Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) commonly show deficits in social and communication skills, as well as in interpreting metaphorical meaning of language. These deficits often make reading comprehension more difficult for students with ASD. Past research has primarily focused on decoding rather than on comprehension skill interventions; only recently has there been an upswing in research to support reading comprehension skill deficits. The purpose of this study was to examine instructional strategies that are used for students with ASD, specifically students who exhibit Hyperlexia—a significant discrepancy in reading identified by high decoding skills and low comprehension abilities. Using the Special Educational Elementary Longitudinal Study database (SEELS), this study was able to analyze information on over 1,000 students with ASD. The study found that students with ASD are included in the language arts general education classroom 39.5% of the time, have goals that are working toward reading on grade level, and use instructional strategies such as peer tutoring, questioning strategies, classroom discussions and participation in presentations and projects on a regular basis. Looking further at this population, the study examined the relationship between reading comprehension and decoding skills according to their inclusion on the Simple View of Reading framework. Sixty-four students were identified as having Hyperlexia in the first wave of data collection gathered during the 2000-2001 school year, referred to as wave one. There were 92 students in wave three, gathered 3 years later during the 2003-2004 school year that were identified as having Hyperlexia. Through regression models and ANOVAs, the study concluded that three of the four instructional strategies (peer tutoring, presenting to the class, and questioning strategies) were not significant predictors of academic growth for students with ASD and with Hyperlexia. Only one instructional strategy (participation in class discussions) was found to have a significant impact on reading growth. This study does bring to light that there are large numbers of students with ASD who would benefit from more research on ways to teach reading comprehension.
|Commitee:||Eckert, Sarah, Fenster, Mark|
|School:||Notre Dame of Maryland University|
|Department:||Department of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Instructional Design, Special education, Literacy, Reading instruction|
|Keywords:||Autism, Hyperlexia, Instructional strategies, Reading comprehension|
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