Research indicates that students acquire decoding and reading comprehension skills at the same time, but these skills develop independently of the other. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically perform at average or above-average levels when it comes to decoding written language, and are generally better at sounding out and identifying words than understanding what it is they have read.
Perhaps this is because students on the spectrum find the comprehension of language to be a more abstract skill than decoding. Comprehension may rely on a variety of factors such as sensitivity to story structure, ability to pick up on references, make inferences, or use prior knowledge of the subject to makes sense of text. A professionally-developed reading program autism students respond to will present instruction in a clear and concise format.
Identifying quality instructional materials for students with autism can be a challenge. Essential Skills reading programs for special education take the guesswork out of finding the right reading program for students with autism by providing the repetition and immediate reinforcement these students need. Whereas most programs use one or two activities to reinforce a skill, our specialized software including reading programs for special education high school students, present activities that utilize various approaches for all learners. It is this repetition that helps to ensure standards mastery for every student.
No two students with autism will have the same set or degree of symptoms but, for the most part, autistic students will struggle with communication and social interaction. Students might exhibit repetitive behaviour, focus on small details, or lack the ability to “read between the lines.” For this reason, figurative language encountered during reading lessons and exercises can be taken literally. A reading program autism teachers most effective will include a variety of auditory, visual, and tactile activities to appeal to different learning styles. Tactile learning can be addressed using typing activities. Every skill should be reinforced using a blend of activities for the various learning styles. The wide range of skills offered in Essential Skills programs ensures that there is something for students at almost any level of ability. Skills are presented gradually and sequentially in a logical progression with each new skill-building on what came before. This helps to guarantee success for all students, regardless of learning style or ability level.
Special Education teachers have trusted Essential Skills programs for more than 20 years to help them individualize instruction for their students with special needs. Teresa Irani, a CBS teacher at Elliott Point Elementary, is one of hundreds of teachers who have had success using Essential Skills reading programs for special education:
I teach children with Autism and my husband and I also run a therapeutic home for kids with Autism. We also have adopted two children with Autism. I can say that the 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 read at 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!
Essential Skills programs are appropriate for students of all ages. Whether you are looking for phonics programs for primary students or reading programs for special education high school students, Essential Skills can help.