My son, Richie, is reading “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” for a school book report. Like many kids on the Autism spectrum, he struggles with reading comprehension. So our deal is, after he finishes each chapter, he comes to me and tells me what happened. This way, I know whether he can continue reading independently or I need to read with him (and point out what’s happening) to help increase his understanding of the story.
Last night he came to me and said, “Mom, let’s talk about the story.” Assuming he’d just read another chapter of Lewis’s book, I stopped what I was doing and told him to go ahead.
“Well, there is this guy out there…” Then a looooooong pause.
“In Narnia?” I prompted. He looked at me like I’d lost my mind, so I prompted further. “In Narnia, or in the regular world, where the wardrobe is?”
“Not in Narnia! Out in the snow…and he has a weird name. It’s not Lucy or Edmund or….” Another looooooong pause.
“Okay,” I said, “Let’s start again. Is this Chapter 4?”
“No! It’s not a book. This is my dream. From last night.”
“Okay! If you want to tell me about your dream, go ahead.” So he proceeded to tell me about a guy with a strange name who was out in the snow, and boy, he had a weird name, but Richie couldn’t remember it. And the guy was doing some skiing on some mountains, and he had a strange, strange name that Richie couldn’t remember. Richie told me a little more about what this character in his dream did, and then paused and looked thoughtful.
“Oh, now I remember what his name was! Dave!”