Finally getting around to post a new thread on my husband's machine...
This is inspired by a poster’s happy observation that a wonderful teacher finally got her child to read fiction...I know I am not alone with this problem, because I have seen it frequently referred to by posters here with highly sensitive gifties, and I am wondering what, if anything, to do about it?
Except for a longterm fascination with Pippi Longstocking and a more transient liking for the Children of Troublemaker Street and another book about a first grader finding a little dragon, DS (most likely not ASD, but close enough to have it suspected) has been steadfastly refusing to read fiction, particularly chapter books.
It does not appear to be stamina - when I started reading Pippi Longstocking to him at three, he sat through 7 chapters (until I had to stop!) – but the emotions triggered by chapter books he appears to be afraid of: when I tried to interest him in the Children of Noisy Village, about the most gentle children’s book I know, he refused to read on after the first chapter, saying it was “too sad”. One of the few useful comments we got out of the ASD eval was that “DS tends to either under- or extremely overexpress his emotions”. I suppose he is afraid that strong emotions will overwhelm him, knowing on an instinctive level that he is struggling with self-regulation. He doesn’t mind shorter stories, such as picture books or story collections so much, but will not ask for them.
Non-fiction of course is a completely different story – he can pour over his dinosour books for hours, and his reading is making great strides – it is not reading as such, but a the lack of exposure to literature, things like themes, descriptions, plotlines etc. I am worried about at the moment, knowing that elementary curriculums are heavy on narrative and the discrepancy between what he can read and what he will read will be stark.
Things I have tried:
I have tried to introduce a bedtime rule “one fiction story, one non-fiction book”, but at the moment DH is doing story time for DS while I nurse and sing DD to sleep and they both prefer for DH to make up oral stories about a mythical character, told in the dark – it’s their ritual and I don’t want to interfere with it, and whenever I get to spend storytime with DS now because DD happens falls asleep quickly, I do not want to spend it in conflict.
I have started reading books to him and DH while they are engaged in a craft project and he did get interested, but when the project was finished he did not want to go on with the book again saying it “wasn’t interesting”.
I have now introduced a common storytime for both DD and DS, before DH takes DS off to his own room, but of course it will always have to be a story appropriate for DD. He does like that though – “Tomten” does not appear to bother him...
And I have ordered the first "Magic Treehouse" which happens to be about dinosours, and it was a huge hit! Is that all there is to it – just find the right books?!?
What are your experiences? Am I even right to be worried about this?