Autism Spectrum Disorder

All About Learning Press provides six tips for teaching reading and spelling to children with autism:

  1. Use direct instruction
  2. Focus on incremental lessons
  3. Teach one new concept at a time
  4. Use multisensory techniques
  5. Provide concrete examples
  6. Reward your child’s success

According to the blog, children with autism frequently have troubles learning in a traditional manner, because their brains process information differently.  Children on the spectrum are oftentimes visual learners, and think in pictures instead of words.

Reading Rockets, a national literacy initiative, discusses reading comprehension with students with ASD.  When asked to summarize, a child on the spectrum might have difficulties finding the words to speak about what they just read.

Autism Classroom Resources shares some myths along with suggestions on best practice for teaching reading to students with autism.  Some of the myths are:

  1. That students with autism should have a curriculum that is based primarily on sight words,
  2. that students with autism can’t learn with conventional curricula, and
  3. there are no scientifically-based curricula for students with autism.

Some of the suggestions speak of teaching phonics and sight words together, making lessons functional and focusing on comprehension, and focusing on the bigger issue of literacy and not just the ability to read.  Being able to use print in a variety of ways and in different environments is a critical skill that we all need.

Autism Reading Room provides a list of apps for academic skills for students with autism, with a brief description of each app, the platform, rating and price.

Kate Miller-Wilson has a wonderful article titled Free Lesson Plans for Kids With Autism, on LoveToKnow.com.  Many of the links are outdated, but there is still some useful information.

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