Reading and Comprehension

A friend of ours had asked DW re some of what she does with DS on Reading comprehension and if she had tips on those.

Here's her response.
  • It is better to start with reading comprehension with simple stories which are direct, doesn't involve tricks, actions/reactions of a character based on their feelings. (Theory of mind skills...intentions/perspectives etc)
  • Make use small strips of paper where both (DM/DS) draws the characters, places/objects. sometimes when they find drawing to be difficult they just write the words. As DM reads, DS moves around these papers. for eg..a bird flies up in the sky and sat on branch of the tree... he takes the bird makes flying action....make it go up till the sky, make it sit on the branch of the tree..This kind of worked for DS.
  • If the kid is good in drawing, then the parent can read the sentences the kid can draw ..starting with 2-3 sentences per day. These kids have difficulty to make pictures in their mind or imagine as they are reading. This is a concept from Lindamood Bell where they have methods/strategies to make movies in the head as they are reading.
  • Comprehension is better when DS reads some passage where he could relate/understand the experience. since he could connect with his own experience. He could understand a book about visit to supermarket than a book about aliens in space.
  • DW first tells the story for him to understand and then read the story.
  • DS/DW act out the stories and read it again. The character names in the story would be DS's favourite movie characters (Ashok etc from Agni Natchithiram)
  • Other strategies which we use subconsciously: DW has to explicitly work with him: When they come across a new word..finding the it relates or connects to something he already knows or experienced......Some abstract terms, idioms and phrase needs to be worked on separately
Hope this helps...

Keep on Rockin' the free world !

Yesterday DS and I were watching a Tamil movie - "Sachin" - a தயிர் சாதம் uncle movie, that DS likes. In the end of the movie, the heroine professes her love for the hero. Watching that, I asked DS what would he do, if he a girl comes and tells him that she loves him.

DS face lit up and all smiles (with lot of shyness etc) and said that he will feel proud about it. And "I will also love her" :) Then for some reason, he said that a girl in his school tells "hi" to him. I wonder if he likes her. He is the one, who usually doesn't talk about girls and runs away if he bring up the subject. He was all lit-up when he talked about the girl. But he didn't know her name, but she knew his. I told him maybe the next time she says Hi he could introduce himself and ask her for her name and be her friend.

Btw, I also told him that particular girl just might be very friendly - just to make sure that he doesn't take it any other way. She would say hi to a few of his class friends too; and its common for girls and boys to be friends with each other (and gave a lot of examples). My point was to tell him that not every girl who says Hi, are the ones you fall in love with !! :-) Although, I believe for a 9-year old (which is where i think he is emotionally), its perfectly normal to believe so !!! So we had this talk for a while and I was glad he shared that with me instantly in that conversation. It was funny to me (and insightful) that he related the girl saying "hi" to him when I asked him the first question... Probably, its his first crush !

In any case, it brought back some of my own mind-set to the fore. When he first diagnosed, I had this Neil Young's (Rockin' the free world) that seemed apt for DS:

There's one more kid
that will never go to school
Never get to fall in love,
never get to be cool"

Now, with the journey we have come with him (a great deal of credit goes to his DM), maybe, he would just be another average and yet another kid who goes to school, will fall in love and gets to be cool !