There are so many things that a child with special needs can learn through reading. It takes them into worlds as far as their imagination can go along with teaching them valuable skills that will help lead them down the path of excellence in life. While teaching kids how to read is fairly easy for many parents, it can be quite a challenge for children with special needs.
Over the years, I’ve helped hundreds of children with special needs learn to read. There are several simple, but often overlooked tips that you can use to encourage your child to read.
Here Are 5 Simple Techniques To Help Your Child With Special Needs Read;
1. Choose Reading material that keeps them engaged
All children learn differently. A child with special needs often benefits from more one-on-one interaction and learning tailored to them, not the masses. One way to establish a good foundation for learning especially reading is to choose reading materials that are within their specific areas of interests.
For example, if your child loves learning about other countries, a travel brochure full of pictures and rich color can be a good starting point. The important thing is that you introduce them to materials that keep them wanting more. Younger children are often drawn toward books with beautiful illustrations. These illustrations often can hold their attention even if they’re frustration level rises due to the struggles they may experience trying to read the text. Providing material they enjoy and can actually read will do wonders with their self-esteem.
2. Read with your child using a concept called shared reading
Shared reading is a simple concept that helps a child with special needs grasp the material contained within the text. You read a word or a sentence, and your child reads the next.
Shared reading is a good way of making reading a fun, interactive activity. Use creativity to help capture and maintain your child with special needs attention. You can change your voice for different characters or even use props to get their interest going and maintain your child’s engagement.
3. Provide a relaxed environment
A relaxed, safe and comfortable environment fosters learning in all children, but especially in a child with special needs. It’s often easier for a child to learn and love reading if they are in a non-judgmental environment such as their own home. It typically takes longer for a child with special needs to adjust to a new environment and people they’re meeting for the first time.
4. Praise your child often
Praise your child for all progress they make in reading and everything else they do well in their lives. Consistent positive reinforcement will boost their self-confidence and propel them to do more. When teaching a child with special needs any subject, self-skill or any other important life lesson, there isn’t such a thing as too much positivity. Making them feel important, needed and loved is something every single child in this world craves. You are their idol, and if you show your child just how proud of them you are, you’re shaping their lives and setting their life’s path toward success and excellence.
5. Utilize available resources
There are specialists and resources out there that can further help you in encouraging and teaching your child with special needs to read. Professionals such as occupational and physical therapists along with different forms of therapy such as art therapy and music therapy can do wonders in increasing learning and retention in a child with special needs. With the advent of technology, special education needs can now be addressed through special education online tutoring and other interactive types of technology.
Online special education tutoring for children with special needs is becoming much more mainstream. Supplemental learning through one-on-one interaction with a special education tutor can give your child a more systematic and individualized learning experience. This kind of learning is often neglected in a typical public school setting due to lack of budget and increased classroom sizes. With special education online tutoring, your child can learn in the comfort of their own home; an environment that’s familiar, safe and lacks the pressure from their peers and other factors often found in a classroom setting.
Special Education Resource provides special education online tutoring and resources designed solely for children with special needs. Our special education tutors mold the curriculum your child with special needs is currently learning in their traditional classroom in a way that maximizes their individual learning needs. The first step to verifying whether or not special education tutoring is the best option for your child is a free consultation. The consultation is conducted by a special education tutor which allows you the opportunity to ask some your toughest unanswered questions.
Through your quest for information and assistance, the most important thing to remember is that a label doesn’t have to define a child; it simply proves that all children learn differently.