Saturday, February 14, 2009


A simple, single word.

It's also the first word Reuben has ever read.

I turn the little alphabet cards over so instead of seeing the picture, I see the word and only then do I present them to Reuben. In a group of a few cards including Dog, Cat, Jam, he sometimes signs Dog from seeing that word, but always signs Jam. I leave it for an hour or so and come back to the same challenge and, sure enough, he signs Jam. Signing is Reuben's voice and so by signing words he sees, he is recognising/reading those words.

I found this quote:

"Children begin to learn to read before they are even able to recognize a single letter."

I'm so very interested now in learning about early reading and how it will help Reuben's communication skills which is the area I mostly focus on. That said, what I do know is that combining words with pictures is going to help him learn to read better as he'll thus have greater visual clues than the simplicity of black words on white can offer. So that's what we'll continue to do. Words with pictures stimulating signs.

It's another wonderful milestone in a miraculous week.


Sally said...

Hi Catherine, just wanted to tell you that multi-sensory reading has helped my daughter to learn to read at a very young age (before 18 months).

I saw some info about it on TV and so went to this web site and bought the books and flip cards and DVDs. Now I know Reuben's needs will be somewhat different but I'm sure the principles will be the same. Zoe was able to recognise words as she could see them, hear them read and see a picture - and then even imitate the noises or actions. It was truly multi-sensory. The web site talks about the way the brain learns and is very interesting. I just thought, as you said you were very interested, that you might like to read what this research might be a start! Hope it helps a bit.

I'm so impressed with every post you make about Reuben - he's not that much younger than Zoe and so much of what he's doing is really not that far behind - he is truly an amazing little boy.

Sally (IV-FI ..... remember those days of IV?) x

hannah m said...

This is so exciting! Reuben, you are so full of wonderful surprises, and you are a true inspiration in the joy you find in learning and making connections.

That quote is so very true - inventive reading and understanding that letters and words carry meaning are the building blocks of literacy and a lifetime love of words and reading!

Catherine, you may want to check out Marie Clay (a leader in developmental literacy development - pioneered many important teaching techniques in her years as a teacher of language learners in NZ) or Waldorf-inspired literacy books might be interesting (very developmental in nature).

Reuben, we celebrate your milestones and we can't wait to see what you do next!