The benefits of reading to your special child… making learning a fun experience

Kids will be kids. They enjoy time with their parents and caregivers. They will always feel safe when they are around with their beloved mom and dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or their nanny.

What a better way to spend time together with your special child than reading to them.

Exploring books together with  your special kid is one of the best form of parental-child bonding, maybe second to playing with them.

What are the benefits of reading to your special child?

Even if your special child has  delayed mental development, he will still enjoy sitting down with you or lying down in the bed with you.

He will always tend to snuggle or hug you while listening to your story-telling.

So aside from just being happy together, there are lots of positive output that reading to your child will bring:

  • A strong bond is developed between you and your special child.
  • Your child will have  a sense of security when he is  there in the bed or chair  with you.
  • You are both able to explore the world, your town, province or country.
  • He gradually forms a deep trust in you.
  • He learns to appreciate that you are trying to help him improve or overcome his incapacities.
  • Your special child will slowly increase his vocabulary.
  • He gradually improves his language skills.
  • His mental capability will be boosted.
  • You are opening your child’s awareness to his surroundings, thus he learns coping skills.
  • You are helping your child’s teacher in a way because  your kid will be more receptive with lessons in school.
  • Reading will develop your child’s imagination and creativity.
  • He will learn to relax and quiet his mind during reading sessions with you.

Make reading together a habit

We learn easily when we do things again and again. Your child with special needs will truly benefit from you when you make reading to him a habit.

Rather than make your child watch nursery rhymes on television or you tube  day after day, develop the habit of reading to him instead at bedtime or just anytime that you feel he is receptive to listen to your storytellling.

Making reading to him a daily thing will surely increase his trust in you and he will always look forward to that special time together.

Gradually, you are increasing his vocabulary and his understanding of his environment.

This special time will also make you feel that you are giving him a special part of you.

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Enjoy reading with your child

Read aloud to your child.

Act out and speak out like the characters in the book that you are reading. If you are reading a dialogue for an old lady, let your voice be slow and quivering. If you are reading a man’s dialogue, speak in a deep tone.

You can even mimick some animals’ sounds. Surely your child will giggle and enjoy hearing your story.

He will always look forward to reading with you everyday.

You yourself will feel very happy and at peace after these sessions.  Your child’s laughter will wash away all the worries or stresses that you maybe experiencing at that moment.

Incorporate the assignments from school in your reading sessions

During homework time, start by reading to your child a good story book. This will develop his enthusiasm in doing his assignment.

Answering questions or completing his tasks that his teacher sent home will be a breeze if his brain is programmed to respond positively.

Encourage him to answer his homework by himself.  Let him ask you questions as well or let him know that you can help him if he cannot answer the questions.

Guide him if you can, instead of giving him all the answers. This way, you are encouraging him to think and decide for himself what is the best answer.

His teacher will be very appreciative learning that you are there to help her encourage your child to learn each day.

Read various topics

To increase your special child’s vocabulary and develop his language skills, try to read a variety of topics from animals, cartoon characters, plants, school, home, family, food, etc.

After reading, talk about the story that you just read.

Ask him questions like, ” What part of the story did you like most? “, “Who is your favorite character? “, or ” What did you learn from the story?”

Encourage him to ask questions to you as well. This will also gauge if he understood the topic or not.

An inquisitive mind is open to more learning.

Here are some awesome books for your special one.

Click the picture to buy!

        

Keep reading time short and sweet

A special child will have limited attention span, so plan to read short stories. Their intellectual capacities are also restricted, so they lose interest easily.

You might need to speak very slowly too, so he can understand every word and appreciate the story.

Don’t be upset when your child doesn’t decipher everything that you read to him. Keep in mind that he has delayed mental capabilities, so his brain is slow to digest.

Just appreciate that he enjoys time with you and he is learning slowly. 

Plan on going to the library regularly

A trip to the library on a weekend or right after school on a certain day is something that you can develop with your special child.

This will teach him the value of reading regularly. Likewise, he will be exposed to different books and topics.

Let him choose what he wants you to read to him. This way, you will encourage him to explore.

Start with small books or short stories.

Picture books are awesome for small kids to begin with.

Introduce reading to your special child from birth

Reading to your newborn or a few months old special baby can certainly give benefits both to you and him.

You will develop a special bond right away aside from his feeding schedules.

His brain will be exposed very early to this stimulating activity and as he grows and develops, reading will aid  in forming his language skills early on.

Your voice will soothe him to let him sleep good at night.

Developing that good habit of reading everyday will surely help him overcome his mental delay sooner because his brain will be rewired early.

As your child grows older, he would be choosing  his favorite topic, author, or book.

All these because you have started to expose him early and he has developed that habit of reading ( or listening if he has not learned reading by himself ).

I hope I have inspired you, dear mom and dad to start reading to your special child if you have not started.

Wishing you and your child happy reading!

Check out my favourite AMAZON picks  for babies. Click the book to see the price.

 

 

 

 

When did you start reading to your special child?  Are you reading to him everyday?

What is his favorite book about? Please share your story with us.

Please like and share

Published by

Marita

I am a doctor by profession who had several years of clinical practice as a Pediatrician and General Practitioner. At present, I work as a Clinical Research Assistant in a large university. Pangga ta ikaw remembers fondly a loved one who passed away and making her demise more meaningful. Supporting children with special needs in our hometown in the Philippines through Special Education is our main focus and through this website, we also aim at making everyone realize that special kids need our love and support.

6 thoughts on “The benefits of reading to your special child… making learning a fun experience”

  1. I have been trying so hard to read books to my grandbabies, especially the 2 year old, and she only wants to tear out the pages. So, yes I refer back to mother goose songs on YouTube because she knows every word. I will take your advice to try and change my voice and purchase Dr. Suess, thanks for the suggestions!

    1. Hi Jamillah,

      For those very young ones like your 2 year old grandchild, better buy the sturdy books which are made of cardboard, not paper, so they cannot tear them. Or flashcards would be suitable for them as well.

      You tube nursery rhymes are of course more entertaining with the moving characters and songs , but  if you learn to act out the characters in the book that you will be reading to them, they will be entertained as well. Make them join you in acting out as well. 

      Thanks for visiting.

      God bless,

      Marita

  2. Reading benefits all children. It is such a easy way to spend time with them As a grandmother who has kids in different places, I love to Skype twice a month for a 10 min. Reading. We each have a copy of the same one (with the older kids) and take turns reading. Time goes by fast and we all enjoy the visits.

    1. I love that you still read to your grandchildren  even if they are faraway through Skype.

      Truly your connection with them becomes meaningful with this activity. I’m sure they always look forward for this special bonding with their grandma.

      Thanks for visiting.

      God bless,

      Marita

  3. Hi there Marita,

    Thank you kindly for creating and sharing this article regarding the benefits of reading to our children with us all, it is appreciated.

    I do feel that this article and the benefits are in regards to all children, special or not. Reading gives our children more exposure to language, and with our mixed race child myself and my partner alternate days and languages that we read to her in, we have been doing this since birth! and she is now completely fluent is both English and Vietnamese, and now adding in my second language. Hopefully she will become completely trilingual.

    Never forget kids are like sponges, they absorb everything and have unlimited potential!

    1. Hi Derek,

      You are right, reading is beneficial to all kids, including children with special needs.

      Your daughter is very lucky to have parents who know that reading will help their kids to fully develop mentally.

      I salute you for letting your daughter learn both your languages with her mom and another one soon? Wow!

      How old is she now? Kids do learn easily especially if started early on.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Marita

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