A little 5 year-old boy I work with who is autistic has picked up a love for drawing. About a year ago he didn’t want anything to do with it but you can’t keep a pencil or marker out of his hands now! It is fun because it certainly expands what I can do in therapy to reinforce language.

Today we were reading “Aaaarrgghh Spider” by Lydia Monks. He can read the words that are repeated on the pages of “Out You Go” whenever the spider is discovered inside the house by the family he is trying to impress. I asked him to draw a picture of the beginning, middle and end of the story. He has done it enough that now he leaves through the book to find a picture for that part of the story that he wants to illustrate. As he draws, he narrates his picture. Today his “middle” picture was of the spider being flushed down the drain pipe when he was found bathing in the family tub. As the little boy drew the pipe and then the spider he was drawing the face and said, “Sad” as he made a down-turned smile. The spider sure was sad when the mom of the family didn’t appreciate his cleanliness and washed him down the pipe! It took a few tries¬†but he was able to narrate his second picture of the spider sliding down the pipe. He said, “The spider flowed out the water,” and “The water put the spider out.” Finally, He washed down the pipe.”

Take a close look at the drawings your kids are producing. Ask them what things are. It is amazing to listen to them describe the detail or what they took away from a story.