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Teaching Reading and Spelling to Children with Autism

Teach reading to autistic children

Autism can present a broad range of challenges, especially when it comes to learning. Although autism doesn’t always affect a child’s ability to learn, it often affects the way a child learns. And that can be especially important when it’s time to teach an autistic child to read and spell.

Kids with Autism Learn Differently

Autistic kids often have difficulty learning in traditional ways because their brains just don’t process information in the same way that other children’s do. They are wired differently.

For example, many children with autism are visual thinkers—they think in pictures instead of words. Other autistic children learn better through sound, and still others learn best with touch. Many have problems getting sequences to stick in their memory banks, like long strings of words, numbers, or multi-step instructions. And differentiating between certain sounds can be difficult for the autistic child, which makes learning to read especially hard.

If this description sounds like your child, I have good news. When you use simple, step-by-step, multisensory techniques that actively engage children in the learning process, teaching your child to read and spell does not have to be a daunting task.

6 Tips for Teaching Children with Autism

Here are six teaching tips to help you teach reading and spelling to your child.

  1. Use Direct Instruction

    Teaching Reading and Spelling to Autistic Children - All About Learning Press

    With direct instruction, lessons are carefully sequenced and explicit. The student is told exactly what he needs to know. Each reading and spelling lesson should include three simple steps:

    • A review of what was learned the day before
    • New teaching of a single concept
    • A short practice of the new teaching
  2. Focus on Incremental Lessons

    Break every skill down into its most basic steps and then teach the lessons in a logical order, carrying your child from one concept or skill to the next. Each step should build on steps your child has already mastered, ensuring that there are no gaps.

  3. Teach One New Concept at a Time

    When teaching children their letters, start with the phonograms and teach them the ones that are easiest to learn and that they can put to immediate use, like M, S, P, and A. Teaching one concept at a time respects the child’s funnel and helps learning stick. It also helps keep lessons short.

  4. Use Multisensory Techniques

    All About Reading curriculum on whiteboard

    Since children with autism do not all learn in the same way, it is important to teach every lesson using sight, sound, and touch. Visual learners like to see what they are learning. Auditory learners prefer to hear oral instructions and then discuss what they have learned to solidify the material. Hands-on learners absorb knowledge best when they can touch and manipulate objects.

    A magnetic white board with moveable letters works wonders for both kinesthetic and visual learners. Saying the word or letter out loud is important for auditory learners. Actively forming the letters in sand or rice, or tracing the shape of the letter on a textured surface like sandpaper or velvet, is another effective technique for some children. And allowing your child to choose his own favorite textured surface makes the activity that much more engaging.

    Since many autistic children also have difficulty with fine motor control and need easy, simple, and repeated activities to help them develop this skill, these types of kinesthetic exercises will help in this area, too.

  5. Provide Concrete Examples

    Children with autism often have difficulty processing abstract ideas. Color-coded letter tiles provide concrete examples of reading and spelling concepts.

    Also, many autistic children cannot process excessive verbal input. Demonstrating blending and segmenting using letter tiles allows the child to understand the process without being overwhelmed with long verbal explanations.

  6. Reward Your Child’s Progress

    Happy girl holding completed All About Reading progress chart

    It is important to make the lessons mastery-based and to include a visual way for your child to mark her progress, such as a chart where she can paste stars for each lesson learned.

    And don’t forget to use words of encouragement every step of the way. Simple encouragement like “Good job!” or “You did great!” or “Excellent!” goes a long way toward building confidence and self-esteem in children, motivating them to keep learning.

  7. Notes from Parents of Children with Autism

    “When our twins were diagnosed with autism, we knew that we needed to play to their strengths in looking for curriculum. I quickly discovered that they do better when they are naturally motivated to engage. All About Reading and All About Spelling do just that, and the programs scream “autism-friendly.” This is wonderful curriculum!” – Cindy, mother of two children with autism, and blogger at My Life as a Rinnagade

    “My mildly autistic son struggled severely in school. Watching him flounder was breaking my heart, so I pulled him out to home school. We were recommended to All About Reading and All About Spelling by a random acquaintance. I love your products! We have done All About Reading Levels 1-3. The stories are so engaging! My son always asks to do reading first because he knows he will be reading a great story or doing a fun activity. THANK YOU for this amazing product!” – Jessica

    “My 13-year-old nonverbal, autistic son is spelling and writing thanks to All About Spelling!! I had initially bought this to use with my 10-year-old who has difficulty with spelling, but when I saw the materials I thought, Hey, I can modify this to use with Matthew (my 13-year-old). I am so thankful for your program! I would love to share this story with other moms of special needs children in case they are wondering, as I was, if this would work for their child.” – Tara

    Does your child have autism? What has helped for reading and spelling instruction? Let me know in the comments below!

    Photographs by Cindy Rinna and Jill M.

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Pam

says:

Hi, where do I find ” All about spelling”

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Pam,
All About Spelling is available through our website and through some additional retailers.

However, your email address leads me to think you are in Australia. Please note that all international shipments have been temporarily suspended because of COVID-19 restrictions. We’ll resume shipping to Australia when the restrictions have lifted.

You may be able to order from a retailer closer to Australia. There is Educational Warehouse in Highland Park, QLD. If they don’t have what you need, you can also try Engaging Minds Ltd in Hawera, NZ.

You can also order from us using a freight forwarder such as MyUS. Check out their video, How MyUS Works.

You could also try a retailer that can ship to Australia. Rainbow Resource carries All About Reading, All About Spelling, and All About Homophones, and they ship worldwide. Timberdoodle also carries our materials and they ship to many countries. Conquest Books in the UK and they ship to Europe and some other locations.

Thanks for your interest! Please let me know if you need help with placement or anything else.

Ramyasri

says:

Hi My son is going to be 6. And is mild in spectrum. He is good at most of the thing like his peer group. But he is struggling with reading. We are from India. We don’t have much ways to help him. Can you suggest any ways to make him read. Thank you

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your son is having such difficulties, Ramyasri.

Start with teaching him phonograms. Once he has the sounds of the letters down, and a few other phonograms like SH, TH, CH, CK, NG, and Nk, move on to helping him sound out words. Learning phonograms and sounding out words works much more effectively for many learners than memorizing words.

I hope this helps some.

Tamari

says:

Hi I have a younger brother who is currently going to grade 4 in September but his reading level is at grade 1 and even struggles to read that, I’m working on reading daily with him but he struggles staying focused and remembering words and sometimes can pronounce them but other times he can’t. How can I help him? He is very behind.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tamari,
Often older students like your brother struggle because they are missing foundational skills and concepts that are necessary for success in reading. All About Reading and All About Spelling address this their “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling.

In addition, these programs incorporate Multisensory Teaching for Reading and Spelling which is shown with research to increase long-term retention. We also have a free Help Your Child’s Memory ebook that you may find helpful.

Zinhle

says:

iam also a mother with the same issue please help

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Zinhle,
Is there something specific I can help you with? You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner and Signs of a Reading Problem blog posts helpful.

Angel

says:

My daughter has difficulty staying engaged on flashcards..I’m still on the start of saying out loud phonics Tru flash cards without pictures.I think she’s an auditory learner need help please 🥺

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Flashcards can be difficult for any student to stay engaged and focused on, Angel. Have you seen our 12 Great Ways to Review Reading Word Cards blog post? It is full of ideas on how to make using flashcards fun and engaging!

Let me know if you need further ideas or help.

Prodige wakmi

says:

Hi i have a 7years old son on spetrum is grade1 to the normal school at home his doing great by reading and spelling but her teacher telling me he have difficult reading and spelling .but that his what hus doing good since the age of 3 .so what can i say ? How can i get your books or activity to help him more and more.?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Prodige,
If you are in the United States, you can order directly from our website, All About Learning Press. For other countries, we recommend using a freight forwarder located here in the U.S. Freight forwarders are pros when it comes to helping folks receive shipments from other countries in a timely and hassle-free manner. They can also help you save on overall shipping costs by combining your orders from many companies into fewer shipments. On our shipping page, we provide a link to MyUS, a freight forwarder that many of our international customers have used with great success. Check out their video, How MyUS Works. (You are also free to use a different freight forwarder if you already have a favorite one.)

Another option is to order through a distributor:

Rainbow Resource carries All About Reading, All About Spelling, and All About Homophones, and they ship worldwide.

Timberdoodle also carries All About Reading, All About Spelling, and All About Homophones, and they ship to many countries.

Conquest Books in the UK carries All About Reading, All About Spelling, and All About Homophones, and they ship to Europe and some other locations.

There are also retailers that carry our materials in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and many in Canada. If you are in one of those countries, let me know and I can give you the information for those retailers.

Thanks for your interest! I hope you can find a way to make it work. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Shanna

says:

Dear writer.
My son is 13 years old, he has problem with reading and spelling, also remembering words. He speaks and write well. I need some help please.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your son is having such difficulties, Shanna. Often when older students struggle with reading, it is because they are missing foundational knowledge and skills necessary for reading success. And too often, when help is given to older students that struggle, the focus is getting them to read grade-level and not going back to the foundational concepts they need. The “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling ensures that every student has the foundation they need for success.

You may find our Signs of a Reading Problem and 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog posts helpful as well. Please let me know if you have additional questions or need more information.

Bindhana Tiwari

says:

Dear Robin
My son is 10+ years a partially/non-verbal autistic child. He speaks very less words.Please guide me how to start reading and writing with him. I am lost and don’t understand where to start and how to start. Please help me!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bindhana,
I’m sorry your son is having such difficulties. Starting reading with a child always means starting at the foundation, which is Reading Readiness: The Top 5 Skills. Before he can read (and he needs to be well started in reading before beginning spelling), he needs to know the alphabet and be able to hear and manipulate the sounds of language. Our How to Teach the Alphabet and Fun Ways to Develop Phonological Awareness blog post can help you with that.

Once he has mastered the readiness skills, he is ready to learn how to Sound Out Words and then learn other phonograms and sounds beyond the alphabet.

You may find using a curriculum written to be step-by-step and easy to teach at home helpful. You can take a look at our All About Reading program and let me know if you would like help with placement or have more questions.

Carmen VanHootegem

says:

I’m so happy to find this post because I wanted to find out if I could use AAS to get my nonverbal students to read/write/spell! I discovered this great webinar, Literacy for AAC users, ://youtu.be/r2bOqen_J2Q, that explains a way using AAS like teaching format for cvc using AAC. I’m going to start Monday (AAS #1) with more direct instruction on teaching spelling to solidify their alphabet knowledge. Then I’ll move onto using their CORE word home page for rime. FYI Making/spelling Words = building words (AAS). I hope this helps others.

Here’s a bit about me and how I discovered All About Learning. I’m a Sped Resource Elementary Classroom teacher (24yrs), user of AAS/AAR for 4 years, 1st year in self contained elementary Mild/Moderate life skill classroom with 8 in person students, 1 blended and 2 virtual. Student breakdown, 5 non-verbal & 5 verbal: non verbal 1 10yr high tech user(virtual), 2 low tech(1 12yr ESL virtual), 1 deaf (10yr 1st year in school, knew less than 100 signs in Sept.), 1 high tech (10 yr ESL lite, 1st year user) and 4 verbal non-readers.

AAS(1-6 TE books only) was bought/left by a principal 4 years ago, I’ve used the format to teach my students to read and spell. I find it easy to follow the instructions and gives great examples. The All About Learning fb group & blog helps answers questions and stumbling blocks, veryquickresponse. I bought AAS7 and AAR2 in February 2020, and AAR Pre-K in September 2020. I own, AAS TE 1-7 and AAR (TE/Student)in Pre-K, #2. Each group has their own set of cards, way to hard to share. My non-verbals are using AAR PreK to get letter name/sound and my verbal non readers are becoming readers & spellers, AAS1, 2 or at end blend stage and 2 are cvc, using a combo of AAR/AAS and Reading AtoZ because I don’t own AAR1.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for this, Carmen! I’m sure it will be helpful for those teaching students that are non-verbal autistic.

Peace bona

says:

My 6 years old son don’t speak,write,spelling please what should I do

Mawli Sharma

says:

Hi , my child had same condition year ago , now he is 6.5 year and starts reading but still keep forgetting letter sounds ,he came a long way and mostly verbal now .I recommend get him VML speech that way he will learn to say individual sounds and name of letter and eventually starts reading ,spelling . All the very best!

Bindhana Tiwari

says:

What is VML speech Mawli??

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

VML speech is “Verbal Motor Learning” and is a method of speech therapy.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry to hear your son is struggling so, Peace bona. A child this age that is not speaking needs speech therapy and possibly other interventions. It would be best to work with your child’s doctor to start the process of getting him the help he needs.

Sar Sophyra

says:

Please share with me the materials and how to practice step by step for my autistic son 10 years old

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sar,
You will find the step-by-step instruction for teaching in our All About Reading and All About Spelling curriculum, available for purchase in our webstore, All About Learning Press. Let me know if you need help with which level to begin with or anything else.

Sar Sophyra

says:

My 10 years old son has a problem with write and reading. I would love to explore on the program on how to help Vathanak (my son) pass this difficult situation. He also difficult to communication with other kid has same age with him.

Kirui

says:

Wonderful steps

Veronica Stackhouse

says:

Need the materials for my son who is autistic

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Veronica,
Do you have any questions about All About Reading or All About Spelling? Can I help you with placement or anything else? I’m here to help!

Lunguza Magwe

says:

I am a 60 year old grandfather with a 10 year grandson who has this year been found to be autistic.Although he has been in school(normal government school for 4 years,it is fair to say he can hardly read or write.
We live in Bulawayo Zimbabwe.I would be grateful to receive your advice and recommendation on what we should do for my grandson.If is alright I would be grateful if you kindly reply to my email address.
Thank you so much.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lunguza,
I’m sorry your grandson is struggling with reading and writing!

Older students that struggle with reading and writing very often struggle because they have gaps in their knowledge and skills. Our “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling can make a difference!

You may also find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner helpful as well.

I hope this helps some. Please let me know if you have questions about shipping to Zimbabwe, placement, or anything else.

Minal Lalwani

says:

Hi
I am a teacher.
Often I get children who are autistic
I need help
Let me know abt this programme.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m happy to give you an overview of All About Reading and All About Spelling, Minal. You may wish to start with our overview Why Our Programs Work video.

Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are multisensory. They approach learning through sight, sound, and touch. This helps kids remember what they learn because they take in information in various ways and also interact with it in various ways.

All About Reading includes research-based instruction in decoding skills, fluency, automaticity, comprehension, vocabulary, and lots and lots of reading practice. All About Spelling focuses on encoding skills, spelling rules, and other strategies that help children become good spellers.

Each lesson time is simple and explicit, and will include 3 simple steps: review of what was learned the day before, a simple new teaching, and a short practice of that new teaching. The program is designed for you to move at your student’s pace, so you can go as quickly or as slowly as the child needs through each step.

The lessons are laid out in an orderly form for the teacher, so that each day you can simply open and go. The programs are easy to teach without special training or previous experience. You may find our 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling helpful as it contains printable sheets for tracking progress for each child.

Lessons are logical and incremental. They provide the structure, organization, and clear guidance that kids who struggle need to learn. All About Reading and All About Spelling break every teaching down into its most basic steps and then teaches the lessons in a logical order, carrying the students from one concept or skill to the next. Each step builds on the one the student has already mastered. Our sequence was very carefully tested to reduce confusion for students.

All About Reading and All About Spelling use specially color-coded letter tiles or letter tiles app. Working with the letter tiles can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept.

All About Reading and All About Spelling are scripted, so you can concentrate on your child. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage. Marie Rippel, the author, also spent a lot of time researching how to word the rules. Our rules are worded so they are as easy for children to remember as possible.

Both programs have built-in review in every lesson. Some children need lots of review in order to retain concepts, while others don’t need as much; you are free to adjust this to your student’s need. After a concept has been taught, don’t assume that the child knows it. Quickly revisit that concept again in the next lesson. With All About Reading and All About Spelling, your student will have a Review Box so you can customize the review. This way, you can concentrate on just the things that your student needs help with, with no time wasted on reviewing things that your child already knows. Customized review is important for kids with short attention spans because you want every minute of your lesson to count.

One of the things that Marie noticed when she was researching reading programs is that few programs have enough review built in for kids to gain fluency, which is why All About Reading includes lots of reading practice.

All About Spelling includes dictation that starts out very short. Level 1 starts out with just words and then progresses to two-word phrases. Level 2 includes phrases and shorter sentences, while Level 3 moves up to slightly longer sentences. This gradual progression helps to build writing stamina and to strengthen working memory. The dictation is meant to be spread over several days, so you can take as much or as little time on that part as your student needs.

The programs are independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Children generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling. For more information, check out this article on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately.

I hope this helps you understand All About Reading and All About Spelling better. Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Lanissa

says:

Hi,my son is four years old he started junior kindergarten this week online .He is having a difficult time paying attention and following directions,he was diagnosed with level 2 autism this March.I can get him to hold a pencil or want to learn to write or spell his name he don’t want do it

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lanissa,
Many four-year-old children aren’t ready to learn to write even their own name. They may need more work to strengthen their muscles, both the fine muscles of the hands and arms and the core muscles that help them to stabilize their whole body, to allow them to have some ease with writing. Also, online learning is difficult for many students, even some adults! Humans are geared toward in-person interaction and online classes are a poor substitute at best.

First, I recommend speaking with his teacher about your concerns and see what he or she recommends to help in these areas. His teacher will be aware of what difficulties young children and those with learning disabilities will have these writing and focusing. Also, allowing his teacher to know your concerns will help the teacher to make adaptations for feature lessons to meet your son’s needs better.

I also recommend trying to help your son through play or activities he enjoys. Playdough, painting, using scissors, coloring, building with small Lego bricks, and so on all help with developing hand strength. Salt trays are a great way to practice letter writing without a pencil! Just make sure he is having fun and thinks it is play, rather than “school”.

I hope this helps some.

Edz

says:

How do you introduce and teach children with autism about adjectives and nouns? He is 6 years old and in year 1. I am not sure if he understands what I was saying to him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Edz,
We generally recommend waiting to teach grammar until students are well-founded in reading and spelling. We explain this in more detail in our Language Arts in My Household blog post. The function of words in sentences is rather complex and abstract for students still learning how to read and spell.

However, those that have opted to introduce some grammar concepts earlier have enjoyed First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise. I waited with my kids but did a casual introduction to nouns and verbs through things like the SchoolHouse Rock videos.

Melai luwi

says:

I have a 17 year old brother who is autistic, I live in a country that for years didn’t know much about it and even now its still some thing they pay much attention to people who are autistic in my country are labeled as mentality retarded,my brother loves listening to music ,he can operate a computer but we are unsure if he can read cause he only speaks wen he wants something and cuts the sentence short ,engaging him in a conversation doesn’t work because he starts repeating what you say to him and he likes looking at pictures, he gets hyper sometimes and starts singing and jumping around, how do I help him

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melai,
How caring of you to want to help your brother!

One thing you can do is try to see if he can spell words. He can try writing them, or since he like the computer, see if he can type words in. If he can spell words, he has the ability to read them.

Another thing you can try to test his ability to read is to write him a note that, if he understands it, will lead him to take an action. For example, you could write, “There is candy for you in the cupboard.” If he understands, he will probably go to the cupboard to find the candy (be sure to place a piece there for him).

I hope this helps a little. I’m sorry there isn’t much help I can offer.

Supriya

says:

Yes my child has problem with spellings

Thusan

says:

Thanks Will try this on my 12years student,home schooling

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Thusan. Let me know if you need help with placement or have any questions.

Protus

says:

Thanks for the lesson I will try it on my Son who is 13 years old.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Protus. Let me know if you have any questions.

Heather

says:

Hiya. I’ve just came across your post while my daughter is in another room trying to do the online school work set out for all P1s online while they are at home Re this virus. My grandson 2 months ago got his official diagnosis after waiting nearly 2 years to get the official testing/scoring placement on the spectrum. When we had meeting at new school prior to starting P1. Head Teachers attitude was we don’t know for sure yet. No we have had pre testing and scored all 3 which puts you on the list for the next level to determine. The problem is apart from many. The school curriculum is being peddled with one size fits all. The report copy went to his mum – school – etc to show that H is autistic. Head teacher has not even replied to this yet. Unfortunately is all about stats and hmi reports. H P1 teachers is split he has 3 days one teacher 2 days other P1 teacher. Very quickly became apart in meeting both which one he would gravitate too. One is regimental top group’s downwards, it’s all about winning. No mention about taking part and trying. H other teacher is all about praise and learning finding strengths taking part and trying she is engaging but H only gets her the 2 days. Since home learning following this online curriculum it’s been bedlam if screaming being sick everything to avoid. I’m bad I can’t do it. Something that’s never been said. I have 2 sons one has ADD & dyslexia the other ADHD there was no help scrambling in the dark learning As I went. Schools from then to now have really not evolved much which really is a shame for the students navigating school. Yes this was a bit long winded sorry about that but it’s the first site I’ve written on behalf of my grandson. I want to make the whole learning as much plain sailing to get a grasp of basics to move him forward. So by time he goes back to school will be more fluent. The learning of how to teach nowadays seems a bit really in comparison as to how I learnt and my own children. More so when the child has additional needs. Again it’s not one size fits all. My daughter is we need to do this what the school has put out. My argument is again it’s not all one size fits. No account has been made for showing flexibility in how learning is being done nor any understanding of. Like I said HT was not interested when we said H had pre diagnosis. Now that she has the report and when school goes back let’s see her keep that going.
I’ve read about this study stuff listed in helping so I’m away to absorb as much to help my grandson. Thanks Hx

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so correct, Heather! Learning is not one-size-fits-all. Good materials need to take into consideration that each child is a unique learner with unique needs. That is one of the reasons why our materials are Mastery-Based. They allow each child to progress at his or her individual best pace.

Let me know if you have any questions or need information.

Hail

says:

My son loves watching alpha blocks, not only is it a fun way to learn phonics but there is a game too to then test the knowledge in a stress free way. They do maths too??

anne reynolds

says:

my god child is 12yr. he can speak. but just lately started t to speak fast and repeats the sentence. how can I help him to slow down.

nickie

says:

hi anne! my daughter used to do this same thing.. it just came out of nowhere.. what i had to do was use a technique that i just stumbled across for a reading fluency, but it actually worked for her… the lady called it “ice cream scoops” so basically you break the sentence up into parts 2 to 3 words per part…. so, The dog ran fast down the road…. becomes …. The dog….ran fast…down the road… and you draw sort of a smiley face (ice cream scoop) under to connect the words… your child then traces the “scoop” while saying the broken up phrases….. this slowed my daughter down considerably because she was having to focus on tracing the “Scoop” in the phrases before she was able to read the sentence as a whole. it just kind of made the light bulb click that “oh.. i need to slow down” this did not happen in 1 sitting… it took some practice- a couple of times i had to hide the phrases so she couldn’t see what was next until she got the hang of stopping at each scoop… i know this is hard to explain in a written message.. i hope it some what helps though or gives some sort of idea.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nickie,
I love calling it “ice cream scoops”! What a wonderful way of explaining it so that a child can connect.

The educational term for it is phrasing. We explain it in our How to Develop Reading Fluency blog post. It’s an excellent method for helping smooth, natural, fluent reading.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m not sure, Anne. All About Learning Press specializes in taking the struggle out of learning to read and speak. We don’t really do speech therapy.

Have you tried asking him to say something again, slower, so you can understand better? If you gently ask him to repeat whenever he speaks too quickly, he may start to self-correct and speak at a more conversational speed on his own. Let him know that you know he has a lot to say but you can’t understand when he says it as fast as that and that you do want to understand.

I’m sorry I’m unable to help much.

Keri

says:

I have a 13 year old nonverbal son. He is always been in a self-contained classroom and now they are focusing more on lifeskills than phonics. His development is very splintered and delayed. I want to teach him to read and write. He can write a few legible words. I can tell he knows some sight words. Any ideas on where to start? I can understand a good majority of what his needs are. He has about 70 signs he sometimes uses, If he feels like it. He has Lamplighter on his iPad but hates to use it. He doesn’t like to obey me because he hates that I make him wash his hands and brush his teeth. So even getting him to learn new things is a bit difficult for me. But I really think he can learn a lot more than he already has. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Sincerely, Keri

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Keri,
Does he see a speech therapist? If so, I wonder if his therapist would have any ideas for how to know if he is able to read the words, even if he doesn’t say the words aloud? It may be that the multi-sensory methods would encourage him to be a bit more verbal now and try saying the words as he touches the tiles–it’s just hard to say at this point. Unfortunately, knowing what to do next in this case is beyond our expertise.

Since he is writing some, working with him with All About Spelling as a back-door approach to reading might be helpful. Then he could write words and if he can write a word, it is very likely he can read it. (Read the comment from the mom of a 13-year-old non-verbal student in the green “Notes from Parents of Autistic Children” on this blog post above.)

If you do decide to try one of our programs, we would love to hear how it goes for you. Also, do know that we have a “Go Ahead and Use It” One-Year Guarantee. If you find that the curriculum does not meet your needs, simply return the materials at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price, excluding shipping.

I hope this helps some. Please let me know if you need more information or have questions.

Carole

says:

How to help a child with echolalia read read. Are there other parents who have a child with and how did u help them to read.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carole,
I haven’t heard specifically from parents or tutors of children with echolalia, but I do have some thoughts

You don’t mention your child’s age, but for young children with any disability, teaching time woven into playful activities is very, motivational. One of our main goals with our Pre-reading program is to motivate children to want to learn to read, and playful activities is a big part of that. Most effective therapy with children, such a speech therapy and occupational therapy, involves playful activities and games.

Children with speech disorders have to work harder than other children to communicate, and perhaps Ziggy, our zebra puppet that is part of the Pre-reading program, would provide a reason for your child to make the extra effort.

If you have further questions or would like more information, please let me know. It would be helpful to know more about your child as well too.

Anita Morris

says:

Good day, I ave an autistic child in the classroom that I am assisting (am not the teacher for the class, just an assistance) he knows letters by heart and the sounds and what each letter stands for but the problem with him is that he cannot write I have to dot the letters for him and then he traces them and also it hard to get him to focus.. am writing from Jamaica. Thanks in advance

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anita,
It’s so good of you to seek out ways to help your student succeed!

You didn’t mention how old he is.

It may be best in this situation to separate physical writing from other learning. If he is asked to spell a word, he could do it orally or by using letter tiles or pointing to letters on an alphabet chart. At a separate time, he would work on strengthening his hand muscles with handwriting practice, coloring and painting, playing with dough or clay, and other activities. You may find our blog post Dysgraphia: How can I help my child? for ideas on how to separate physical writing from other learning.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have additional questions.

Neisha

says:

Intresting ,i live in jamaica .my son will listen to ehat u spell then tell u ,but cant look at the word to read it,how can i hrlp him outside of sch he is now 13

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Neisha,
I’m so sorry to hear your son is struggling like this! My first thought was that there may be a vision problem. Since he can figure out a word from listening to a word spelled but can’t read it, then there must be a problem there. It could be that he isn’t able to see the word clear enough to be able to read it.

Or, it is possible that he learned letters well orally but never learned them well by sight. He may not identify an A written as the same letter as “A” when spoken aloud. Can he identify individual letters either in a word or written alone?

Without knowing the root cause of his struggles, it’s difficult to offer suggestions. You could look over our placement tests and let me know how he does.

Maxine Williams

says:

My grandson ave autism and sometimes it’s like I reach a wall in teaching him to spell plus u can give him more than one word at a time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maxine,
Spelling can be difficult for many students. Do you have any questions or need information? I’d love to help if I can.

Maxine Williams

says:

He can identify letters by heart and numbers the only problem is getting him focus on spelling. Which book should I try the teacher manual or the student all about reading and spelling

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maxine,
If he is reading pretty well, then he is ready for All About Spelling level 1. This link takes you to the Materials Package which includes both the Teacher’s Manual and the Student Packet. Both are necessary for using All About Spelling.

In addition, you will need our Spelling Interactive Kit. It is a one-time purchased used throughout all seven levels of All About Spelling.

If he is not reading pretty well, then he needs to work on reading first. Our blog post The Right Time to Start Spelling Instruction discusses this.

Let me know if you need more information.