How to Improve Sentence Comprehension for Children with Autism

Today’s adapted book targets sentence comprehension. Prerequisite skills for this activity are word comprehension and sentence reading fluency.

This activity takes away one of the more challenging aspects of learning for individuals with autism: writing. Typically, you would use a worksheet and have students write in a sentence to describe a picture. Writing for individuals with autism can often be a struggle due to motor planning issues. When an individual has to put so much focus and energy into the actual motor act of writing, it leaves little left over for other cognitive and creative thinking.

From my experience, teaching one skill at a time is the most effective way to educate individuals with autism. Adding additional elements to your teaching can overwhelm students, and it take longer to master activities. And the longer it takes to master activities, the more frustrated students can get. And that frustration can lead to difficulty in establishing good work routines.

We used the book Noodles: I Love Rainy Days! by Hans Wilhelm. To adapt the book, we made cards with each sentence from the book (there was one per page) and velcroed them onto a flap we added to the front cover of the book.

1 sts

We then put a piece of packing tape over the sentence on each page to prevent ripping. We then covered the sentences in the book with a gray box we printed out, and added velcro.

2 sts

To use the book, students move the sentence to the page it describes.

3 sts

You can make the activity easier when you begin teaching by having some of the sentences already in the book, presenting fewer choices to the student. To make the book more difficult you can add new sentences to match the pages to avoid students memorizing the book.

Easy readers books with one sentence per page are ideal for this adaptation. Here are a list of 5 of our favorites for $6 or less!

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