When Babies Read: A Practical Guide to Helping Young Children with Hyperlexia, Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

By Audra Jensen | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Line of Attack

Even before I knew much about hyperlexia, and certainly before Isaak was diagnosed with autism, I had learned that he had a unique skill which I could utilize to teach him. When he started to read his first words, I got out a stack of index cards and labeled the house—everything from couch to bath to door. Cards sprung up everywhere, and as fast as I could put them up, Isaak would learn them. I knew it was only the beginning.

Your child may have an unusual ability—but not one that should be brushed aside or disregarded as a “splinter skill.” It may seem like a useless skill when he can read words he doesn’t understand, but that’s where you come in as a parent. You can teach him what these words mean and how to use them.


Home

The home is definitely the first line of attack for your child. Your child will feel comfortable and secure there. You can manufacture learning opportunities that best fit your schedule. You can manipulate situations that will stretch your child in ways that can only be done in the comfort of your own home. You do not have to worry about someone asking questions or interrupting or shooting funny glances at what you may be doing. You do not have to worry about your child living up to all society’s standards, but you can gently encourage him to move towards that direction—one step at a time.

Cultivating a loving, supportive environment can make all the difference. Sometimes, in the early days, it felt like all our outpourings of love and affection had little impact on our son. We would chase him, grab him,

-73-

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When Babies Read: A Practical Guide to Helping Young Children with Hyperlexia, Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 9
  • Preface 11
  • Acknowledgements 13
  • Chapter 1 - Something about Him 15
  • Chapter 2 - The Walking Paradox 19
  • Chapter 3 - The Case for Teaching Reading 32
  • Chapter 4 - Teaching Babies to Read 45
  • Chapter 5 - Line of Attack 73
  • Chapter 6 - Learning Early Social Expectations 88
  • Chapter 7 - Navigating the School System 106
  • Chapter 8 - Customizing Behavior Therapy 118
  • Chapter 9 - Customizing Language Therapy 132
  • Chapter 10 - Theory of Mind 147
  • Chapter 10 - Ten Commandments 153
  • Appendix A - Special Education Law in the United States 157
  • Appendix B - Some Useful Organizations in the UK 168
  • Appendix C - Glossary and Diagnostic Criteria 170
  • References 179
  • Subject Index 181
  • Author Index 189
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