After seeing my 10-year old son's not-so-wonderful results on his reading TAKS Test I decided that this summer we would read "The Chronicles of Narnia" together. I thought it would be fun and we would experience the captivating and magical stories together. Instead he found it to be a tedious task that he dreaded everyday. I can't blame him though reading is not pleasurable for him, but rather work.
In addition to his autism/Asperger diagnosis last May, in November he was also diagnosed with accommodative infacility (focusing), binocular vision disorder (teaming), and visual spatial disorientation (depth perception & distances). In other words, he has difficulty in reading, focusing, comprehension, and seeing objects coming towards him. It sure does explain why he never saw the baseball coming straight at him and got knocked out.
When the doctor was explaining what was wrong with my son's eyes I was just thinking to myself "Oh Lord, just something else for him to overcome. Really!? Doesn't he already deal with enough?" I'm really disappointed that he has difficulty reading. It's a real downer because I love books and I know that he would love reading if he could really grasp the stories. But I'm told he is so busy trying to focus on the letters that comprehension does not come as quickly. Well, you know how Asians tend to push their children through hard tasks? (Watch or read "The Joy Luck Club" and you will understand.) Being Asian, I thought I could gently push him to read everyday during the summer and it would train his eyes and a miracle would happen and all would be well.
Thus far we have read "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" and "The Magician's Nephew." The later was difficult for him. I would ask him questions after every chapter and he could not answer some of the questions. So I would find which page the answer was on and tell him to read it again until he found the answer. Okay, so I forgot that this was supposed to be enjoyable. Later as I was discussing this problem with a physical therapist she said the book is too hard for him because of his eye problems and I have to scale back. She suggested Magic Tree House books and some others. When she said this I knew in my heart that I did push my son too hard. I have to remember that he is special needs. I easily forget this because he's so dang smart in math and other areas and does stuff on the computer that I don't know how to do.
So I guess we have to say good bye to Aslan and go back home through the wardrobe and say "Hello" to the world of Judy Blume or Magic Tree House. I bought my son "Tales of 4th Grade Nothing" which I remember being a great book.
Side Note: there have been some revisions in the Narnia series since I read the book 20-something years ago. Just small changes like words here and there and changing the wolf's name Fenris Ulf to Maugrim. But the biggest change is that "The Magician's Nephew" is now book #1. When I read the series it was book #6. I guess someone realized establishing Narnia should be first and not next to the last book.