He ended up being diagnosed as hyperlexic and is also on the autism spectrum.
I didn't do anything special once ds started reading. He seemed to LOVE bright, bold boardbooks (like the Bear series I sell). Actually, even though he's 7, he still loves those books!
Oh, and he LOVED the magnadoodle. He was always wanting me to write simple words on it so he could figure them out.
Mama, Artist, Mary Kay Consultant
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The big thing with us is just that we do a lot of reading. We read LOTS of books. Library books, familiar old board books, new "hard" books that challenge him, magazines, whatever. He's in preschool, but not because of the reading; when he's there, he's mostly doing other things anyhow, like playing with other kids or doing crafts.
I did a lot of responsive reading with him in the earlier stages. I'd take a book that he knew really well, and I would read a line, then he would "read" a line, then I would read a line, etc. For both of us, I would move my finger to each word as it was read. If he had trouble with a word, sometimes I would say it and let him repeat it (but never sternly or impatiently; I always kept it lighthearted).
Another thing I would do is play with rhyming words. With magnetic letters on the refrigerator, I would spell (or let him spell) some simple word, like "cat." Then I would switch the first letter and let him read the result - "bat" - and do it again and again, as long as he was enjoying it. I'd let him pick the starting letter, too. We got nonsense words a lot, but that's part of the fun! Again, it was totally lighthearted and goofy.
Sometimes I would talk about specific phonics rules, like silent E. "Pan" with an E becomes "pane", and I would say, "The E makes the A say its name!" Other times I would do refrigerator words with specific vowel combinations -- OO, EE, EA, etc. -- and funky word endings like "-tion". But I was pretty sparing with this kind of instruction, bringing it up only when he seemed like he needed it to get past a roadblock.
At this point, I'm not sure how much of his reading is sight words and how much is phonics, but it's clearly a mix of the two. He's pretty fluent.
(We've thought about having him evaluated for hyperlexia, since he reverses pronouns, has difficulty with "why what who where" questions, and some other oddnesses. But he seems so well-adjusted in other ways that we hesitate to medicalize his gifts.)
Mine can, too! My son read "Hop on Pop" - all of the pages except the last 2 - to my mom the other day. He'll be 3 in July. He red a book about a fat cat, too. Yet he still has trouble with practical language and repeats our questions like a parrot - so I wonder about comprehension. I'm a bit worried about hyperlexia / Autism. He is social, though, but has a natural ability for music, and has apparently memorized several songs that he sings around the house and all day long. He doesn't seem to mind when his routine isn't followed, though.
What kind of trouble with practical language is he having?
My DD who started reading early had numerous quirks that could have been interpreted as signs of autism. She also went through a phase where she couldn't stop talking about the same topic over and over and she drove everyone crazy. She grew out of these quirks by her 3rd birthday and I was never concerned about autism as she was socially precocious and could read subtle cues from others but I do wonder if there isn't some kind of connection between children who are on spectrum and children with advanced cognitive abilities.
Mum says I started reading at about the same time. The best thing to do is to encourage reading - he is a smart boy and requires the right sort of support. Do continue reading to him, buy him some books and see what his reading level really is. Then you can keep buying more complicated books. Montessori is a good idea too!
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