View Full Version : Autistic and learning to read

Kayla M
09-02-2011, 12:20 AM
I'm homeschooling a sweet 11 year old girl this year. I have Grace every other day and that is going really well, I love her and she loves me.

When she first came the only words she could read were a and I. Seriously! Not even me, is, to or any other simple words.
This is the way she was allowed to read...
Ttttttttt hhhhhhhhh longeeeeeeee cccccccccc longaaaaaaaaaaa ttttttttt ssssssss longaaaaaaa ttttttt longooooooooo nnnnnnnnn tttttttt hhhhhhh eeeeeee mmmmm aaaaaa tttttt.
That's her reading The cat sat on the mat. She never said any words just made the sounds of the letters.

Grace has been in a lot of different schools, learning centers and reading programs. She is autistic, but she is a smart girl. I don't think Grace will ever read a big chapter book, but she needs to be able to read basic words.

I'm starting from the beginning with her and am just teaching her words. I'm calling them popcorn words, you just look at the word and say it as fast as popcorn pops. I'm not doing the sounds out words with her because she thinks that is reading. As of yesterday Grace is now reading 24 words. And can spell 21 of those words! I'm so proud of her!

I need to start teaching her numbers this next week.

I'd really welcome any advice or tips on teaching an autistic child to read.

09-08-2011, 12:19 AM
I do have a daughter who is autistic. Our ABA therapist did a lot to help her learn to read. She used the Edmark program. I think they just memorize the words... which sound a lot like your popcorn words.
my youngest daughter with Down syndrome is learning to read by memorizing the words. I read a sentance and then she copies and points to the words too. The Love and Learning program is an easy reading program for special needs kids. It was designed for Down Syn. kids but I think it works on a lot of levels.
Also the book Teaching Reading to people with Down Syndrome and other Hands - on- Learners by DeAnna Horstmeier has really easy steps. You can find that at a library or Lending library or buy it at Amazon.

anyways, sounds like your popcorn reading is fun and working so God Bless you in all you do!


Melissa Crabtree
09-12-2011, 02:34 PM
Sounds like she's doing well with what you're doing! I would make sure that before long you add something so you are sure she is comprehending the words... that is a major problem with many children with autism. It's great to be able to read the word sock, but if you can't then find a sock in a picture, there's a disconnect somewhere, KWIM? I'd just add something like that soon.

Sight word Bingo might be fun for her.

It also sounds like she'll learn by memorizing, so reading your favorite FIAR books over and over may be a way that would work for her too.

And in order for her to have a concept of what to do with those sounds she knows, you can say words slowly (like cat but drawn out) and have her "say it fast." It may get her over the hump of what to do with those sounds.