For the effective development of early literacy, reading comprehension is imperative. Many students with autism spectrum disorder will have difficulty with reading comprehension. Because the number of students with this disability is on the rise, it is important for teachers to learn various strategies in order to teach reading comprehension. Below is a short guide on strategies that work that can easily be integrated into the classroom.
Build Background Knowledge
One strategy is to provide visual support with the reading material. Before you begin reading, add visual stimulation. An example of this could be flash cards to describe the content. For example, if the students will be reading about farm animals, then flash cards with pigs and cows will be a great way to introduce the content visually. Offer work pages that include connecting a line from the picture of the animal to the word to connect the two.
Creating Images Mentally
Another option is to work on creating mental images for the child. Show photos and ask the children what they see. Ask for a description of what the picture looks like. All of this helps to create a mental image that the child can use to further reading comprehension.
It is important to continue with discussions when working on reading comprehension. No matter what strategy you are using, continue with the conversation. Not only should you read the content but also question it. If a character is mean in a story, why are they mean? Have your students come up with questions about the characters in a story and have a better understanding of comprehending what they are reading. A discussion is very important when helping a child comprehend. At Albert Knapp & Associates, it is recommended that children with special needs have support and guidance, with discussion helping to bring about a better understanding of reading comprehension.
Any story always includes a summary, especially in school. Have the children discover what the summary of the content is. They can write it down or just discuss it. Talk about the main idea of the story that was read, asking ‘What was the story about?’ This will help the children learn how to have an overall standing of the content discussed.