Learning To Read and Autism

There is a lot of misconceptions in relation to non verbal children with autism, the main one I find is many people think that just because Miss S cannot speak, she doesn't have the ability to learn. Miss S is now is Year 3 primary school, by now she should be hitting level 2's in reality she is not even hitting targets that a nursery child should hit, she is still labelled as a p level. We don't tend to get hung up on levels and numbers, we take pleasure in seeing the smallest victory or piece of progress.

We have been aware of Miss S's reading ability for a while now, it started when a letter came through the door and she proceeded to read out what was written on the envelope. Since then each week when Mr C brought his book home from school , I would sit and read it with Miss S. I have also be using his jolly phonics book and practising letter sounds. She isn't quite there when it comes to pronunciation, but she is trying. Her quest to read is going so much better and I managed to get a recording of her reading.

The book was 'Floppy looks after Gran' and is from the Oxford Reading tree collection, level 4 which is building confidence in reading. She recognises the words, but she definitely doesn't have the comprehension for level 4. I am going to invest in a set of book for her so we can start at the beginning.

Seeing Miss S's ability to read has made me excited to see what else she is capable of with a little help. Her school tell me her motor grip is poor, so I want to get her some chubby pencils, plasticine and try and improve her motor skills at home.

Every little helps and the small victories make us all smile
  1. I know what you mean about the small victories. We celebrate things others don't even notice :) For us it's the food issues - every bite he takes from a new food is like a party... As for reading, for the longest time we weren't sure he will ever read anything, and the gap between reading and understanding is always a problem, so every word he reads is like a small victory for us.
    Your post and video really made me smile :)

  2. Well done for encouraging her so much - it's so easy for the children who are out of the ordinary to get labelled and ignored. I know my son could easily have fallen into this trap when he was small, what with being ADHD and left-handed. We had a lot of problems with schools and different systems, but lots of bedtime stories and comics did the trick and he's now an avid reader.

  3. Good for her! I absolutely agree that because a child cannot speak it doesn't mean they can't read. The small victories are the best kind :)

  4. Learning to read also worries me. O knows his letters, but no sounds and I wonder when he gets a bit older that will be the same for his words. He'll know the word, but have no idea what it means (hyperlexia). Its scary stuff but sounds like you're giving brilliant to support your little girl. #SSAmazingAchievments

  5. I think it's great that you are encouraging her reading so well at home. I found with my non-autistic child that I still had to step in and actually teach him to read as the school had taught phonics, but not reading if that makes sense.

  6. My daughter is on the autism spectrum and it is very good to know that I am not alone. Small victories do count, and we always celebrate them :D

  7. As you say, keep celebrating the small victories

  8. That is amazing! Isn't it funny how these things work, non/pre-verbal but can read. I'm sure Ethan is teaching himself to read at the moment. It is such an important life skill too.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  9. Well done, I have a son that struggled to read and write through dyslexia but eventually he caught up and reads more than the rest of the family now. So keep going it will pay off in the end.


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