I Have Asperger's

The unique perspective of the world through the eyes of a girl with Asperger's Syndrome

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Reading

Posted by Admin on December 11, 2013 at 6:45 PM

I remember being a young child and seeing the Inquirer or the Times, and thinking to myself "How will I ever be able to read that?"  It looked so overwhelming with so much text, no pictures, and giant words that I couldn't understand.  I thought I would be stuck reading children's books forever.


I didn't understand the fact that it's okay to want to read children's books.  It's okay to enjoy pictures and not have an interest in tiny print.  What I didn't understand, what hadn't ever been taught to me at school, was that reading should not always be work.  That really, I should enjoy reading.  And if that meant reading more children's books than adult books, that's okay.  I got the impression from schools that listening to audio books was an activity which was frowned upon unless you couldn't see.


And so, with tears in my eyes, I would like to take a moment to be proud of the fact that I just read my first article from the New York Times.  (Okay, so I'm still reading it.)  And I'm enjoying it.  The amazing part is that I didn't even realize it was a PART of that paper until I looked to see who had published it.  I had just started reading.


I'd also like to take this moment to ask all schools to please allow children to read the books that they would like (appropriate ones, of course)!  Please never tell them "no" just because a book seems a bit lower for their level.  If they are struggling to enjoy a more difficult level, don't force them to continue, but HELP them to find a DIFFERENT book of that level they will enjoy.


I have never seen reading as fun.  I have always thought of it as work.  But not one teacher ever pointed out to me that it doesn't have to be work.


Now I understand.

 

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1 Comment

Reply Mark D Swartz (@MarkDSwartz2 on Twitter)
1:46 PM on December 25, 2013 
What a beautiful way of describing your reading progress, Erin.

Your struggle to enjoy reading at your level, then ultimately reading your first New York Times article, is very touching.

Keep on sharing your personal experiences with the world. People like me, who are more on the neurotypical side (with my own quirks, mind you), should get to hear what life is like from your point of view.

Merry Christmas,
Mark D Swartz
writing debut novel about Autism right-to-life
http://MarkDSwartz.com