Does Your Student With Asperger's Understands What He Reads?
written by: Sharon Dominica
• edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch
• updated: 10/28/2014
Is your child with Asperger's struggling to understand what he or she reads? Here are some ideas on teaching reading comprehension to the Asperger's student.
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Teaching Words with Pictures:
Children with Asperger’s struggle with some aspects of language and thus reading comprehension too. They are mainly visual thinkers, and thus find it difficult to think with words and understand them. This article on teaching reading comprehension to Aspergers student, can be used to help children comprehend what they read in a better way. These can be used with asperger’s children who are just learning reading skills, and will help build a good foundation for reading.
While introducing language to children with asperger’s, try to associate words with pictures. Associate the word “Up" with a plane going up, similarly bring a toy plane “down" as you show the child the written form of the word “ down." In the same vein you can make word cards with pictures.
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Practical Experiences, not Fantasy:
Children with Asperger’s find it difficult to understand books and stories about things that are not tangible. Thus they are not able to comprehend and enjoy fantasy stories. Provide stories and books about practical experiences and about things that the children have felt and experiences. Children will also enjoy nonfiction books about things that they are interested in. This child looks for the same direction in his books as he needs in his life.
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Sentences and Stories with Pictures:
When a child is learning to read, they may enjoy reading more if they have stories with pictures that illustrate the sentence. The pictures must exactly illustrate the sentence and not be abstract. This will help the children understand the meaning of the words, and follow the story.
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Use of Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations:
Social stories are short stories with realistic pictures or illustrations that depict common situations in daily life. Comic strip conversations are small illustrations where the conversation is recorded in bubbles like a comic strip. Both techniques provide an opportunity for children to observe the pictures, and understand it in the context of the words. They will also pick up social skills through these methods.
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To Teach Where, When, Why, What:
Children with Asperger's and autism find it difficult to understand abstract words like where, when, why and what. Use short explanatory question and answer paragraphs to help children understand the function of these words. Help children read a short paragraph on topics like “Where do the birds go in the winter?" and “ What are the different colors in the rainbow?"
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Limiting Text Per Page
When children with Asperger's Disorder start learning to read, they may find it difficult to cope with too many words or sentences per page. It may become too frustrating for them. Also, some children may struggle to attend to the exact word or line that they are supposed to read. For this reason, finding books that limit the number of sentences on a page helps children concentrate better, and read more easily.