ASD and learning to read - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-24-2012, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all. My 5 yo DS has PDD-NOS. He is verbal and somewhat outgoing, but has behavioral issues and is hyperactive and inattentive.
He LOVES reading books with me (and I with him), and I've just started reading the George Brown, Class Clown series to him. I stop and explain what's going on a lot, but he's able to follow the stories with help, and we get to talk about what the characters are doing and how they're feeling and why. DS got a pretty good vocabulary and great articulation, and he's doing well with letters and sounds, but refuses to even attempt to read words, even for stories he really likes. 
I've tried picture books, chapter books, books I've read him a million times, asking him to "read" the books he's memorized to his little brother and sister (2 yo twins), rewards, computer programs, websites (Starfall, etc.), talking about the sounds in words, everything I could think of, but nothing works. He won't even read about trains!!! He'll do worksheets, with letters and numbers, but even then he won't put sounds together. Sight words don't work either. 
His teacher doesn't seem concerned, but he pitches a fit every time we even start talking about him reading something. He's had letters and sounds down for almost a year now but doesn't seem to have made any progress with reading since then and I'm really worried.
Any suggestions? 
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#2 of 7 Old 03-25-2012, 08:41 AM
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You might not want to hear it but he sounds completely on target learning to read wise. He's still pretty young for reading, there is a really wide age range for learning to read, it's about anywhere from 3-10. I wouldn't get worried if his teacher is not at this point. You can try things like BOB books, Leap Frog dvds (I don't remember exactly what they're called), reading games, those would get him excited about learning to read.

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#3 of 7 Old 03-25-2012, 02:30 PM
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Take a deep breath and back off completely about asking him to read. First, as the pp said, 5 is developmentally young to be reading. If he knows his letters and the sounds they make, then he's right where a 5 year old needs to be. Yes, I know that kids are reading younger but it's not necessarily a good thing. They're also turning against schooling younger because they were forced to do academics when they should have been playing.


Second, if your son is on the autism spectrum (PPD-NOS is on the spectrum, I'm pretty sure), there's often a significant component of anxiety, especially performance anxiety with it. He may need to be really really comfortable before he reads.


Keep reading to him. Make reading time fun and enjoyable. If he's 8 and he's still not reading, then you can start to worry.

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#4 of 7 Old 03-25-2012, 08:19 PM
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I agree with the previous posters -- you need to back off. Turning reading into pressure and work turns kids off. It's so much better for kids to be AVID readers rather than EARLY readers.  I think our whole society has gone off the deep end with reading, and even for neurotypical kids, I think 7 would be a better age for reading instruction than 5.


Letting him enjoy books, learn to follow stories, gain a larger vocabulary are all really important skills. The decoding can come later.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 7 Old 03-25-2012, 10:20 PM
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I'm forum crashing a bit, but FWIW my DD started reading very simple words during her 5yo year (she's 6 now and still reads mostly very simple words).  She had known her letters and their sounds for 3 YEARS at least (she loved letters as a toddler).  I remember thinking that once she knew her letters and their sounds she'd just start reading soon.  It isn't like that.  Something has to "click" in their heads to blend the sounds together.  It's really normal and fine that your DS isn't there yet. 




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#6 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 11:25 AM
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My son is very neurotypical (and smart) and wouldn't even TRY to read until first grade.  I don't think education should be a chore until first or second grade.  Chore, as in, getting serious about it, pushing homework, etc.

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#7 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 04:26 PM
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I have PDD-Nos and I had a hard time learning to read too. When I first began reading I read everything out loud as this was the only way I could understand what I read. After I had figured this out, my parents hired one of my teachers as a tutor to help me figure out how to read without doing it out loud. It took awhile. I was in second grade before I could really read but now I love to read. 

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