Students on the autism spectrum face unique learning challenges and possess extraordinary skills. Each child with Autism is different from the next, and there is no single reading program that will be the right fit for every student. Using technology for online and in-class lessons can be a great option for instructors, but only if they are able to identify and access the best quality reading instruction software. The most effective type of online reading program, Autism educators agree, is made up of carefully researched lesson plans and activities that are flexible enough to meet the individual needs of the greatest number of students.

Individualized Learning

The opportunity for targeted instruction and individualized curricula is so important in choosing the Special Ed reading programs that are best suited for teaching students with Autism. Choose software that incorporates an integrated assessment feature. This tool helps teachers develop programs that are tailored to meet each student’s specific needs and target any learning gaps.

Special Ed reading programsMinimal Distraction

Instructional materials for Autism should be developed with very little animation or unnecessary distractions. The repetitive animations that are prevalent on many tech-based reading programs tend to consume instructional time and can easily over-stimulate a student with Autism. Educational software should provide engaging, focused instruction with minimal distraction.

Adaptable to Varied Abilities

Reading software that uses a blend of activities will benefit a greater number of students. The combination of auditory, visual, and tactile activities should be appealing to students of varying learning styles and levels of ability, without overwhelming them. Further, tech-based Special Ed reading programs should present skill activities in a graduated and sequential pattern that allows students to build on what was learned previously. This pattern of learning helps to guarantee success for students of all abilities.

Adaptable to All Ages 

Educators should have the flexibility to individualize each students’ learning experience by selecting different program themes and reward types. Online learning software, including instructional materials for Autism, should incorporate lessons and provide rewards that interest and engage both younger and older students.

In conclusion, identifying quality online instructional reading materials for students with Autism can be a challenge for teachers. Essential Skills programs take the guesswork out of finding the right reading programs for students with Autism, by providing the repetition and immediate reinforcement that will successfully engage these students. Whereas most programs use one or two activities to reinforce a skill, Essential Skills reading programs present between five and ten activities that utilize various approaches for all learners. It is this repetition that helps to ensure standards mastery for every student.

Visit essential skills to learn more about a teacher-developed reading program Autism instructors will find both cost-effective and beneficial for students at all points on the spectrum.

“I teach children with Autism and my husband and I also run a therapeutic home for kids with Autism. We have also adopted two children with Autism. I can say that Essential Skills programs have transformed my children! My son is diagnosed with Autism and Apraxia. He is so immersed in the Sight Words program that he is verbally imitating the sounds he hears, he is spelling, and reading! My daughter who was reading on a pre-primer level with no comprehension in August has recently been tested and scored a 2.3 (second-grade third month) on reading with full comprehension. What your programs do is simply amazing. I know they are not marketed directly for children with Autism, but I am telling you as parent and teacher of kids with Autism, the way they are designed is exactly what our kids need. They are repetitive, provide clear and concise verbal directions, and immediate feedback. My thanks to you!”

Teresa Irani, CBS Teacher, Elliott Point Elementary