Good Morning. I hope you are having a great day so far.
I am asked quite often how I taught Chloe to read. I think people automatically believe children with special needs don’t have the ability to read. It is not always easy for them to learn, depending on the level of their disability. I was very blessed with Chloe. She loved books and letters from the minute she noticed what books were. We always kept plenty of books around and read to her from the first day she was home from the hospital.
By the time she was 2 she would touch the magnetic letters I had on the fridge and I would not only tell her the letter, but the sound. I started doing that every time we read a alphabet book or played with letter cards. It wasn’t long that she knew them all. I even made up a song for her. I also purchased Your Baby Can Read. I didn’t buy it so she would read, but I loved how it showed a word and then a picture or action to go with the word. Chloe loved these videos and flip cards. By 3 1/2 she was reading most of the cards. I also got Baby Einstein Videos. I loved the simplicity of the learning style and classical music. She adored these and still has several, but doesn’t watch them anymore.
Like I said I read to her every day. I would be hoarse some days when I finished. She would actually memorize books and recite them out loud. I believe reading is part memorization. When Chloe went to Kindergarten in public school (low incident room) she actually was the top reader in all the Kindergarten classes. I was so proud. She got a reading award from the principal. She has continued to grow her learning skills over the past few years. The hardest part is getting her to try new books. She sticks with her favorites and occasionally picks something new. She loves the Llama Llama books and Eric Carle books.
This school year I have continued to build on her reading skills by teaching her blends (sh, th, kn, etc…) She has a tough time with these. The word “knock” she sounds out as one letter at a time. It is what makes since to her. I am purchasing the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to go through with her and hopefully teach the phonetics we have missed along the way. I also recommend Spelling Puzzles (Learning Journey, Melissa & Doug). These are fun for learning reading and spelling. I continue to use sight word cards for her or you can print out sight word lists online by grade and make your own cards. We continue to have a story time before bed at night, but now some nights she reads to me.
Please share in the comments how you helped your child to learn to read.