3 Lesson Overview Components of Reading Instruction Strategies for teaching phonemic awarenessStrategies for teaching phonicsStrategies for teaching fluencyStrategies for teaching comprehensionStrategies for teaching vocabulary
4 Components of Reading Instruction This lesson will focus on strategies for teaching readingReading instruction entailsPhonemic awarenessPhonics/DecodingFluencyComprehensionVocabularyThere will be a section for strategies for the five areas listed above
6 Defining Phonemic Awareness The National Reading Panel (2000) defines phonemic awareness as the ability to focus on and manipulate the smallest units of spoken language.Examples may include:Being able to recognize that the word map has three different sounds (/m/, /a/, and /p/)Being able to recognize that the word apple has two syllablesBeing able to recognize that the words cat, hat, and mat rhyme
7 Phonemic Awareness and ASD Given the communication difficulties of students with ASD, they often have trouble developing phonemic awareness skills that typically developing students learn incidentally.Students with ASD may have phonological disorders that result in difficulties expressing what is heard.For example, a student may hear the word cat but when asked to repeat the word says tat
8 Teaching Phonological Awareness For students with ASD who have phonological disorders, it is important to provide explicit instruction to teach phonological awareness (the recognition of sounds of spoken language and how they can be combined, separated, and manipulated)The following slides provide some strategies for teaching phonological awareness skills.
9 Verbal ImitationFor students who have difficulty repeating back what was heard, provide many opportunities for verbal imitation to strengthen those skills.If a student is saying tat instead of cat place an accent on the /c/ in cat to stress that specific sound and make it more obvious than the other sounds in the word since the child is already producing the other sounds correctly.You can gradually increase the difficulty of the words for students to imitate until they are able to imitate any word they hear.
10 Verbal ImitationMany students with ASD have auditory processing problems that result in difficulty following directions and repeating back sentences.For example, a student may only be able to repeat back two words when given a sentence such as The boy is sleeping in the bed. The student may simply say “boy bed.”If this is the case, you can use verbal imitation opportunities and shaping (see module 8 lesson 3) to gradually teach the student to repeat back more and more words given a sentence.In the example provided, you may shorten the sentence to The boy is sleeping and work on the student repeating those four words before adding more to the sentence. It may be helpful to put some blank cards out to represent the four words. You can point to the each card as you say each word in the sentence. This can provide a visual prompt for the student. Be sure to fade out the use of the cards as the student is able to repeat back sentences without them. For some students, you may need to have the words the student is leaving out actually written on the cards, and again fade that support out. At this point you may be wondering why these verbal imitation skills are important to teaching reading. Without these auditory processing and phonological awareness skills, students may be missing vital information related to comprehending reading material and the spoken language. They may also have extreme difficulty learning phonics if these skills are not present.
11 Color CubesDepending on the cognitive level of your students with ASD, you may be able to use color cubes to teach phonemic awareness skills.You can do this by giving the student four or five different colors of cubes (multiples of each color).You then tell the student that you are going to say a word (pretend word or real word can be used) and the student should represent each sound they hear with a different color.For example, if you say /mom/, the student would use the same color for both /m/ sounds and a different color for the /o/ sound.This strategy can be made very simple or quite complex. You can simply say sounds such as /at/ and /up/ and have the students represent those sounds with two colors because they hear different sounds. Then you can move on to three, four, or five sounds to represent. Students can learn to manipulate the cubes in response to requests such as, “If that says /map/ now make it say /mam/” Activities using color cubes like this, allow students with opportunities to really focus on hearing sounds and representing what they hear without adding the additional phonics skills of associating letters to the sounds.
12 Rhyming GamesProvide opportunities for students to recognize when words rhyme or do not rhyme.However, simply providing worksheets is not likely to teach this skill to students with ASD.You can do games such as listing words that rhyme and when you get to a word that doesn’t rhyme with the words you are listed the students need to stand up.You can also have students fill in a rhyming word given a list. For example, you say “mat, hat, bat…” and the student should say a word that rhymes with those words.To increase motivation, be as playful as possible during these activities and use lots of positive reinforcement
13 Syllable GamesUse movement to teach students with ASD to recognize syllables in words.You can say a word and have the students clap, jump, or any other movement to indicate the number of syllables
15 Letter TilesYou can use the same procedures described for the color cubes activity using tiles with letters on them to teach students to represent sounds with the appropriate letters.You can start very basic by just asking students to show you one sound at a time (ex. /m/ /s/ /a/)Then you have students work on blending letters together (ex. /am/ /mi/ /st/)This strategy allows you to differentiate for your learners because you can get to complex phonetic skills for those who are ready.
16 Teaching Vowel SoundsMany students with ASD have difficulty differentiating vowel soundsExplicit, repetitive instruction is necessary for some students to be able to learn the different short vowel sounds and their corresponding letters.You should teach the vowel sounds first receptively then expressively
17 Receptive Identification of Vowel Sounds a o e i uYou can give a student a piece of paper with the vowels on them. You then say, “Show me /a/” “Show me /i/” etc. until the student is able to receptively identify all of the vowel sounds. Be sure to use lots of positive reinforcement. You can also increase motivation by using behavioral momentum (which is asking at least two that the student knows before asking a difficult one) For example, if the student knows /a/ and /o/ you can say, “Show me /a/, show me /o/, show me /i/ and consistently use that pattern of easy-easy-difficult. This strategy can also be used to teach consonant sounds and letter combinations.
18 Expressive Identification of Vowel Sounds a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a ao o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o oo o a a o o o a a o o o o a a a o a o a a oi i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i ia i a a i a o i a a i o o i a a o i i a a i o o i aTo teach expressive identification of letter sounds you can do the same thing as was presented on the previous slide except you ask the student to supply the sound of the letter that you point to. This slide shows another way to teach expressive identification of vowel sounds. Students typically can learn the /a/ sound and /o/ sound before the other short vowel sounds. So you start by just having the student recite each sound as you point to it across the line. You can see that you gradually add in additional vowel sounds. The next row would include a lost of /e’s/ then the row after that would include all of the letter sounds presented previously. This would be continued until the student masters all of the vowel sounds. Some students can move through these quickly while others would need a great deal of repetition before adding additional vowel sounds. This strategy can also be used to teach consonant sounds and letter combinations.
19 Decoding GamesGive students 5-10 words in a list to decode using phonetic rules.Depending on the students cognitive abilities, you can make a game out of it.If the student gets the word independently, two points is givenIf the students gets it with a little help from a teacher/peer, one point is givenIf the teacher/peer supplies the word, the teacher/peer gets one point
20 Spelling Using Phonetic Skills Using a strategy similar to the letter tiles, supply the student with a sound, letter combination, or word and have the student spell it on paperYou can use nonsense words or real wordsIt is important to teach phonetic skills receptively, expressively, and in written formIt is not necessary for students to learn to read fluently before learning to spell wordWorking on spelling and reading at the same time helps students learn phonetic skills and make connections between oral and written expression
22 FluencyAccording to the National Reading Panel (2000), fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression.Research consistently shows that students who are more fluent also comprehend more of what they read
23 Repeated ReadingsWith repeated readings, students read the same selections (paragraphs, stories, books, articles, etc.) multiple times until they can read them fluently.The selections should be at the student’s instructional level.A goal for number of words read per minute can be set, and the student continues repeated readings for a selection until that number of words is read in one minute.Students can be involved in tracking their progress on a graph.This is effective in building fluency because the student learns high frequency words in context.
24 Reader’s TheaterReader’s Theater entails having students read from a play script and eventually enact the play.This entails repeated readings as the students learn to memorize their lines.Students also learn to work on proper expression which is often lacking when they are just doing repeated readings without Reader’s Theater.This strategy also builds comprehension as the students learn to enact the play.
25 Partner ReadingYou can have a student with ASD read with a peer who is a fluent reader.The peer can read one page, then the student with ASD reads a page and so on.Next, they switch who went first so that the student with ASD is now reading the pages that the peer read the first time.This can also be altered so that the student with ASD reads the same page that the peer read immediately following the peer.This is a good way to work on socialization and repeated readings to build fluency at the same time.
27 Reading Comprehension The National Reading Panel (2000) defines comprehension as an active process that requires an intentional and thoughtful interaction between the reader and the text.It is important to consider this when working on reading comprehension with students with ASD.Some common practices when teaching reading comprehension to students with ASD include having the student read a short sentence or paragraph and then asking a very simple question. For example, the student may read the following: “The boy went to the zoo. He say a tall giraffe.” Then the teacher may ask, “What animal did the boy see at the zoo?” The student should then say giraffe. It is important to note that this type of instruction to teach reading comprehension to students with ASD does not come close to the actual meaning of reading comprehension. If the student read that same passage, the teacher may say something such as, “Tell me about what the boy did” to ensure the student actually comprehends what was read and is not just repeating back a word that was just read because it is likely to be the answer. The teacher can also ask about the student’s experiences going to the zoo and the student’s knowledge about zoo animals. The teacher can also ask the student about what other animals the boy may see at the zoo.
28 Reading Comprehension and Students with ASD Many students with ASD have great difficulty with reading comprehension.This may be largely due to their difficulty with language comprehension.It is not uncommon for students with ASD to decode at or above grade level but perform well below grade level on comprehension (O’Connor & Klein, 2004).Because students with ASD are often literal thinkers, they may have trouble “reading between the lines” and making inferences (Kluth & Chandler-Olcott, 2008)
29 Boosting Background Knowledge Good readers continually draw on relevant prior knowledge to make sense of material they are reading (Kluth & Chandler-Olcott, 2008).Students with ASD will need support from the teacher to activate their prior knowledge before, during, and after reading.This can be done by:Telling stories, asking questions, showing video clips, showing pictures, using graphic organizers to display information the students already know about the topic, share simple picture books related to the topic, having students talk with a peer about the topic
30 Repeated Storybook Reading Re-read books to students multiples times familiarized them with the text and promote comprehensionFor students with significant difficulties with comprehension, select books that have simple pictures, a predictable story line, clear cause- and-effect relationships, and contain events that can be related to the student’s everyday experiencesIf possible, use props (ex. character puppets, objects, figurines) to enhance student engagement and promote comprehension(Bellon, Ogletree, & Harn, 2000)
31 RetellingIf a student can retell what they read in their own words, then you know comprehension is taking place.Some ways to teach students to retell include:Modeling by the teacher/peersHave students write or type what they recall (for some students this just may be a word list, not full sentences). Then they can share it orally.Use a graphic organizer for them to fill inHave students act out what happenedUse visual aids such as props, felt cut-outs, or pictures
32 Summarizing Arrange students in a small circle (5-8 students). The students should retell the story by starting with the first person. By the time they get to the last person, it should be the end of the story.The students may need to start over a few times to make sure they are only summarizing the most important parts.This circle of students provides a good visual for students with ASD, so they do not talk about all of the minute details of the story.
33 Drawing PicturesFor students with ASD who have an interest and skill in drawing, they can show what they understood from the reading selection by drawing a picture.For those that are verbal, you can then have them explain what is in the picture to the teacher or a peer.You can encourage students to think about the phrase, “A picture tells 1000 words” to encourage them to include as much as they can remember about the reading in their picture.
34 Reciprocal Teaching (Palinscar & Brown, 1984) Reciprocal teaching consists of a dialogue between the teachers and the students in which the students learn to take on more of the “teacher role” during reading comprehension activities.There are four components of reciprocal teaching: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.The teacher models each of the above components using think-alouds and gradually switches roles with the students as the do the summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting
35 Reciprocal Teaching: Summarizing Summarizing was discussed on a previous slide, but here are some additional strategies for teaching students to summarize:Provide a graphic organizer that has a small box for the beginning of the story, a much bigger box for the middle of the story, and a small box for the ending of the story. The students then fill in the most important parts of the beginning, middle, and end.Use open ended questions such as: What were the most important things that happened in the story? What about this story made it interesting enough to tell?Have students draw pictures of the main events of the story in the correct sequence. They can then cut them out and have their peers put them in the correct order.
36 Reciprocal Teaching: Question Generating There are three types of questions you teach students to ask before, during, and after reading selections:Right There ?s: The answer is literally “right there” in the book.Think and Search ?s: The students need to draw conclusions and make inferences about what they read to answer the questionOn My Own ?s: These questions relate to personal experiences and making connections to prior knowledgeFirst the teacher teaches the students what the different types of questions mean. Then the teacher models asking each type of question. Then the students are encouraged to generate each type of question before, during, and after reading selections. This is a great strategy to use if you pair students to read together. If you have the peers take turns reading, the peer who is not reading can be responsible for generating the questions when the student is finished with their selection. Then the student who was reading has to answer the questions. The students then switch roles for the next page or selection. This is a good way to keep students engaged in the reading material.
37 Reciprocal Teaching: Clarifying Clarifying entails asking questions during the reading to help make sense of the material.The teacher can model this for the students. Here is an example of what the teacher might say, “I’m confused. Why didn’t the dog just wait by the front door if he wanted to get in the house?”Teachers must encourage students to ask clarifying questions throughout the reading process.
38 Reciprocal Teaching: Predicting Many teachers use predicting before having students read.Teachers may say things such as, “What do you think this book is going to be about?”Teachers may also ask students to predict during a reading selection such as, “Where do you think the boy is going to go now?”However, with reciprocal teaching, teachers encourage students to make predictions independently without being prompted to do so. This can be modeled by the teacher and then gradually fade out the teacher support by saying things such as, “Oh…I just thought of something” to encourage the students to then predict.It is important to note also that if you have students make predictions, they should also have opportunities to confirm when their predictions were right and to change their predictions as they learn new information as they continue to read.
39 Focus on Language Comprehension It is important to remember that students with ASD may need to focus much more on language comprehension before they can be expected to focus solely on reading comprehension. If the students cannot understand the question itself and how they are supposed to respond, you are not actually assessing comprehension at that point.Therefore, if you are reading a story with the students be sure to ask conversational type questions related to the story as often as possible. For example:When the characters are eating dinner in the story, ask the students what they had for dinner the night beforeWhen the characters in the story are sad, ask the students to talk about things that make them sadReading comprehension activities are excellent opportunities to work on communication skills in natural contexts.
41 Providing Vocabulary Rich Texts Having students read a wide range of texts with rich vocabulary is one way to develop vocabulary for all students.For students with ASD, however, additional instructional strategies to teach the vocabulary may also be necessary. The next slide provides some strategies to teach vocabulary from texts.
42 Defining Vocabulary in Own Words There is little evidence to suggest that having students look words up in the dictionary and writing down the definitions to memorize them actually has any long-term impact on student learning (Kluth & Chandler-Olcott, 2008).Instead have students generate their own definitions for the vocabulary words that appear in text. Some ways they can do this include:Using context cluesHearing several additional sentences using the word provided by the teacher or peersResponding to fill-ins (ex. A mansion is a house that is …)
43 Using the Vocabulary Word in an Original Sentence After the students define the vocabulary word in their own words, they can be encouraged to generate sentences using the word.The teacher and peers can provide models to the students with ASD until they are able to generate an original sentence independently.If the student has difficulty, the teacher can use fill-ins (ex. When I got to my uncle’s mansion, I was amazed because…)
44 Drawing Pictures to Represent the Meaning of Vocabulary Words For students with ASD who enjoy drawing, they can draw a picture to define a vocabulary word when appropriate.Not all vocabulary words can be drawn easily, so this is not a strategy that can be relied on all the time.
45 Synonyms and AntonymsHaving students generate lists of synonyms and/or antonyms for some vocabulary words is quite helpful in getting the meaning across.This also improves their vocabulary in their own writing as they learn multiple ways to express something.
46 Collaboration with Speech-Language Pathologists There is a close relationship between the language needs and literacy needs of students with ASD (Lanter & Watson, 2008).Therefore, it is important for teachers and SLPs to collaborate to develop a literacy/reading program that considers the students language impairments and consists of interventions that will promote literacy and language development across a variety of contexts.Literacy/reading skills and language cannot simply be addressed during specific skill sessions. Intervention should take place across a variety of classroom and school routines and activities.
47 Concluding ThoughtsThe strategies suggested in this lesson are effective teaching strategies for all students, not just students with ASD.Some of the strategies do require some one-on- one instruction. This does not necessarily need to be done in pull-out sessions. Some of those strategies can be used when the teacher has 3-5 minutes to spend with a student while the other students are engaged in independent work or with another teacher/paraprofessional in the classroom. A paraprofessional can also be trained to implement some of the strategies that require one-on-one instruction.
48 Module 6, Lesson 1 Activity Select a student with autism that you are working with.Write three reading goals for the student (consider the five components of reading instruction)Provide a detailed description related to the strategies you will use to address each reading goal.
49 ReferencesBellon, M., Ogletree, B., & Harn, W. (2000). Repeated storybook reading as a language intervention for children with autism: A case study on the application of scaffolding. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 15(1), Kluth, P., & Chandler-Olcott, K. (2008). A land we can share: Teaching literacy to students with autism. Baltimore, MD: Brookes. Lanter, E, & Watson, L. R. (2008). Promoting literacy in students with ASD: The basics for the SLP. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 39, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No ). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. O’Connor, I. M., & Klein, P. D. (2004). Exploration of strategies for facilitating the reading comprehension of high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), Palinscar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). The reciprocal teaching of comprehension –fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1,