The prevalence of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) has been on the rise worldwide in the past few decades. According to some reports, as many as 1 in 66 children are diagnosed with having ASD. As advocacy for these children improves, so too does their access to quality classroom experiences. This includes teaching them how to read in fun, engaging ways which requires curriculum that includes a customized reading program for autism.
Special Education Reading Cirriculum for Children with Autism
The difficulty of learning for children with autism is not always in the learning itself, but in the way it happens. It’s a common reality for children with autism to have challenges learning if expected to do so in the same way as their classmates. The brain of a child with autism processes information in a much different way than that of neurotypical child of the same age. Gaining access to instructional materials for autism is a critical step for schools, teachers, and educators to help provide such students with a quality education.
Kids with autism are commonly visual thinkers, meaning it’s easier to connect thoughts and concepts through pictures rather than spoken words. Some children with ASD may demonstrate a limited attention span when being read to; on the other hand, some may gravitate towards reading materials and quickly develop a voracious appetite for reading. Developing a program that is consistent and helps all kids in the spectrum is the goal of making reading easier through the help of a reading program for autism. Here are a few teaching tips for those tasked with helping children with ASD develop literacy and reading skills.
1. Connect to the familiar
Routine is often vital for children with ASD. The predictability is a stabilizer that helps manage a student’s expectation. Building structure into your reading curriculum can help a learner with ASD feel safer and understand the daily goals. Reading about things that are familiar is also a great way to engage. Reading at night, for example, helps children associate the activity with an understanding that it’s time to turn out the lights for the night.
2. Incorporate a child’s interests into the lesson plan
Children with ASD often focus on one particular subject. If it’s reading, that child may demonstrate intense interest in reading, talking about it all the time and wanting only subject matter that deals with that interest. It could be race cars or animals. The point is, it’s a good idea to take advantage of such interest to share books and lessons that focus on that subject.
3. Limit your lessons to one new subject at a time
Using a reading program for autism is a great way to incorporate a valuable tool into your teaching. However, it’s still important to only focus on one concept at a time whether at home or at school. This will make it less overwhelming for learners with ASD when being introduced to new concepts.
Trust Essential Skills Software
Essential Skills online reading programs are an invaluable resource in the classroom for all students including children with ASD. They follow a structured format to provide engaging, yet focused instruction without a lot of animation and distraction. Essential Skills programs are the ideal supplement to any classroom and or special education reading curriculum.