Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
Children with disabilities often have difficulty with retaining reading skills. There are ways to increase reading skills with little effort. Children will look forward to reading if it is enjoyable.
Reading is reading, regardless of the material used. Different reading material, such as magazines, newspapers and recipes can be used to build or retain reading skills. Reading skills can decrease with inactivity. Summer breaks can be very hard for students with disabilities, such as Intellectual
Disabilities and Specific Learning Disabilities.
Review sight words with the child. Make learning fun by using word match or bingo games in order for the child to become familiar with the word. Pictures and labels can make a big difference when learning words. Be creative. Think of ways to allow children to come in contact with the word at least fifteen times. This repletion will allow information to transfer from short term memory to long term memory. It will also accommodate different learning styles.
Fiction can be an enjoyable experience for children. It allows them to explore their imagination. As time goes on, they will find themselves enjoying the text. Parents can use this opportunity to read to their children. This will build social skills, as well as create a bond with the child.
Reading is so much more than decoding words. Children with disabilities often have the ability to read text, but cannot comprehend the information. While reading the text, it is beneficial to ask questions and allow the child to explain the information that has been read. Parents can also read to the child. This will build listening skills.
The library is filled with fiction and nonfiction books. Children will have a larger desire for reading if the book is about something interests them. Allow them to pick their own book from the library. Allow them to get their own library card. Visit the library on a regular basis in order allow interests to grow. Some libraries host summer book clubs. They may also offer a reading corner. Create as many opportunities for the child to read or listen to someone else read as much as possible. Beginner readers can become familiar with words through pictures.
Most children have plans for the summer that do not include reading. It is up to the parent to make it a part of the planned summer activity. Exposure to words and text over the summer break will make it difficult for children to lose the progress made over the year. At least ten minutes per day will not ruin the summer. It will increase word recognition and build or retain reading skills.