By Leslie Lindsay
Last week, we chatted about why it may be more difficult for our kiddos with CAS to learn to read and write. Today, we will talk about things you can do to help your child with those skills at home; specifically reading (writing with CAS with be another two-part post beginning next week).
You want to know how to help break the code to reading?! Sure, we all do…it’s not so clear-cut as it may sound, but I will help decipher some of the weirdness for you. According to Joy Stackhouse, Persisting Speech Difficulties in Children: Children’s Speech & Literacy Difficulties, one should teach phononlogical awareness skills + strong reading strategies (literacy skills) to have a kiddo who is ready to learn to read.
For phonological awareness, some suggested repetitive books you can start with:
- Anything from Sandra Boynton to Dr. Seuss (the goofier the better…it sticks with kids and gets them engaged early on)
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown…repetitive and predictable
- Going on A Bear Hunt (or any of the variations, such as going on a nature hunt)
Read books without words. What??! Reading a book should involve words, right? Not necessarily. There are some really great picture books for kids that are just that–illustrations. Have your child tell you what is going on in the picture. If she can’t do that, can she make some sounds like ooh? or Oh, no! Ooops… A good one to try is Teri K. Peterson’s book, The Big Book of Exclamations! which was designed especially for this reason by its SLP creator. Also look for the Good Dog, Carl series by Alexandra Day, among others. Just ask your children’s librarian.
Engage in Dialogic Reading. It’s the idea of having a dialogue (or discussion) with your child as you read a book. “Hummm….what do you think might happen next?”…. “Why did bunny just do that?” “I think this is going to happen____. What are your thoughts?” Allow for extra time to read and build in some patience, too. Kids with apraxia may not be able to expand their thoughts simply because they can’t…but it’s probably still there, under the apraxia. You can modify this type of discussion by talking about the illustrations instead, “Can you find the girl’s pretty shoes. Gosh, they are so sparkly. Can you say sparkle? Shoe?”
Explore letters and the sounds they make. If you have the space, develop a “letter center” at home. Stock it with letter stickers, maganets, alphabet puzzles, stamps, cookie cutters, other manipulatives that have a single letter on it. Let your child experiment with them. As her what those sounds make. If she doesn’t know, tell her. Color those letters, shape them out of Play-Doh, or make letters out of pretzel sticks. Have fun!
I could go on and on with more ideas on this subject, but I really must close for today. Next week on “Apraxia Monday,” we’ll discuss writing with CAS. But, writing is what I must do now…only this time I am working on some fiction here at my writer’s retreat in Madison, WI.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, June 23rd 9-12noon as I will be at the Otsego, MI Walk for Apraxia with copies of “Speaking of Apraxia” (Woodbine House, 2012). Copies will be available for $20 cash or check (suggested retail, $24.95). I am happy to sign them, too. Hope to see you there!!