Milt the Talking Musky, Early Reading for Children With & Without Autism
Preschool to 2nd grade, Reading
• DVD, $15 + $5 shipping
• 40-page coloring book
• Website includes free downloads of the sight word list, and Milt’s Song lyrics
Also available on iTunes and Amazon
by Joseph Grayhaim
Many teaching aids that become commercially available are the product of a parent having to develop a way to aid one of his/her children with a learning challenge, because such a product does not already exist. Milt the Talking Musky is one such product.
Peter and Kathy Weimer created a program to help their then-six-year-old daughter learn sight words at school. Sight words are the words in English that do not follow the phonetic patterns for sounding them out and have to be memorized. There are 228 such words that young children have to commit to memory in order to successfully navigate the skill of reading. Milt was created in 2005 and two other creative people added their musical and graphic skills to achieve the final product. Musician Roger Hooven co-wrote the show’s script and sang the Milt theme song. Roger Westley created the original drawings for the 40-page coloring book and co-wrote the content for it.
Children with autism have been aided by Milt’s teaching techniques as well and Milt has been listed on The Top 101 Educational Websites Guide for teachers and parents, as well as Autism Speaks as a useful tool in working with children with autism. The Weimers speculate that the relaxing quality of the underwater aquarium setting and the Milt song help make it successful in reaching children with autism. The Milt program effectively appeals to a number of learning styles by having children listen to the script, color in the coloring book, listen to the script and song some more and continue coloring, making this memorization a task of fun and action, listening to the entertaining character of Milt!
If your child can benefit from memorizing the sight words in this delightful and successful way, visit the Milt the Talking Musky website http://ikidsfishing.com/milt/ and see what Milt can do for your family. JG