September is National Literacy Month (in case you haven't heard from our other blog posts!). And we're very excited about this over here at InfiniTeach. Why? Well here's one of the most compelling reasons – in the early 90's, researchers found that children may hear up to 30 million fewer words by age 3 than other children their age – a 30 million word gap. More recent research, published by researchers from Stanford, found this gap to be present and evident (through processing speeds) in children as young as 18 months.
Response to the 30 million word gap:
In response, a team from Chicago led by Dr. Dana Suskind from the University of Chicago started the Thirty Million Words® initiative. TMW has developed a curriculum to help parents engage their children in language and increase interactions. Reach Out and Read, another literacy-focused initiative, is ensuring every child has access to books by partnering with more than 5,200 medical providers around the country to distribute more than 6.5 million books a year.
How InfiniTeach is Creating Literacy Initiatives:
At InfiniTeach, we want to make sure these initiatives reach our kids with autism, too! Literacy is a crucial building block of independence for so many of our children, verbal and nonverbal. We work with students whose abilities range from just learning to engage with books by flipping through pages to students who can read fluently but need help comprehending to students who have gained expert-level status on topics through literacy.
So this month, InfiniTeach is sharing ways that we can adapt books to be engaging and appropriately leveled for every child with autism.
And here's to closing the 30 million-word gap by celebrating literacy every month, for every child.