Reach Out and Read, the Boston-based nonprofit that prescribes new books for children at pediatric checkups, is piloting a guide for the parents of children with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and low vision, at 57 hospitals and clinics in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Kansas City, Kans. and Mo.
“Reading to children with disabilities can be challenging at times, and the last thing we want is for parents to get overwhelmed,” says Monica Ultmann, M.D., a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and director of the Center for Children with Speech Needs at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, who worked on the guide. “As pediatricians, we have a special responsibility to provide those parents with simple tools and guidance that help make reading together a fun and beneficial experience.”
ROR national medical director Perri Klass, M.D., and cofounder Robert Needlman, M.D., also contributed to the Developmental Disability Literacy Promotion Guide, which was created in partnership with CVS Caremark’s All Kids Can program. ROR plans to incorporate suggestions from families and medical providers who take part in the pilot program before rolling it out nationwide.