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teaching my ASD DS to read

(17 Posts)
Widemouthfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 12:06:03

My DS, age 5 is in yr 1 mainstream with a 1:1 TA for support. Most of his reception year focussed on getting him to the point where he accepted school and could remain calm, though he initially responded well to Jolly Phonics and his reading.

Since beginning Yr 1 he now refuses to read to anyone. The school as taken his reading stage back to try and motivate him, but he refuses point blank. However he will sit and talk and tell the story of his books at length from the pictures, on his terms.

My feeling is that the books the school are using are too busy for him, and he is completely distracted by the pictures. He is not motivated to read the relatively dull text compared to the imaginative stories he can make up himself. I also feel he memorises text and as his reading stage has gone up he can no longer read this way.

Any advice? I need to make school realise that Oxford Reading Tree and Jolly Phonics just doesn't work for my DS.

spinspinsugar Thu 02-Oct-08 12:08:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Widemouthfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 12:16:37

yes, we've tried spiderman comics - he gets completely absorbed and will not share them with us. And then he gets upset if the illustrations are not perfect. Same problem as with the school books - he prefers his own story to the written one.

I did think of making spiderman flashcards.

Peachy Thu 02-Oct-08 12:20:43

spidey flashcards sound fab

it is exactly that: about grasping their way of thinking. ds3 is th same age and it obsessed: can write / read on pc but has ver little interest in books, none in writing (never drew either so probably hard for him)

I don't see it as an issue- I just thank God for laptops! School increasingly throwing tantrums though (and how do we deal wth tantrums? yes we ignore! wink lol)

spinspinsugar Thu 02-Oct-08 12:24:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Widemouthfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 12:26:27

Actually peachy maybe you are right. I spend so much time saying I shouldn't compare him to his peers, yet i am expecting him to read like them. I just worry that if he doesn't read then it doesn't matter how bright he is he will fall behind.

I'll get him typing more - he loves using the keyboard.

Drawing and handwriting is another no no here. If it aint perfect he gets furious and throws it in the bin, so most of the time he wont even try.

Peachy Thu 02-Oct-08 12:34:38

If i give ds3 paper he just eats it, no nterest whatsoever!

spinspinsugar Thu 02-Oct-08 12:41:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Thu 02-Oct-08 12:42:44

Moondog on here recommended a computer program called Headsprout ( for teaching reading. If you go to the website there are 3 free trial lessons.

Widemouthfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 12:43:03

Sorry, spinsugar cross posted.

Compromise does not happen ever!!!! It is his way or not at all. He would not focus long enough to write and illustrate - he has great difficulty holding a pen anyway. Turn-taking for him is a major achievemnent and requires a lot of patience while he gets distracted and generally prevaricates. It takes all evening for him to copy out a list of 5 tricky words. If you don't supervise, he just stops. This is why he needs 1:1 at school.

They are all great suggestions, just not workable for us. He will pick out words he recognises on signs and round the supermarket which is great, but it is all just pattern recognition. I'm not convinced he is reading at all.

The best way I can get him to engage is to do something for him and deliberately get it wrong. He can't tolerate that and will jump in to correct me - this is the only indication I have that he can actually read (or remember what has been read to him previouslyhmm).

If you ask him to read, he will say I can't remember all the words. I don't think he can see the point or the need.

Widemouthfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 12:44:01

Thanks TC, I'll look at headsprout

spinspinsugar Thu 02-Oct-08 13:12:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Widemouthfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 13:29:03

Thats OK spinsugar. He has a knack of surprising me. I will probably fret and get frustrated, then he'll come home one day and we will discover he can read afterall and he just couldn't be bothered to show us. I'm just not sure I can wait that long.

Actually, not going near a laptop is an advantage - you can do all your MNetting without little fingers re-editing your post. grin

pagwatch Thu 02-Oct-08 13:35:02

My Ds learnt really quickly once he was motivated because it supported all his obbsessions.The trick was matching the obsession to the book. Initially I made him little books about Finding Nemo etc - just A4 pages with cut out pictures and some simple lamguage underneath. He especially liked books about him.

He loves films and Disney and got on much much better with the I can read series of books ( shrek and spiderman etc etc). Once he had the words he could then apply them

Here is the range

drowninginlaundry Sun 05-Oct-08 07:16:14

I am doing a literacy programme at home with DS1, he is 4.5, has ASD and very little language (single words). Jimjams is doing the same programme.

here's some info.

She is saying that the existing methods for teaching literacy to children, phonics and stories, don't work. I knew they wouldn't have worked with DS1. But boy has he learned fast with this one! We have just finished the pre-reading activities and his language has come on so fast. We use the computer a lot - it's very reinforcing on its own, and DS1 loves typing just like yours. The programme uses lots of imitation, modelling and repetition - methods that have proven to work with children with ASD. So, there are ways, but as always with ASD, the methods taught in mainstream usually need tweaking a bit... I've heard good things about headsprout as well but don't know that one meself.

Widemouthfrog Mon 06-Oct-08 14:09:10

That was a really interesting article Drowning, and confirms a lot of what I feel about how my DS is learning to read. I shal be looking into it further.

I have tried the trial of headsprout this weekend and DS loved it - he did 3 tutorials back to back and keeps asking when he can do it again.

I have spoken with his teachers, and they have agreed that we should not push him to read to us at home, but rather just let him enjoy his books his way (which he does). He is learning by rote and whole word recognition and she is happy that he is going to learn in his own way. They spend a lot of time in the library with him just sharing information books.

I'll continue with the keyboard. He loves typing and it frees him from the difficulties he has with handwriting.

Thanks for the advice

MaryBS Sat 25-Oct-08 19:31:31

DS is now in Y2 and is just 7. He wouldn't read either. We bought him the box of 50 Thomas the Tank Engine books for Christmas last year and was happy for us to read them to him. Then, all of a sudden, over the summer, he wanted to read them himself... and now I'm regularly surprised with how much he can read for himself! Not just those books, but ANYTHING! He is a real train fanatic and can read or guess at most of the words in the adult train books people have bought him.

Its like he went from not reading to having caught up with his peers in a matter of days!!! Or maybe he always could read and wasn't letting on... hmm

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