autism drawingsI love finding great picture books to teach language lessons. I have been using “My Dog Lyle “by Goldfinger for several goals with children in speech therapy. Lyle is quite the extraordinary dog as his owner describes his special characteristics, one per illustrated page. Her adjectives describing Lyle become cumulative which kids love as they repeat them along with you-“My snugly, smart, howling, burping dog Lyle gets so thirsty that he drinks out of the toilet. I try to keep the seat down, but sometimes I forget.” This book can be used for descriptive language as well as to teach answering wh-questions.

I am using “My Dog Lyle” with kids who are on the autism spectrum to help them answer Wh? questions. On this page, Lyle put on his owner’s tutu to roar like a lion. If I am at the level of asking “Why?” questions, I will ask the questions and prompt the child to answer, and then ask him to draw a picture of the answer. Then I use his drawing to go back and describe what he drew. As a child is drawing, I often talk with him about pertinent details to include to tell his story. By the way, as Lyle is trying to scare everyone in the pink tutu, he tried to roar but only comes out with a burp! Kids get a giggle out of that.

There are many opportunities to discuss “Why?” Poor Lyle meets up with a skunk and needs a bath in tomato juice. Why is he pink? Why does he smell? Why does he jump up and down at the hedge when his little owner comes home from school?

Brainstorm adjectives to assign to Lyle for that page’s activity before turning the page.

Lots of language lessons are learned from the extraordinary Lyle.