Reading for meaning and Autism Spectrum Disorders
What makes reading for understanding especially challenging for children on the autism spectrum? Autism Spectrum Disorders are a cluster of developmental disorders characterized by deficits in communication and social interactions as well as cognitive processing deficits. Learners within the spectrum exhibit a range of strengths and weaknesses, with a full range of intellectual abilities from above to below average. No matter where children fall on the spectrum, children with autism spectrum disorders generally demonstrate well-developed word recognition skills, but their reading comprehension is severely impaired. To read for understanding, readers draw upon a wide range of cognitive abilities, such as inferencing and attention, motivational strategies, such as setting a purpose for reading, and knowledge, such as vocabulary and prior knowledge of the topic. Also, we know that students with ASD typically have a lack of back ground knowledge that also impacts a learner’s ability to read for meaning. In addition, vocabulary also has a significant effect on reading for meaning. Shades of meaning is one easy strategy to incorporate in your day to increase your students’ vocabulary skills. The link below is a complied list of inexpensive activities to incorporate in your reading lessons.
Enhanced Scope and Sequence
The SOL Enhanced Scope and Sequence (ESS) was created by a team of general and special educators and VDOE personnel. ESS provides teachers across the state with differentiated lessons that are aligned with the essential knowledge and skills found in the Curriculum Framework at VDOE. The ESS is organized by content areas (i.e. Mathematics, English, History and Social Science, Science), and can be accessed at the Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning.
Virginia Department of Education Instructional Resources
- The Standards and SOL-based Instructional Resources
- Math ESS Lessons
- English ESS Lessons
- Science and Social Studies ESS Lessons
Suggestions for Communicating With and About People with Disabilities at the CDC.
The VDOE Reading Network provides K-12 teachers with effective strategies to increase the reading achievement of students with disabilities. Following are useful resources.
Virginia Department of Education Resources
- 2017 VDOE English Standards
- VDOE English/Reading/Writing Resources
- Targeted Literacy Interventions Webinars
T-TAC Online Reading Resources
Reading Sites of Interest
Students with disabilities have the right to an opportunity to read. Here is an excerpt from the Literacy Bill of Rights (Yoder, Erickson & Koppenhaver, 1997).
The IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University is a national center dedicated to improving education outcomes for all children, especially those with disabilities birth through age twenty-one. Find a list of reading related resources in this document: The IRIS Center’s Resources for Teaching Reading
- Online professional development dedicated to improving instruction for all students, especially struggling readers, English language learners, and special education students.
PALS Virginia Activities and Resources
- Providing educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.
- Lexile measures are reported with the scores of students taking SOL reading tests in grades 3-8. Instructional resources can be found at the Lexile.com website. One helpful resource is the Find the Book feature. Enter either a student Lexile score (from a recent SOL test), or the student’s current grade level. Next, choose subject(s) of interest, and a tailor-made, leveled book list will be created for the student.