Menu

Reading Together: Tips for Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy

By: Reach Out and Read
Cerebral palsy can cause difficulty with muscle tone and control. Your child may have delays speaking or have speech that is hard to understand. Reading with your child and having your child name objects in the book or read aloud to you can strengthen his speech skills. You'll find sharing books together is a great way to bond with your son or daughter and help your child's development at the same time.

Infants and toddlers

Helping your child love books

You'll find sharing books together is a great way to bond with your son or daughter and help your child's development at the same time. Give your child a great gift that will last for life — the love of books.

CP affects your child's brain. This may cause difficulty with muscle tone and control. Your child may have delays speaking or have speech that is hard to understand. Reading with your child and having your child name objects in the book or read aloud to you can strengthen his speech skills.

Tips for reading with your infant or toddler

Each time you read to your child, you are helping his brain to develop. Reading to your child helps him understand that there are words and pictures on the page. So — you've planted the seed to reading that will stay with your child throughout his life.

Since young children have short attention spans, try reading for a few minutes at a time at first. Then build up the time you read together. Your child will soon see reading time as fun time and learning time!

Here are some things you can try:

  • Buy books or borrow books from the library that have thick, sturdy pages.
  • Find books that have rhymes like a Mother Goose nursery rhymes book.
  • Clap your hands and help your baby clap along to the rhythm of the words.
  • Read aloud. Talk about the pictures and read the text. Help your toddler point to objects you name in the book.

Suggested books for your infant

Fisher Price makes Stroller Strap Books. The straps make the books easy to handle and the sturdy pages stay open and are easy to turn. Some titles include:

Suggested books for your toddler

E-Z Page Turners is a series of books made by Innovative Kids. These books are specially designed to help little ones turn the pages. You can buy them online or ask your child's occupational therapist for help finding this brand. Some titles include:

Preschool and school-age children

Helping your preschooler or school-age child love books

Remember, when you read to your child often and combine reading time with cuddle and play time, your child will link books with fun times together.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Find books on topics that interest your child, such as books on animals or sports.
  • Position your child next to you on the couch. If your child is in a wheelchair or special chair, sit close enough so he can see the book and hear you. Ask your child's occupational and/or physical therapist about special tools to help your child prop up the book.
  • Find books that have buttons to press that make sounds. Buy audio books that your child can start or stop by pressing a button.
  • Read aloud and talk about the pictures. Ask your child to name objects or read aloud.
  • Praise your child's efforts at reading!

Suggested books for your preschooler or school-age child

Books to help children and parents learn more about cerebral palsy

For children

For parents

Back to top

*To view this file, you will need a copy of Acrobat Reader. If it is not already installed on your computer, you can download it from the Adobe website.

CVS CaremarkReach Out and Read
Developmental Disabilities Literacy Promotion Guide for Pediatric Healthcare Providers. ©2010 Reach Out and Read, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Reprints

You are welcome to print copies for non-commercial use, or a limited number for educational purposes, as long as credit is given to Reading Rockets and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact the author or publisher listed.

Comments

Add comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Sign up for our free newsletters about reading

Summer Reading Tips to Go! Delivered to your mobile phone in English or Spanish. Sign up today!
Advertisement
Reading Blogs
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.

Summer Reading Tips to Go! Delivered to your mobile phone in English or Spanish. Sign up today!
"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney