Non-Vocal Children with Autism Can Learn to Read Too!!

Our 10/15/2013 post “Children with Autism Can Learn to Read” generated quite a bit of interest and follow-up questions both on and offline. This video blog addresses one of those questions:  Can Non-vocal children with autism learn to read using Direct Instruction (DI)?  ACTIONS speak louder than words, so here goes!

Watch James, a 5 year-old non-vocal student with autism (who started with only two speech sounds), use cards to ‘sound out’ his verbalizations.   Not only did DI help him learn to read, comprehend, and do math…..The daily practice was no doubt a contributing factor for him in learning to talk!

An article well worth the read: CLEAR TEACHING: With Direct Instruction, Siegfried Engelmann Discovered a Better Way of Teaching, By Shepard Barbash to discover why:  “Students love Direct Instruction. They become engaged and excited, not passive and bored. Teachers who become proficient in DI prefer it because of the great results they get with students.  Just an hour of DI instruction per day is typically enough to significantly improve student performance.”


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4 comments on “Non-Vocal Children with Autism Can Learn to Read Too!!

  1. rose

    You have such a positive view towards kids with autism. We find out every day more new things about them, things we once thought were true, are found to be wanting. If you have a spare moment, I would like you to look at a blog by a mother whose daughter was thought to be intellectually disabled. She learned how to use Rapid Prompting Method, and found out her daughter is very bright. I hunted for the blogpost where she shows her daughter using the method, so you realize it isn’t “facilitated communication”, which is highly questionable. See for yourself what she has to say. This …this just amazes me in ways I can’t describe. My son is mild, probablly SCD from the DSM-5, and not autistic. But I still see parts of him are like Emma.

  2. kelley yeokum

    Wow!!! There are other people who “get it!” Non-verbal individuals with autism certainly can learn to read … along with having the ability to learn many, many other things through direct instruction, along with creative presentation and response methods! I really believe that their “limitations” are more often than not set by us … being our perceptions and inability to “think out of the box!” We fail to look at things from their perspective since our way is the “right” way!

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