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Books For An Autistic Child

Jul 12, 2008
If the child is small, then showing him a regular paper book with photos might not be such a good idea, since he might just tear it up. You could show him a book with thick cardboard pages or a plastic page book, which is difficult to tear. The books should match the interests of the child as well as the age and the mental status of the child. If the child is immediately interested in the first few pages of the book, then that would solve the problem of the child tearing the book.

If your child is autistic, then you could start reading from the books, and show him the pictures and content. Even if your child does not fully comprehend the story, your presence and the way you narrate the story could have a calming effect on the child. If your child understands hand signals better, then you could also gesticulate with your hands while narrating the story. Since the child's attention span is short, he might lose track of the story sometimes and you will have to lure him back into the story. Patience is the key word in dealing with autistic children and reading books is no different.

Once the child is interested in a particular topic, you can get a variety of books on that topic to retain the interest. In case, the child does not like a particular book, the frustration will show through immediately and if the child starts throwing tantrums, you should understand that there is no point in proceeding further with that particular topic.

Autistic children study more with their eyes, and so it is very important to show them photos which are pleasing for them to see. They can easily relate to day-to-day objects, so it might be a good idea to start with those books which depict and explain those objects. They might not prefer or understand fictional stories. You might also have to repeat their favorite stories or show them their favorite books time and again, so be ready to do that cheerfully.

Autistic children can read other peoples faces and expressions, so show them that you are truly enjoying reading them a story or showing photos. Since communicating with them is difficult, it could be some time before you understand their likes and dislikes about particular books.

When reading a book to autistic children, it is therefore important to get into their minds and understand their mood. They should be ready to understand what you are trying to convey to them, and you in turn, by observing their behavior and body language, should try to gauge their reactions. By showing patience and caring for their feelings, you can keep their interest alive when reading a book to them.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about books. When shopping for books, we recommend you shop only at the best bookstores for used books for autistic children, autographed books, and vedic books.
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