When Amy was a little girl she used to read all the time. I read to her every single night up until she was about seven or eight when she lost interest in listening to my voice. She's always been good at reading and especially good at writing; her incredibly vivid imagination is most definitely one of her strengths, even though it can also be seen as a weakness in her vulnerable capacity. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that she started to read in her head. She would only read a book out load and I would sit and listen to her from another room, eager to help when she came to a difficult word. But I would only help if she asked. It was my way of getting her to reach out and admit that she needed assistance. Perhaps it was also my way of getting her to admit she needed me. However, there came a time, when adolescence began to take over, that books became a thing of the past. It was boring to read, especially when there was so much to watch on the television. I tried so hard to get her to read again, even went out and bought her a pile of new books from a large bookstore. I put books on her Christmas and Birthday lists in the hope it would encourage her to once again enjoy the pleasure of reading.
It was noted at her last special needs review that she was finding it hard to concentrate on a book. She would read a paragraph or two then be distracted and completely forget what she had just read. Her concentration levels are particularly poor. She has a few Famous Five books and the other week I walked calmly towards her with one in my hand, switched off the television and gave her the book. I told her how I'd spent many an evening reading and expressed how much we learn from reading words that have come from someone else's imagination. Amazingly, she opened the book and started to read it.
We sat and talked about the characters, about the plot and about how exciting it is to want to know what happens next. I was really proud of her determination to turn each page. She was quite thrilled when she told me about the border collie in the book, a subject in the form of a canine character that she can relate to. And this week she brought home a book from the school library that she has apparently been showing an interest in. Admittedly, it's a book taken from a popular children's television series, but it means she'll have to use her imagination when reading it instead of just her eyes and ears. I'd mentioned to her earlier in the week that it would be a good idea to ask the teacher about lending school books and as she has done, it seems our hard work is finally paying off. It just takes a change in tactics, and the rewards roll in.