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ERIC Number: EJ849810
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Facilitating Reading Comprehension for Students on the Autism Spectrum
Gately, Susan E.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v40 n3 p40-45 Jan-Feb 2008
It is a challenge for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to integrate language, social understanding, and emotional intent of messages to understand their social world. They often have deficits in language and social cognition and difficulty interpreting and labeling emotions and incorporating or integrating each of these aspects of communication to gain meaning in social situations. There are a variety of strategies based on proficient reader research that can help children with ASD develop higher order reading comprehension skills and that can also be tailored to the cognitive characteristics of children with ASD. These strategies include priming background knowledge, picture walks, visual maps, think-alouds and reciprocal thinking, understanding narrative text structure, goal structure mapping, emotional thermometers, and social stories. Incorporating visually cued instruction, such as graphics and color, with these strategies provides tangible and concrete information important for focusing on relevant parts of the story. Visually cued instruction also helps students remember what to do or say, decrease reliance on other prompts, and increase independence. As children become more automatic in responses, fade visual prompts. Using a popular children's novel, "Sarah, Plain and Tall", helps demonstrate the strategies for higher order reading comprehension skills. This novel, routinely taught in fourth- and fifth-grade general education classrooms is part of interdisciplinary units within the United States. It is on many recommended reading lists and is included in curriculum frameworks in many states and school districts. (Contains 9 figures.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A