Today on International Read to Me Day, and during Neurodiversity Celebration Week, one of the parent carers that we support is shining a light on the power of books for children with autism.
Crossroads Care supports Jane and her daughter Annabel, 13, who has autism, through our bespoke home and community respite care as well as our Mental Health and Well-being Support Programme for carers, and children with disability. Jane, a keen reader, also attends our Carers’ Book Club, providing her with a vital break from her caring role.
Jane says: ‘I love reading, and Annabel learnt early on that if she ever came to me and asked me to read a book for her, I would. Books are a joy for Annabel. They comfort and calm her.’
Annabel, whose favourite books include The Gruffalo and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, has echolalia which means she repeats sentences that she hears from people she knows or from television shows. She even recites many books word for word and can always tell when anyone misses a word out or puts it in the wrong place.
‘Reading together is a real bonding experience for us,’ says Jane. ‘We even have a few duplicate copies of books, so we can look at them at the same time which Annabel thinks is extra special!’
With thanks to our core funders, Hampton Fund, The Barnes Fund, Richmond Parish Lands Charity and The Victoria Foundation for funding our Mental Health and Well-being Support Programme.