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Books in print books help children & parents bond better, says new study

May 1, 2019

Reading out books to children is a great way for parents and children to bond. Now this has been scientifically proven. A new study conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Michigan points out that reading out print books to toddlers helps parent and child to bond better when compared to reading out e-books. But is this applicable to children with developmental disorders like autism? Parents give mixed reviews.

Preeti Dixit is the parent of a child with autism. She is also part of many parent support groups.

My son prefers print books when compared to e-books. I started reading out to him from a very young age, and he loves handling books and holding them. I believe the touch and feel of books are more relatable to kids when compared to e-books. I got him Kindle because there are multiple choices. But he just kept that away saying the visuals do not interest him. I feel it is better when parents read out books to children because that is one great way of bonding with them-Preeti Dixit, Parent of child with autism

Nowadays, everyone is switching over to technology because it is easier and faster. When it comes to children with disabilities, it helps them in numerous ways because there are multiple mobile apps and software that reach out to them. That is precisely the reason why Smrithy Rajesh, parent of a child with autism, prefers using e-books.

"Children with developmental disabilities like autism are good with gadgets. What I have noticed is that very few children love to be read out. They become restless and irritated when they are asked to sit in one place for a long time. Moreover, there are more choices and visuals in e-books. There are different ways to connect with your child because each child has different requirements. Parents need to understand that and reach out to children accordingly, says Smrithy Rajesh.

When you read out a book to your child, there is a lot of conversation involved along with interactions between parent and child. On the contrast, e-books make children concentrate purely on the gadget.

Researchers conducted the study by reading out three kinds of books to a child. Almost 37 children between the age groups of two to three years were closely observed for the study. One was a paper book, the other one was a basic electronic book on a tablet and third was a tablet with interactive activities. Clearly, the child interacts better with the parent when they are being read out by their father or mother.

Spending time with your child is an important part in improving their confidence and mental well-being. The child feels more wanted and special when they know that their parents are around. Such activities like reading out books are a great way for parent and child to bond better. Hence, it is important that parents encourage activities like shared reading considering best interests of their child.

ALSO READ: Some tips for new parents who have child with autism

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