“Help! My Child Doesn’t Like Reading Books!”– The Benefits of Making Adapted Books

June 24, 2013

What is an adapted book?

Adapted books are any reading materials which have been modified  to make a book more accessible to a child’s physical needs and style of learning. The most common adapted book consists of color laminated pictures attached by Velcro pieces within the book, so a child can remove and replace the attachments for exploration. Adapted books are resistant to tears and heavy push/ pull movements within the pages, and are usually made of large, durable cardboard stock.  Most large board books can be ordered on-line for discount prices.

Who would benefit from reading an adapted book?

Although any child will likely enjoy an adapted book, Children diagnosed with sensory deficits disorders (the inability to process information through the senses), and language delays (the inability to process and express words) will especially benefit.  Adapted books can be used in all environments, including home, classrooms, and play groups.

Why are adapted books beneficial?

Adapted children’s books provide interactive fun, sensory input, and opportunities to engage in social pretend play. When children remove and attach Velcro pieces from within the book, more small and large muscle groups are engaged with the learning process, and language is stimulated through actions. Large, densely weighted books are helpful because they provide pressure to the muscles and joints when lap reading. Also, thick Velcro strips can be challenging to push and pull together, so a child’s range of motions will regulate speech rate, and increase clarity of thought processes. Additionally, attachable pieces can be moved close to the face, which encourages eye contact.

How would I use an adapted book?

Children can be great teachers in knowing how to use an adapted book.  The attachable pieces can fly through the air, sing a song, land on a flower, talk to characters on the next page, ride in a truck to the next destination, or walk across a leaf stem. Children will often match attachable pieces with items in the book, build fine motor skills as they rotate items like a puzzle piece, or play hide and seek with the items in the room. For older children, the following skills can be taught: Identification of objects and colors, sequencing steps, looking for missing objects, and following directions. When used with two or more children, attachable pieces can be used for collecting, trading, and pretend play.

How do I make an adapted book?

Step #1:  Purchase any size Board Books on-line, or buy one at the local book store.

Recommended Starter Books:

Eric Carle—“The Very Quiet Cricket” (which features a cricket sound on the last page of the book)

Eric Carle—“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Step #2: Photo-copy (black and white—Image Photo quality) each page of the book. *Note: Commercial office supply companies will not make color photo copies of the book, due to Copyright laws. All copies in commercial companies must be in black and white, then adapted, which is permissible for use with children who have special needs. Adapted books are not permissible to be resold.

Step #3:  Uses Dot Markers (or Bingo markers, sold in craft and supply stores) to quickly color the black and white images.

Step #4: Use scissors to cut out preferred characters and objects .

Step #5: Laminate (Local office supply store)and cut out the pieces.

Step #6: Attach Velcro strips (on-line for bulk)  within the book, and to the attachable pieces.

Although it takes some preparation to make an adapted book, the books are very durable and serve multiple functions of learning. Your adaptable book  will out-live paperback books, and will stack nicely on a shelf.  Have fun using your imagination, and follow your child’s lead!

-April Kumlin, B.A., SLP-A

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Speech, Language, and Literacy

March 27, 2012

It’s never too soon to start reading with your children! Children begin to learn speech and language skills from the day they are born. As children develop, they learn increasingly complex speech and language skills. During early speech and language development, children are also learning skills that are critical for emergent literacy skills. Emergent literacy begins at birth and typically continues through the pre-school years. It is critical for parents and caregivers to help children develop these emergent literacy skills…

Make reading fun!

  • Make sure both you and your child are having FUN!
  • Read with expression, pitching your voice higher or lower where it’s appropriate or using different voices for different characters.
  • Use puppets to help read and narrate the story.
  • Allow your child to choose the book he/she is interested in.
  • Let your child interrupt to ask questions or make comments.

Play with language!

  • Sing songs (Ex. “Itsy bitsy spider”, “Old McDonald”, or other ones which you know or can create).
  • Tell stories and narratives with your child, especially ones with sequence.
  • Read nursery rhymes and other rhyming books.
    • After a child has become familiar with the rhyme, stop before the last word on the page and let the child say it.
    • As a game, take turns to see how many rhyming words you can think of together: hop, top, bop, mop, stop, drop, and flop.

Improvise!

  • You do not always need to read the words as they appear in the book. You can simply talk about the pictures with your child.

Reading can take place anywhere, anytime!  Integrate reading into daily routines and make reading a daily habit. This is an activity which you and your child can look forward to.

Some ideas …

  • Start and end the day with books
  • Read during snack or after snack
  • Read during transition times
  • Read while waiting for appointments
  • Play books on CD in the car
  • Restaurants

Point out print in your natural environment to your child!

  • Food labels, billboards, words on the computer, names, signs, and more!

Visit your local library!

  • Check out books.
  • Attend a read-aloud with a story teller

Time Together Triangle:

  • There is a balance between you, your child, and the book!
  • Make sure that you:
    • Read to your child: Make a commitment of reading to your child on a regular basis. Keep the routine, it will be something both you and your child will look forward to!
    • Read with your child: Make sure your child is interested in the book, so that you are both engaged.
    • Let your child read to you: Encourage your child to help tell the story, even if he does not know how to read yet.

Remember we do not need to TEACH children all the time, we need to ENRICH their lives!

E –  Encourage

NNuture

RRepeat stories over and over

I –   Involve your kids/Invent games together

CCheer for your kids

HHAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS!

-Katey Sellers, M.A., CF-SLP


Early Literacy For Your Baby and Toddler

December 20, 2011

Children learn about language, reading, and writing when they are shown reading materials and share interactions with these materials with adults and older children.  Exposure to literacy materials does not mean teaching a child to read before they are ready.  Early literacy involves sharing books with children, describing the pictures, letting your child turn the pages and handle books.  The following is a list of suggestions for how you can share books with your young child (Suggestions taken from Zero to Three):

  • Make Sharing Books Part Of Every Day: Read or share stories at bedtime or on the bus.
  • Have Fun: Children can learn from you that books are fun, which is an important ingredient in learning to read.
  • A Few Minutes is OK- Don’t Worry if You Don’t Finish the Story: Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will be able to sit longer.
  • Talk or Sing About the Pictures: You do not have to read the words to tell a story.
  • Let Children Turn the Pages: Babies need board books and help turning pages, but a three-year-old can do it alone. Remember, it’s OK to skip pages!
  • Show Children the Cover Page: Explain what the story is about.
  • Show Children the Words: Run your finger along the words as you read them, from left to right.
  • Make the Story Come Alive: Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story.
  • Make It Personal: Talk about your own family, pets, or community when you are reading about others in a story.
  • Ask Questions About the Story, and Let Children Ask Questions Too!: Use the story to engage in conversation and to talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let Children Tell the Story: Children as young as three years old can memorize a story, and many children love to be creative through storytelling

-Julie Manyak, CCC-SLP