I have been buying the wrong kind of books for my daughter.
A picture is my daughter’s preferred language. She loves to convey her ideas and messages in drawings rather than words. I knew her preference very early on; Still, I kept buying chapter books for her, and these books barely had any pictures.
On the other hand, she loves reading Kid’s National Geographic magazine. Every page has impressive pictures, graphs, quiz flow diagrams, and so much more. She is fully immersed in her reading experience when she reads the magazine. She soaks up all the facts like a sponge and finds a way to get us engaged in her findings.
I thought she liked reading National Geographic because it was about nature and animals, her areas of interest. It seems she could be just as engaged with any topic as long as there are enough pictures along with words.
She recently brought home the book “El Deafo” by Cece Bell from her school library. When we started reading it together, I realized that she had practically memorized the book. I thought she wasn’t reading the words and only looking at the pictures, but I was wrong. She told me that she always keeps this book on her desk at school and reads it all the time.
This was a eureka moment for me. Despite having a mixed expressive and receptive language disorder, my daughter loves to read as long as they are the right kind of books. I had wrongly visualized her reading chapter books, and it should have been comic books all along. I knew that my daughter would be expected to read books with mostly words as she heads to middle and high school, but that doesn’t mean she can’t continue to read comic books.
El Deafo was a perfect book for my daughter. She connected her experience with Cece’s life on so many levels. Like Cece, my daughter realizes that she is different from most people. She, too, felt the cloud of loneliness when she first went to school. And just like Cece, my daughter, too, struggles with finding a perfect friend, someone who is not overbearing and once in a while would agree to play the games she came up with.
My daughter is excellent at reading people and making observations. She is very intrigued by human behavior. Because of her…