11 Strategies to Use When Teaching Children with Autism to Read

Children with autism and Asperger's need to be purposefully taught difficult concepts using visuals and hands-on activities as often as possible. They need highly structured learning experiences, and as they think in pictures, they need plentiful visuals and concrete objects in their learning. 


  1. Provide highly-structured environment in which the child's brain is connecting to his world
  2. Specifically teach manners, social relationships in a structured setting (ex: taking turns, etc.)
  3. Teach the child to take turns in speaking or playing in a game by using visual helps (such as a "turn" card which each child will hold when it is his turn to speak or play)
  4. Use visuals attached to words so the child can learn to read them
  5. Teach reading concepts using visual reminders for phonics rules
  6. Avoid wordy directives as the child may not be able to retain it all
  7. Use visuals or concrete objects to teach reading and math
  8. In teaching skills, actually move the child's body through the process, whether tying his shoes or any other physical skill
  9. Put sequences of directions in pictorial form on paper (such as tasks to do to get ready for bed)
  10. Use the topics of high interest for teaching (ex: if he likes dinosaurs, use them for math problems)
  11. If the child is good at drawing, have him use that gift in his learning by asking him to stylize his own sight words

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