All children are individuals and come to class with their own strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. All teachers must recognize this to be successful, especially in primary grades when children are learning the foundations they will continue to build on. Children with autism typically share traits which many people with this condition have in common to differing degrees. Autistic learners often want to adhere to strict, unchanging structures. Essential Skills reading programs for autism use a highly structured approach that includes plenty of repetition to reinforce each skill. It is this structure and repetition that makes Essential Skills programs an ideal resource for students with autism.

Autism is primarily a communication-based disorder, with similarities found throughout the spectrum. Challenges frequently include,

  • Difficulty making eye contact
  • Lack of innate grasp of emotions, (others’ or their own)
  • Inability to read social situations
  • Extreme sensitivities to specific stimuli (bright lights, sounds, etc.)

These issues combined with a general inability to communicate effectively verbally, make classrooms a challenging environment. Combining a classroom environment with reading programs for special education by Essential Skills provides engaging, focused instruction with minimal distraction. Essential Skills Sight Words program and Super Phonics programs utilize a highly structured format and provide students with the repetition they need to master phonics and word recognition skills. One classroom teacher who accommodates children with autism as part of her class made this comment:

“I love your products! They work great for students with autism. It is easy for them to go from one activity to the next and the format really meets their needs. It gives them feedback about their progress and lets them know when to move on. My students are very methodical, and the structured format of the programs is perfect for them.”

Teresa Reed, Special Education Teacher

Children with autism that are placed in a general classroom will usually have a number of accommodations in place. It can be extremely stressful for these students to be surrounded by groups of people, lights, noises, and unpredictable events. Try to find a quiet corner, study coral or connected room for a few intervals throughout the day. Noise blocking headphones will often help. Your student can have a quiet, controlled time to use one of the many research-based reading programs for special education from Essential Skills. They will appreciate the break from the chaos of the classroom and feel they are accomplishing something. Since these reading programs for autism offer immediate feedback, students know when they have succeeded in the way some other kids might respond to a high five. At Essential Skills, we believe that success is the greatest motivator.

Teaching reading to students with autism can be challenging and as varied as manifestations of the disorder. But at the end of the day, we all hope for the same result, a student that has learned something, and feels successful. Trust Essential Skills research-based reading programs for special education to help all of your students succeed.