How Can We Teach Literacy Skills to Students with Autism?

Today’s adapted book is focused on students who are just beginning to engage with books. Helping students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who are not yet reading can be tricky. First, students with autism may find high interest books and interact with them repetitively but not necessarily productively. While this may be fine for break times, it can be challenging to teach new literacy skills. Second, not-yet-readers may have difficulty with interacting with books. They may learn the rote skills of turning all the pages and flipping through the book, but might not pay too much attention to each page. So the question is: how can we help teach meaningful literacy skills to students with autism who are not yet reading?

Non-Identical Picture Matching

Adapting books like we did with Bear Loves Water by Ellen Weiss is a good start. To create the book, we attached a piece of velcro to the top of each page so it would not obstruct any of the words or pictures.

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We then found a picture that matches onto each page. We chose non-identical pictures, but you could scan or take a photograph of the pages and create identical matches as well. We laminated and attached velcro to the pictures, and then put velcro onto the matching pictures on each page in the book.

To use the book, students will go through and take the picture from the top and match it to the picture on the page.

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The book is errorless in that there is only one picture and one place to match it on each page. We are teaching students to interact with the book, turn the pages in order, and read the whole book until it is finished. These are great skills to build upon for not-yet-readers. For students that are beginning to recognize print, you can add words to the pictures, or eventually just have words to create a word to picture match.

Non-identical matching will work with just about any book with pictures!

5 of our favorite books under $6

Farm Animals by Phoebe Dunn : http://amzn.to/1O3qifr

Lowly Worm Word Book by Richard Scarry: http://amzn.to/1LZoBMB

Elmo’s Furry Friend by Naomi Kleinberghttp: http://amzn.to/1LZtXaP

Roadwork by Sally Sutton: http://amzn.to/1KaBdgr

Pat the Bunny: At the Apple Orchard by Luiz Vilela: http://amzn.to/1XPPpp8

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