Turn the page

The timing for receiving the latest book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was perfect. I’ll not bore you with the details of Philip’s erratic sleep schedule yesterday (and this morning), except to say that Philip was napping when I got home from work on Wednesday. He stirred when I said his name, but his eyes remained firmly shut. I needed something that would wake him up without making him cry.

I picked up the book that arrived in yesterday’s mail, Grandfather Buffalo by Jim Arnosky. I sat on the edge of the couch beside Philip and began to speak.

“Look at this,” I said to the back of Philip’s head. “You got a new book today. Let’s read it.”

So, I began to read the story. On a whim I said, “Philip, turn the page.”

Philip turned, his eyes fluttered open, and he used his index finger to turn the page. He promptly laid back down.

I read more and said, “Turn the page.”

Philip rolled over and pushed the page with his index finger again. His eyes remained open this time.

We continued in this pattern. As I read, I thought about the similarity of this book’s theme to that of the book Philip received last month. Just like Otis, the old farm tractor that is shown to still be a valuable part of the farm, Grandfather Buffalo discovers that he still plays a role in his herd.

By the book’s end, Philip was sitting him and smiling. The book was a great solution to the late afternoon nap issue: no tears upon waking and some practice interacting with books.

Philip checked out the book again later in the evening when he was wide awake.

Thanks again to the United Way of Ashland County for bringing this program to our community.

6 thoughts on “Turn the page

  1. Very cool. So moved by your dedication to encouraging reading and books with an autisitc child. Too many parents of children without any sort of disability don’t even bother. I so applaud you!

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  2. Kudos to you for creatively engaging Philip and making things easier and more pleasant at nap time for oth of you. And reading is one of the best thing we can for/with our children. I’m happy he loves his books!

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    1. I’m glad he likes books, too. I realize that sometimes he is seeking tactile input, other times he likes the sound of pages turning, other times he gets caught up visually with one component of a page. Still, at least he enjoys his interactions with books in these ways.

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