When I was younger I enjoyed reading books. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Harrison I started building his library. I started with board books and included some of my favorite classics as a child. He did what I thought he would do with the books when he was younger. He chewed on them, ripped the pages or threw them. In time he was reading at the age of three.
Harrison loves non-fiction books. I pray his love for reading continues. When Sydney was born, I couldn’t wait to read to her. Before her autism diagnosis, Sydney wasn’t interested in books. I remember waiting in line to get The Polar Express autographed by Chris Van Allsburg with the kids. Only to have the cover of the book torn into tiny pieces of paper hours later.
I was discouraged but determined to find a book for Sydney and I to enjoy. We were also nicely asked not to return to story time at the library. One day I took her to Borders on Southfield Road. Two things were going to happen. She would destroy the children’s section or find a book she liked.
That day she came home with a container of 26 small, sturdy books from A to Z. She would carry one book around the house each day. Her favorite letters were a and p. She would line all of the books in a straight line. After a year she would actually line them up in alphabetical order.
When I read to Sydney, we never made it to the end of the story. But I would still read while she walked in and out of the room. Sometimes she would come over and look at pictures. I would treasure that 30 seconds.
We’ve come a long way baby. Sydney loves books now. I thought the day would never come when I would hear her read a book by herself. Last night she asked me to read to her. She told me she wanted to read Rapunzel. I asked where we could find the story. She immediately turned to the table of contents, found the title, page number and found the story.
This was my child that didn’t know how to handle a book. Now she’s using the table of contents and listens to me read and turns the page before I finish the last word.
This may seem like nothing to you. But to a special needs mom. This was a victory for our family.