Loves to Read
By Cheryld on March 19, 2010
When I first started this blog, my intention was to celebrate the wonderful quirkiness and strengths that kids with high-functioning autism or Asperger's have. As I've been posting, I'm finding that my posts are more along the lines of a mom blog--but a mom who happens to have a kid with high-functioning autism. Today's topic, however, will be more along the lines of what I initially had in mind!
My daughter loves to read! She started to read a few months after she turned 4. It first started by her sounding out words that she saw on signs. After about 2 weeks of doing that, she stopped sounding the words out and was just able to read the words around her. Before long, she was reading magazine articles and books. When we got her tested for autism, she had been reading for about 3 months and was about 4.5 years old. The psychologist who was assessing her found that my daughter could read on the level of an 8 year old, with comprehension of a 6 year old! Not too shabby! She also found that my daughter could read upside down. She actually had to cover the answers of the I.Q. test because she could tell that my daughter was reading them from her upside-down perspective!
Now that my daughter is in kindergarten, she's been reading for almost 2 years! Yikes! She just finished reading Ramona the Pest. She LOVES to read science articles from Ask magazine and National Geographic for Kids magazine. Needless to say, she finds the reading instruction at school to be a bit boring. She also called one of her friends at school a "late-bloomer" because she wasn't able to read yet! I had to explain to her that her friend is right on track. It's more a case that she's an "early-bloomer!"
Her teacher told me that my daughter is on track to be placed in the "gifted" first grade class. This is the class where they put kids they suspect are gifted before they are tested. It's based solely on reading ability. The teacher thinks my daughter would do great and needs the more challenging curriculum. While I think my daughter would do great during the school day, I do worry about the extra homework that comes with being in this class. I'm really against the level of homework that is given to young kids. When you have to manage the extra burden of dealing with autism and the extra therapies that happen after school, you really want the after-school time to be spent more on socializing than on more academics. I think they get enough academics with the long school day. In fact, I joke with some of the other parents of kids with high-function/Asperger's that your child almost needs these "disabilities" in order to excel with the academic demands. Actually, I know this isn't true across-the-board, but with my daughter's personality, it almost seems to be the case!
In addition, part of the problem with my daughter and the homework is that it's forcing her to spend time on things that she doesn't necessarily find all that interesting or challenge her that much. Left to her own devices, she would be learning about things that are more on the third-grade level or higher!
Life is never dull with a quirky kid!
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