How to Make Reading/Writing fun for kids with Special Needs?
For most kids with special needs, reading and writing is a non-preferred task, one that they shy away from without regret. Not only can reading and writing be scary and sometimes harder than climbing the tallest mountain, but in the words of many kids, it can be boring. Here are a few tips to consider, when helping your child through the reading and writing process.
- Take it outside: Kids love to be outside. So, play a scavenger hunt game. Set up signs in various places in your backyard or in the park, that your child will have to read in order to get the clue for the next sign. Each clue can have them looking for random objects found in nature. But what they don’t realize is, that they are reading.
- Sidewalk chalk: Get some sidewalk chalk and have your child write encouraging messages on the sidewalk for those who walk/run in the neighborhood. They will love the idea that they are being kind and someone else will read their writing. If they have a hard time spelling, ask them what they want to say and have them copy from your paper. This will help them with spelling, sentence structure, handwriting, and building self-esteem.
- Pen pal: Have your child pick a few friends, family members, or neighbors, that they can write a short message to and put it in their mailbox. They will be practicing many skills with this project. First, they will be working again on sentence structure, grammar, their handwriting skills, and spelling. But it is way more fun to write short notes than long paragraphs.
- Blog: For students who need to work on writing longer paragraphs, they can start a blog. Blogs can be about anything. They can write about their school experiences, how to help friends in need, or whatever topic they are comfortable with.
- Grocery list: Have your child take the lead on writing/reading the grocery list. This can be a fun way for your child to be a leader. Not only are they helping to make the list, once they are at the store, they can direct mom/dad on what items are next on the list.
- Computer: Above all, reading and writing should be fun. If handwriting is too stressful, use a word document and have your child learn how to type out their ideas. Using speech-to-text is a fun way to jot down longer sentences without the added stress of writing. Use the computer to find fun kid related articles to read. On the computer, the font can be bigger, with less words on the page. This also can reduce anxiety when reading.
I hope these ideas can spark some fun when kids are learning to read and write. The best thing to do is find out your child’s interests and allow them to read those subjects. Even reading comics are better than nothing.