Learning to read requires a number of skills and is a complex task for every child. Because autism usually goes hand in hand with communication disorders, it can be much more challenging to guide children with any ASD spectrum issues through the steps to literacy.
Essential Skills has developed reading programs for children with autism that will help teachers who have students with ASD whether they are in specialized contained classes or integrated in a regular class. Knowing some tips for teaching children with autism can help a lot.
Teachers should remember that kids with spectrum disorders will not necessarily learn in the same order or at the same rate as other children. Research-based reading programs for special education can help to identify strengths and areas of need and allow children to advance at their own level and pace.
Here are some tips to help children with autism become successful readers.
1. Always give thorough, consistent, and simply worded instructions. You may have to repeat the instructions each lesson until they have been mastered.
2. Provide a quiet work area free from distractions. Often headphones are a good way to keep a child focused.
3. Recognize all successes, even small ones. Essential Skills research-based reading programs for special education give instant feedback, marking every success with a bit of recognition.
4. Many skills need to be explicitly taught. Phonics and phoneme awareness are very important in early reading development and should be taught explicitly and practiced consistently. Reading programs for special education offer engaging opportunities that will make practice fun.
5. Incorporate visuals when building vocabulary. Try to connect new words with objects using labels, flash cards or reading programs for kids with autism. Act out or provide animations of action words when possible.
6. Many children with autism are good with literal language but struggle with inference and figurative meanings. As students who are on the spectrum learn to read, try to keep the subject matter as literal and straightforward as possible. When these readers advance, reading strategies should be explicitly taught and practiced.
7. Provide reading material that matches your student’s ability and interest. Anyone is more motivated to read when the subject matter is one they’re already interested in.
8. Students with autism are often comforted by the familiar, so allow children to read (or hear) a story they like over and over. This will also promote sight word recognition and reading fluency. Reading programs for kids with autism are great places to find appropriate materials that kids can read and re-read as often as they like.
9. Using research-based reading programs for special education offers kids a blended sensory experience that can help bring stories to life with engaging sounds, and colorful pictures.
10. Praise! Acknowledge each tiny accomplishment, even sitting and staying focused. Everyone wants to feel successful and reminding kids they’re doing great will go far to helping them stay motivated.