Adapting Literacy Activities for Young Children

Young children learn literacy skills in a variety of ways as they play, handle books, observe adults using print materials, and interact with others during storybook reading. One of the keys to successful acquisition of literacy is children's active participation in literacy activities. Children need to be actively involved in handling books and interacting with family members and teachers during reading time.

Although active involvement of children in literacy may seem natural, for children with disabilities active participation may be a challenge. Children who have physical and cognitive limitations may miss valuable opportunities to develop literacy in the same ways other children do. Literacy learning opportunities offered through dramatic play activities may not be realized by children who have no means to express themselves through play. Children may want to manipulate books, but handling and turning pages may be difficult. Without assistance these children may not develop book interaction skills which support the learning of concepts about print. This article looks at how literacy activities can be adapted to certain children with disabilities through page turners, communication display, book holders and visual adaptations.

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