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For pupils with learning difficulties, reading may be interpreted as any activity that leads to the derivation of meaning from visual or tactile representation, for example objects, pictures, symbols or written words. They may be accessed visually, aurally or through touch.


  • Experience shows that children benefit hugely from exposure to books at an early age.
  • Lots of opportunities should be provided for children to engage/access books, sensory stories and sensory objects to encourage their interest in books.
  • Children should be encouraged to choose and peruse books /sensory  objects relating to a  story freely as well as sharing them when read by an adult.
  • Children should be encouraged to show their preference for books, stories and objects via their preferred method of communication.
  • As part of reading development children will learn to attend to objects, patterns, pictures, symbols or words. Pupils can be encouraged to link these to people situations, objects and actions and learn how they can provide cues to an activity and to make choices. This will help them to match and identify a range of familiar representations, for example, signs, symbols and words of personal importance and high frequency words.
  • Enjoying and sharing books /sensory props leads to children seeing them as a source of pleasure. The aim is to spark interest and  motivate them to enjoy reading.



See the online resources page for websites that offer signed stories and eBooks!