Teaching Autistic Children to Read

We had our son Cooper’s ITP meeting on Thursday and this mama found out that her smart kid can spell hundreds of words. He’s even moved on from three letter words to four-five letter words. I about died of shock when he spelled green and blue.

Looking back, I didn’t know if this would ever happen. And no one would look into their crystal ball and tell me if it was a possibility.

If I could give advice to myself a year ago I would say don’t ever give up. Not ever. It may seem impossible right now. You can’t get him to try. Or sit. Or care. You may not be able to see the future. Don’t give up. These kids are lifelong learners. And once you get past the roadblocks you will be blown away. And I’d also tell myself that teaching him at home is key.

We started with flash cards. Over and over again. We’d have Cooper identify pictures. Simple at first. Apple, bird, basket, car. We’d line them up and he’d have to point. He needed a lot of help identifying objects for years. Then we moved onto letters. Repetition. One letter at a time. Always pointing. At first he’d pay attention for 30 seconds. Then eventually a minute. Then five minutes.

Around age six I started to wonder if he’d ever learn to read. I’d see glimpses of maybe. But I didn’t know how to teach him. It seemed impossible. He wouldn’t sit or try. He’d resist. Have behaviors. But, we kept at it.

Just look at the results. A smart, happy, proud kid.

Now when I look to future, I picture a day where he can type to me. I’m so excited and hopeful.

Want to learn more about Cooper’s speech device? Click HERE. Want to learn how to borrow a speech device? Click HERE.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Aspie girl

    June 11, 2018 at 12:55 am
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    Beautiful kid. Looks like a little angel. Autistic children often achieve things as they grow, things everyone had thought they wouldn't be able to do. […] Read MoreBeautiful kid. Looks like a little angel. Autistic children often achieve things as they grow, things everyone had thought they wouldn't be able to do. Especially if their parents believe in them and learn the right way to teach them, because children on the spectrum learn their own way. I can't compare my situation to Cooper because Asperger is so mild, and I'm very high functioning, but still I'd like to use it as an example. I was told as a child I'd never be able to learn martial arts, and I believed it because of my poor motor skills and difficulty in understanding instructions, and social phobia, and whatnot. And I did learn as an adult, and I excelled wonderfully and loved every minute of it. All the fears I've had about finding and keeping a job, all the obstacles I'd had to go through, and now I've got a job for years now, and my supervisor keeps saying I'm the best. Sometimes people on the spectrum just need a push in the right direction, to be told how they can achieve things their own way instead of simply saying, "You can't do that." Whether they're mildly autistic and high functioning or more severely autistic. You're an awesome mom with the right attitude, and because of that, this little angelic-faced guy will achieve things. Autistic kids often surprise everyone by what they end up achieving, even themselves. Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.
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