitely be able to capture the attention of any child whether he is in the spectrum or not. Use this to your advantage and find picture books that have bright colors in them.

7. Read a Book Out Loud

It would also help you to read the book aloud to the child. This way, you will be able to capture the child’s attention and have him look at the book right from the beginning. The key is to capture the attention of the child right away.

In addition to this, you have to be as descriptive as you can when reading the book out loud. This is important because autistic children are visual in nature. They need to imagine what the words are trying to say to be able to understand them fully.

By painting them a picture through your words, you will be able to catch their attention and keep it steady throughout the reading session. Playing soft music while reading can also help them relax. Just make sure that it is not too soft but not too loud either. This would be enough for a quiet afternoon or evening reading session with your child at home.

8. Provide Constant Repetition and Praise

Lastly, you have to make sure that you are able to provide them constancy and repetition. Do not be afraid to repeat the story over and over for them to remember it by heart. This way, when they have the time, they will be able to enjoy reading stories with rhymes all on their own.

In addition to this, you should also allow them to repeat this story as they understood it in their own words. Do not try to correct them harshly if they commit a mistake. Correct them in a nice way and do not forget to give them praise for doing a good job regularly. If you are able to do this, everything else will soon follow for sure.

The most important thing to remember here is that autistic children are just like any other children. If you give them enough love and attention, they will be able to remember that despite their limitations and eventually listen to your every word in the future.

The Final Words

Teaching your autistic child how to read can be quite a challenge especially if you do not know how to begin doing so. However, if you follow the above-mentioned tips right away, I am sure that you will be able to get a grasp of how to effectively teach your child with special needs right away.

All you have to do is be patient and give your child the time to absorb everything that you are trying to teach at his own pace. You will see the result sooner than you would expect for sure.

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