I don’t know of any mom who has stated, “Reading was my favorite subject to teach!” Reading is probably one of the hardest things to teach. This is amplified with a child who has a disability. As my son is starting to become more confident in reading and as the tears and frustration on both sides is becoming a rare event I have a few helpful hints for the mommas that are just starting out (notice I wrote “confident” and not “proficient”) .
1) Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea and think relaxing thoughts.
2) If you can, sit behind or next to your child. A couch works great for this. I have found that my son is constantly looking up at me to make sure he has the word correct. This is hindering his sentence comprehension. In hind sight I should have sat behind him in the beginning and then moved next to him to sit side by side.
3) Do short bursts each day. A long reading time everyday may discourage them and exhaust you. Put a timer on. We started at 10 minutes when my son was little. He now can read about 30 minutes and he is done.
4) Pick a reward for attempting the activity. Stickers are our go to reward. I wish I had thought of this earlier. I reward for attempting the activity and not how well he does it. It looks like “Good job sitting and trying to sound out all those words for 10 minutes. Sticker time!”
5) This is most important. Do not compare their reading with other kids or even where they are “supposed” to be given age and grade. This thinking will just defeat you and will cause more frustration and anger in you. Been there, done that and many times I have just cried in my room because of the self defeat I felt.
6) Keep a positive attitude (this is where coffee was my friend). They are going to get frustrated and cry even if you are having a good attitude day. Keep that good attitude, grab the second cup of coffee or tea, and reaffirm their attempt.