Reading comprehension help for students with autism may requires a few strategies that YOU the parent or teacher can easily do at home or in the classroom. Studies consistently show that children who are encouraged to use visual imagery have improved performance on tests of comprehension and recall of materials. For many children with autism, this skill of using mental imagery in text is an extremely challenging task. Nevertheless, this method can be taught and mastered.
Reading Comprehension help for students with autism involves VISUALIZATION. This is one of the most effective ways to help improve reading comprehension in a child with autism. How do you teach this? Well …. try to encourage the child to form mental pictures of the events described in the stories read.
An autistic child struggling with reading comprehension will benefit from a teaching method geared to make sure that he understands and thinks about word meaning as he reads and that provides a specific scheme for visualizing. For example, a teacher might stop a student after reading a few lines and encourage the student to form a mental picture with a question such as “what do you think that looked like?” This allows the student to build imagery directly related to the concepts conveyed in the reading and at the same time to continue to focus on the printed symbols on the page.
- Use prior knowledge and pre-reading strategies. “Look at the title. Think about what the story might be about.”
- For stories, the student can visualize what is happening at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. “Read or listen to the first few sentences. Remember to get a picture in your head for each sentence. Do not continue until you get a moving picture in your head, kind of like a movie.”
- For informational text, student can think about key words and visualize the content they are learning. “Read or listen to this paragraph. Remember to get a picture for each sentence. Ask me if you do not understand a word.”
- Students should be asked to explain their images. “Can you describe what you see as you are reading.”
- Students should compare the picture in their minds with what they are reading. “Tell me as much information as you can remember.””
Integrating the child’s own artwork with story reading, such as having the child draw a map or diagram of events, or represent the story in cartoon form, is also useful. They can also read an entire passage and then create an illustration that represents the main idea of the paragraph. To help the child decide which ideas are most important, provide them with some guidelines: “If this story were to be made into a movie, which scenes absolutely must be included for the story to make sense. Which scenes would be funny, sad, etc.”?
Reading Comprehension help for students with autism involves your help and guidance in teaching visualization strategies. Good Luck – and let us know how they worked!
Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder of PRIDE Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a reading and learning disability specialist and speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on any learning deficiencies your child may have. By dedicating more time than is possible during the school year, a student can make a remarkable amount of progress during the summer – as much as a year’s progress in just 4-6 weeks!
In addition, working on skill-building during the summer months prevents further deterioration of skills – the dreaded “summer slide.”
At PRIDE Learning Center we offer an amazing summer program to help students enter the new school year prepared to meet and exceed classroom expectations.
Students attend Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 12:00pm or 12:30pm – 3:30pm.
Parents can sign up for any weeks between June 2nd and August 29th
We have locations in Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and San Clemente.
For students struggling to learn to read, we offer out intensive Orton-Gillingham reading program. Your child will work one-on-one with our credentialed and Orton-Gillingham Certified teachers (not tutors) using the best research-based and multi-sensory materials. At PRIDE Learning Center we specialize in helping children with learning differences by focusing on the underlying foundational skills that are preventing your child from reading.
Designed for students who know how to read fluently but are struggling with comprehension, this intensive program teachers your child strategies and skills to improve “Reading to Learn.” The goal of this program is to teach children to be efficient readers so that they can learn the content begin taught in any of their classes. These are skills that must be explicitly learned, they do not come naturally to many students. At PRIDE Learning Center, our highly effective comprehension program provides students with the ability to conceptualize mental images that match content, and use language to describe those images. Starting at a concrete level and moving towards more abstract concepts, we are able to help students visualize the content of what they are reading.
Basic Math Skills
Our math program is for students of all ages who are struggling with basic math concepts. At PRIDE Learning Center, we build an understanding of mathematical concepts by using visual learning tools, game playing and exercises that engage all the senses. Our one-on-one, multisensory math program gives students a strong math foundation. Students master their number facts and numerical fluency. They are given the essential tools for a strong math foundation.
Our writing skills program effectively teaches essential skills in careful order: from parts of speech, to sentence structure, to paragraphs, to complete essays. For the reluctant beginner writer, our program provides the essential foundation in thinking and writing skills. For the more proficient and advanced writer, it offers opportunities, strategies, and techniques to apply them.
For more information on our summer programs call us at 866-774-3342 ext. 1 or you can email us at: email@example.com
Executive functioning has become a very popular term in recent years, especially as it relates to treating children. In the past, diagnosis involving children’s attention, activity level, organizing and problem solving were made. However often little was discussed with parents regarding improving deficits, executive functioning, using behavioral techniques.
Executive functioning (also known as cognitive control and supervisory attentional system) is an umbrella term for the management (regulation, control) of cognitive processes, including working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, and problem solving, as well as planning and execution. It has also expanded to include organization and impulse control. Executive functioning affects not only children’s behaviors but expands to social abilities and their ability to learn. It includes their ability to self-regulate, to infer and ponder consequences, to encode information in memory.
What we deem largely as automatic, or multi-tasking, is often a skill that needs to be modeled and taught. Children can benefit from working on executive functioning whether they are typically developing, or have clinical diagnosis that includes impairments in these areas. Think about the things that cause stress in your home. Perhaps you begin to worry time and time again when your son doesn’t call you after baseball practice only to find out later he forgot to charge his phone. Perhaps your high school daughter realizes she has a project due the night before it is to be turned in, or maybe you have numerous calls from your child’s teacher with regards to forgetting materials, including books, pencils, homework. Many times, parents can be frustrated in the lack of executive functioning skills if they themselves have relative strengths in these areas. On the flip side, on many occasions when parents have difficulties in the same areas of executive functioning as their children, they sympathize with the children, and lack an understanding of how to help them other than to offer commiseration.
One of the greatest things parents can do to assist in helping their children grow in this area is scaffolding. Scaffolding is a teaching method that enables an individual to achieve a goal or task under adult guidance, or more capable peers. It is important to know what appropriate expectations would be, given your child’s developmental level. For instance, you wouldn’t expect your children to pack their own lunch at 3 years old.
Ways to increase executive functioning
- Identify situations that cause inattention or frustration (identifying situations that make your child or adolescent stressed. Bringing this to their attention will help you both problem solve alternative behaviors to make the situation easier).
- Change tasks frequently to decrease drain on working memory
- Frontload information especially when task is novel or not routine (practice a song that will be sung in the classroom or go over key points in a chapter that will be discussed in class before the teacher presents material)
- Cue your child to complete a task when in the same environment (i.e., ask children to clear their plate in the kitchen)
- Offer breaks that allow for physical activity
- Create a structured environment whenever possible
- Pair tasks your child has mastered with those that are new or more of an energy cost
- Encourage thinking of future scenarios (discussing an upcoming assignment or event with a child gives them the opportunity to collect appropriate materials and create a timeline).
- Underline key concepts when reading (parent or child should underline or highlight main points being read. When answering questions, read questions first, then material).
Dr. Robin Morris is a Clinical Psychologist. She holds a Masters in Family and Child Therapy and a Graduate Academic Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Morris resides in Mission Viejo where she conducts psychoeducational assessments, school/home observations used to determine appropriate placements and services, as well as functional Behavior Assessments. you can contact her at (949) 351-3770 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at drrobinmorris.com
Walking into an IEP is nerve-wracking. You’re thinking about what goals your child needs, the services that are essential, and the staff that will be most resistant to working with you. In fact, many parents are highly focused on the services that will be provided and lose sight of the purpose of the annual goals. Too often, parents readily breeze through goals in order to get to the meat of the IEP – placement and services. Similarly, parents often know why they want services, and they know their child’s unique needs, but they aren’t as versed in how the law obligates the District to provide the services. Using the right language can avoid common pitfalls that allow a District to reduce or eliminate services.
The most important thing to remember about the goals is that they are annual goals. Making sure you have goals in all areas of need and that they are measurable is important, too. But none of that matters if the District sets the bar so low that any student could achieve the goal.
When thinking about goals, it’s important to consider where you want your child to be a year from now. Often, a school district will propose a goal that merely works on the next logical step, rather than where the child should be in a year. For example, I had one case where a young child had mastered single digit addition. The school district’s proposal? Addition of two digit numbers. While that is a worthy objective, it should not be an annual goal. If a child who can already do single digit addition spends all year and only learns that same skill with two numbers, rather than learning to subtract or multiply, it can hardly be said that he has made meaningful progress.
One tactic to think about is what other kids will be learning in his or her grade level. If your child is in second grade now, he or she will be a third grader at the next annual. So what does a typical third grader learn? Even if your child is a grade level behind, you want them to make meaningful progress. So if they are at the first grade level now, you want to at least shoot for a second grade level goal. Tying annual goals to grade levels is a good way to ensure that progress will be made.
When it comes to services, you should be aware of what the law requires – and what it doesn’t. Legally, the District must provide sufficient services for your child to get “some educational benefit” or “some meaningful benefit” from the education. In other words, it has to be enough for your child to make progress on goals. Some courts have compared it to a high school student progressing with about a C average.
Federal law, and the courts agree, does not require “best” services or services that would “maximize a child’s potential.” If you go in asking for the “best,” the District might even agree that what you are asking for is best, but will be well within its right to cut those services down. Instead, ask for what you want, but call them “appropriate” services. Anything less is “inappropriate.” While those words won’t magically sway the District, they will keep you from falling into the common parental pitfall of asking for the “best” – and then being promptly denied.
Drew Massey, Esq. graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine Law School in 2006. Since that time, he has represented children and families with special needs in obtaining the necessary services so children can learn. You can reach him at (714) 698-0239 or email him at: DMassey@edattorneys.com or visit the Adams & Associates, APLC website at: https://californiaspecialedlaw.com
On April 2, 2014, Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism advocacy organization, promotes their annual event called Light it Up Blue. This is a global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month. In honor of this day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums and retail stores are among the many communities that take part in Light it Up Blue. Autism Speaks is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism.
PRIDE Learning Center, will help raise awareness by participating in the Light it Up Blue campaign. All four Learning Centers will be decorated in blue with displays and handouts about autism on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 and there will be blue treats for the entire community. In addition, the employees at PRIDE Learning Center will be dressed in blue.
“We support the Light it Up Blue campaign,” says Karina Richland, owner of PRIDE Learning Centers. “We want to help increase the awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Orange County and Los Angeles communities and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families” says Richland.
New autism statistics from the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.
“We are so pleased and excited to participate in this event to bring autism awareness to the forefront and show that we at PRIDE Learning Center support research efforts to bring an end to this epidemic,” says PRIDE Learning Center owner, Karina Richland.
PRIDE Learning Center has four locations, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Redondo Beach, Ca. For more information contact PRIDE Learning Centers at 866-774-3342 or visit the website https://www.pridelearningcenter.com