9 Tips on How to Read to a Hyperactive Child
When I saw the steps written in this book I thought to myself, no way it’s gonna work for my child who’s super active and can’t sit still. So here are some tips that I use with my child instead:
1) DON’T GIVE UP
This is so important! I did give up initially. Kept all his books away and thought I’d try again when he’s able to sit longer. But recently I’ve decided to try again despite him still being unable to sit still
2) SMALLER ROOM
Find a smaller room. For us our bedroom works because that’s where he doesn’t have a lot of space to run away
3) DON’T FORCE
We must not force to listen to you. Forcing will just associate reading with negativity and make them resent it instead. What you can do is just read aloud every time they look at your direction, even if they aren’t looking at you it’s ok! Many autistic kids have peripheral vision and a good memory. Chances are they have already seen the page even if it’s for those fleeting few seconds. And if they’re just stimming away, don’t stop them. Look for signs that they’re engaged.
4) BE FLEXIBLE
If they push you away, stop and tell them you are going to try reading again in 2 minutes. Then, try again using the technique in point 3. If they still resist after a few tries and appear to be very annoyed, it is okay to stop. It’s okay if you didn’t read the whole book in one sitting. At this stage it’s more about getting them to be interested in reading vs understanding the whole story.
Patience is indeed a virtue
Follow them around. Since they move around a lot. It’s ok to hold the book and move with them on-the-go. Any minute they pause or seemingly (no matter how fleeting it may be) look at you or the book, that’s your chance!
6) READ THE MOOD
Pay attention to their mood. If they are being cranky, aggressive, running away then DON’T EVEN START. It’s not the right time to read and you can try it again when they are in a better mood. Remeber, the goal is so they would be interested in ready and we want to create a positive experience.
7) BE INTERACTIVE
On the contrary, if they are compliant and actually paid attention to the book, narrate what’s going on in the pictures and you can even get them to point at things in the book.. ie: “Where is the goat?”. Then get them to also point. If they haven’t learnt how to point like my son, I would guide his hand to point to at things and praise him for it
8) ROTATE BOOKS
Have a set of different books with big words, short sentences, and beautiful pictures. Some children gets bored real quick after just going through the same book once or twice. So to keep them interested or even to entice them, we need to keep things interesting by rotating and freshen things up every couple of days or so.
Lastly, always CELEBRATE the fact that the child “read” a book with you with praises and hugs!! Give it a try and let us know in comment below if you notice a different response from your child!