Bedtime stories.

My girl is almost 12 and every single night, I read her a bedtime story.
Then I sit in her room as she falls asleep.

Recently I have been worrying that she is too old for it.
Recently I have thought maybe I should encourage a more independant bedtime routine.
…..recently I have been comparing myself to other parents.

My girl is almost 12.
Perhaps she is too old for me to read her a bedtime story, but she has Autism, and reading to herself is difficult.
Children can often listen and comprehend at higher levels than what they can actually read.
She is an able reader, she can tell you what the words say, but she cannot always understand them.
She finds it difficult to communicate the information she does gain from the words, or she hasn’t understood enough to retell the story.

Autism is a developmental condition that affects the way a child approaches language, communicates, plays and relates to others.
As Autism affects language, it can have a strong affect on reading comprehension.
My girl can tell you what the page of words say, but struggles to tell you what the words are about.
She is able to focus on the words, sounding them out correctly, but lacks the ability to read between the lines.
Her concentration on the words means she loses track, and is unable to focus, on the words as a whole.
Whilst not exclusively a problem for children with Autism, it does seem that people on the spectrum struggle with abstract skills such as comprehension.

My girl is almost 12, and can read well.
She can follow the words, but not always be aware of the plot or the characters.
She has difficulty doing two things at once and making a connection between the two.
Children with Autism can also have difficulty sequencing and find it hard to put a series of events in order.

We enjoy reading as a family.
My girl can read factual books all day long.
Facts are information that is already provided. They don’t require imagination to create the scene.
It is literal.
Stories, however, require many different skills to decipher the words to create meaning.

My girl enjoys stories.
At the moment we are reading David Walliams, who she finds hilarious.
I read to her, outloud, everynight.
By reading outloud she doesn’t have to concentrate on the words, so she has time to create the story.
She can just focus on my voice, and the story.
She can ask questions, ask me to re read parts, or if I see she is struggling to follow, I can stop and explain the plot.

My girl is almost 12, and for as long as she wants me too, I will sit and read her a bedtime story.
The benefits far outweigh the opinions of other parents.


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