A lot of research done on tutoring for special needs children has shown that kids who are taught multiple reading comprehension strategies and guided appropriately in their use tend to eventually adopt some to use on their own. Fortunately, a number of brain training programs and special education strategies are now available to improve child reading skills.
Here are a few simple tips by Helene Goldnadel that even you can use at home as you help your special needs child read and learn efficiently -
Read Aloud to him
As a kid’s listening skills are better than his reading skills, your child will be able to comprehend more efficiently if you read the text out loud. Teach him to read the book silently as you read aloud to him. Begin with small passages and increase the time as he learns to maintain focus. If he tends to lose focus, you may provide the text on tape or think of other innovative ways to pair listening and reading.
Engage his Imagination
As your child listens or reads, encourage him to visualize all events in the story and create a movie or picture in his mind. After every few minutes, ask him to describe what he imagined.
Let him find the Five W’s
When your kid reads story books or fictions, train him to always look for the five valuable W’s in the story - Where did the story take place, When did the event happen, What were the main events, Who were the main characters in each event, and Why did they act the way they did. Also, teach him to pay special attention to charts, captions, pictures, section headings, and similar highlights given in text books.
Ask him to Predict
Whenever you read a book with your child, take small breaks in between to ask what according to him might happen next in the story. It really does not matter if his hunches are wrong. What’s more important here is that by asking your child for predictions, you are encouraging him to pay more attention and create meaningful links within the story.
Besides, you must also ensure that you show great interest in whatever your child is willing to read. Encouraging note-taking, increasing word power, translating figures of speech, teaching to read between the lines, building on previous knowledge, and forming reading groups with other similar kids are other tactics that can be used for improving child reading skills. Once your child is introduced to these strategies, he will eventually learn to select the strategies that suit him the best while reading different texts.
Finally, you must understand that every child learns to read at his own pace and a child with special needs might require an extra push to acquire the basic skills. If your kid has a learning disability, he might find a regular classroom setting too frustrating and confusing. To help your little child succeed with his disabilities, it is a very good idea to see which special education programs and brain training programs are the best fit for them.
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