Today, Philip was able to turn in his first slip representing fifteen books that I read to him for the library’s summer reading program. In return, he received a new sheet and was able to pick a prize.
I decided not to be impatient and actually let Philip choose his own prize. Well, that was the plan, but I also didn’t want to make the librarian stand there for the next hour while Philip carefully examined every item in the fish tank of prizes. I knew this was going to be like the speech evaluation portion of Philip’s autism screening. The speech language pathologist running the exam gave Philip way too many options; he wasn’t done considering all the toys available when she was ready to being the formal exam.
While I was expecting Philip to take his time, I had forgotten what happened at the family night at his preschool. Every time one of the game leaders tried to give Philip a prize for playing, he tried to put it back where it “belonged.” The same thing happened today. To expedite matters while still giving Philip a choice, I selected two prizes and had Philip pick from these. He chose one of those clappers (yeah, I know-perfect for the library), but then tried to return it to the tank. I convinced him it was okay to take the toy with him.
I’m hoping to have another sheet ready by our trip next Saturday. I’ve discovered a few ways to make it all the way through books. One option is to give the book to Philip to handled for a while. Once he is satisfied that he has turned the pages as much as needs to and looked closely at the pages, I’m usually able to take the book back and read it through. If that fails, another trick I use is to have Philip turn the pages for me. Sure, sometimes he turns too many, but I figure this is good practice. The other alternative is to have Philip manipulate something other than a book while I read. I’ve had the most success reading to him while he plays with shaving cream in the tub before his bath. Reading during his bath wasn’t working because he was splashing too much.