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Phonics programs for ASD? Looking at CLE, ETC and AAR


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#1 mshanson3121

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:11 AM

I am considering these three programs for helping my 7 yo daughter with HFA with phonics. She already knows CVC, CCVC, CVCC short vowel words and can read stories with short vowels and many stories. We just need to start making the jump into long vowel words. Reading is her weaker area. She doesn't cope with mistakes well and will shut down quickly. She appears to struggle a bit remembering the vowel sounds (consonants and blends are no problem). I say appear however, because I think she sees words as shapes, and will almost "guess" at the word sometimes based on context clues (she's huge for looking at the picture) and the shape of the word. Once I remind her, "What does "a" say?" and have her sound it out, she'll get it fine. She absolutely can sound things out, she just often forgets to. 

 

I love ETC because of the cost factor and I like the phonemic awareness activities in the TM, and we can supplement it with the readers we have here. Though the CLE program and AAR both have rave reviews. It's just they cost sooo much (we have a really tight budget) - so are they as good as they say? My concern with CLE is how long the lessons are - it's a lot of work! Though I think it would lend itself well to setting short tasks (such as for a "First...Then..." chart). My issue with AAR is, she is not ready for level 2, and yet, really only needs a fraction of level 1. AAR seems like a lot of money for only needing a portion of the program.

 

We have been using Alpha Phonics which has been working, but she's getting tired of just word lists, without the context of a story, and I would like to see some written work to reinforce what she is learning. Her desire to really read, has definitely picked up. I also want something that is going to be pretty open and go. We looked at Delightful Reading from SCM and on one hand it looks great, and I can see it being a hit - she would LOVE all the games/activities etc... But I admit, I really need open and go, something that doesn't involve a lot of prep work on my end.

 

Input?


Edited by mshanson3121, 07 August 2017 - 06:26 AM.


#2 Pegs

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:28 AM

Have you used Bob books? We liked those for gentle practice back in the very early days of phonics instruction, along with OPGTTR. We never finished it, because it got boring as reading became easier - DS just didn't need the structured practice. I figure we'll hit all the rules through spelling anyhow.

Something to consider - does your DD know that letters can make more than one sound? I wonder if she's getting fixated on short vowel sounds, and this is where she's hit a wall. I can't remember who it was, but someone in these parts has posted about teaching phonics via spelling and introducing ALL of the vowel sounds from the very beginning, exactly because their DC with ASD would otherwise be stuck on short vowels. I'm sorry I can't tell you any more about that, but hopefully someone will recognise their situation in my post and come and tell you all about it!

Edited by Pegs, 07 August 2017 - 06:47 AM.

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#3 OhElizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:15 AM

Given her IQ, she might get an SLD reading diagnosis. You might want a CTOPP or to update your psych testing. It has been 3 years. Then I would use something appropriate to the diagnosis. Even though the Eides say it can't happen lots of kids get labeled both dyslexic and autistic.

#4 OhElizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:16 AM

Agreed on the sounds btw. I taught my ds all the sounds upfront so he wouldn't be rigid about that.

#5 mshanson3121

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:55 AM

Given her IQ, she might get an SLD reading diagnosis. You might want a CTOPP or to update your psych testing. It has been 3 years. Then I would use something appropriate to the diagnosis. Even though the Eides say it can't happen lots of kids get labeled both dyslexic and autistic.

 

We can't afford any testing this year. What is an SLD reading diagnosis? I've read over oodles of reading delay screenings etc and she doesn't meet any criteria for any reading disorder/delay that I can find, as she has excellent auditory discrimination - can break words down into syllables/sounds no problem, can also put them back together (so if I say the broken down sounds she can put them together into a word), can rhyme, overall has excellent fluency with what she can read (other than when stumbling over a newer word when she will use the guessing etc... instead of decoding) etc...  


Edited by mshanson3121, 07 August 2017 - 07:56 AM.


#6 Amy Elizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:24 AM

We ended up using a less commonly used dyslexia program (Project Read), and it really helped. I have been told the program we used is similar to AAR, but I have never used it. However, I think my dd had a little more challenges with reading than yours. It took a while for her to get rhyming, BUT she did try to rely HEAVILY on the pictures...and in that way several times I thought she was actually beginning to read but eventually I discovered (once her memory storage space for words topped out) that she was still trying to memorize. Eventually, she finally got it and caught up 3 grade levels in reading fluency in 9 months (during a 9 months that we weren't doing as much due to some family events). Language delays can result in symptoms similar to dyslexia.

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#7 OhElizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:29 AM

Actually that CUBED link Crimson gave in another thread has a phonological component and goes through 3rd grade. I downloaded it and the set of tests looks quite thorough. I have no idea why they're giving it away for free. Maybe it's new and they're trying to break into the market? Anyway, it's standardized and would give you the info. CUBED Assessments - Products

 

Everything else you're describing fits a gifted dc, which means she has a pretty significant discrepancy right now. I agree with AE about it probably ending up with lots of angles. For my ds there was the phonological processing *and* the language issues *and* the behavior (will we sit down and make a choice to do this) *and*...

 

SLD Reading is the broader diagnosis, and dyslexia is a specific term. People will debate it back and forth, but my ds has been diagnosed both with dyslexia and autism. He does not respond like a typical dyslexic (forgetting instruction and having high comprehension once he begins reading), but he DEFINITELY benefited from Barton + LIPS and would NOT have begun reading without the explicit instruction. What I'm reading is that illiteracy rates in autism are HIGH, and they are probably high for a variety of reasons. You've got that phonological processing component, the attaching meaning to words component, the language delay component, the do I care to engage in social thinking and give a rip about someone's narrative component, on and on.  Drawing a Blank: Improving Comprehension for Readers on the Autism Spectrum

 

Like AE, we use tons and tons of audiobooks. I also use speech therapy materials with my ds to target holes we're finding in his language. My ds, before the speech therapy materials for language, wasn't getting referents for pronouns, wh-words, etc. That was age, um, 7? Started him on the GPP (Grammar Processing Program) from Super Duper, and he began reading environmental print on his own. I need to take his decoding and his language up higher. He vocab is crazy high, but the language, the decoding have to keep pace. Even a typically developing gifted kid learning to read is going to buck reading things that don't fit where their mind is and don't engage them. So, like AE is saying, until those pieces all merge, it can be ugly. 

 

I guess I don't know what to make of decoding short vowel words but doesn't have a phonological problem. Have you *taught* her the other sounds of the vowels and the way to decode other types of words? Is it an instructional problem or a phonological problem or an engagement problem? Something else? So running the CUBED would be free and it could help you sort that out. There was a point where I *thought* my ds wasn't reading because of decoding, and he actually had surprisingly strong decoding. Is the rigidity impacting her? That didn't happen with my ds, but I could totally see it happening with kids.

 

Just for a little rabbit trail, here are the phonograms from Spalding/WRTR. (see video) They're going to be almost identical to your phonograms for Barton, AAR, Wilson, etc. A *couple* sounds are added by some programs and Barton does some things with units and chunking that lighter programs don't bother to do, fine. I'm just showing it to you so you can see what people mean when they ask whether you've taught all the sounds. When I say I taught all the sounds, I'm saying this is what I did. I used multi-sensory, but I did what you DON'T do with a typical dyslexic, and I taught all the sounds for every phonogram upfront. Then we could just say here we're going to use sound #2 for that phonogram, etc. So "th" has two sounds (/th/ and /TH/, the voiced/voiceless pair where /TH/ is the voiced, motor on sound), and when we say or read or spell a word like "them" we're going to hear /TH-e-m/. Three sounds, and the first phonogram is saying its 2nd sound. That's one thing people mean when they ask if you taught all the sounds.

 

Also, I think instead of focusing on long E, which Barton doesn't even teach until level 5, you could begin simple syllabication and multi-syllable words. If you've taught all the sounds, you could build almost all the words you want. The long E gig is really negligible and unimportant. She should be ready to break into syllables, then break the syllables down into words, for a word like elephant or happy or eggplant. So that's where I would be going, multi-syllable words and teaching the remaining phonograms. What you can do is introduce a few new phonograms each week or lesson and build all the complex, multi-syllable words you can with the sounds you have.

 

Does your library have WRTR? Reading Reflex? These are things easily available through the libraries around here. They have the bare bones of the methodology, and for some kids they'd actually be enough. Just thinking if you're trying to save money and concerned about a miss, those are places to start. If you can get them through the library, you can read them while you wait for your swankier program to come. I started with WRTR years ago with my dd and moved to SWR. AAR is going to be an expansion of the concepts, not contradictory.

 

With my ds, hard things are easy and easy things are hard. So for him, hearing the sounds, manipulating the sounds, understanding words were the same or different, these things were rocket science. But once he got the basics down, multi-syllable words were a nothing, easy peasy. It's like doing 2 digit addition vs. 8. It's all the same, just more time and patience.

 

If you do the CUBED, I'd be interested to hear how it goes. It looks like it has some really good tools for phonological processing, receptive language, narrative language, etc. Could give you a ton of info for free.

 

 

 



#8 mshanson3121

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for that! Okay, so I just quickly did the Listening test for grade 1, spring term (so end of grade 1). 

 

She did horribly with the retelling, lol. She could only recall about half the story and used the most basic of language/sentence structure. But she absolutely aced the comprehension and vocabulary.

 

So... what process challenge does that represent, and how do we work on it?

 

I'm going to do the decoding portion next. Will share those results when done. Probably won't be till later.

 


Edited by mshanson3121, 07 August 2017 - 10:24 AM.


#9 mshanson3121

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:06 AM

Okay did the other part. She did very well. Again, I used the spring benchmark for grade 1.

 

She did perfectly on phoneme segmentation (missed one word), first sounds and phoneme blending. She met the winter benchmark for grade 1 for irregular words (knew 40/54, so a bit low there but not bad, and no real surprise since we haven't touched a lot of irregulars/sight words yet), and of course knew all the tested letter sounds (short vowel sounds) and names. She easily surpassed the benchmark for decoding (almost met the advanced level).

 

So according to the testing, really, the only problem area she has is retelling. Everything else she did excellent on. So, I guess our mix of Alpha Phonics and readers has been working okay. Thus far, we haven't taught any long vowel sounds at all. So, I guess we'll just move into that.

 

So, how to best work on narration/retelling?



#10 OhElizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:24 PM

I haven't looked at it closely enough to know, did you only go through grade leveled materials? Did you hit a ceiling or did it kick out a grade equivalent? Given her obviously high IQ, I would go ahead and do the higher testing, like through the 3rd grade on the decoding. Just keep going and see where that wall actually is. Grade-appropriate isn't IQ-appropriate for her, so it's helpful information to have.

 

Yes, sequencing and narratives are going to be issues in autism. There is sequencing with non-fiction material (steps of a science thing like how a flower grows) and there's sequencing with social (pictures of a scene, reading the nonverbals, saying what is happening, justifying why you ordered the pictures that way by creating dialogue, etc.).

 

My ds has weaknesses in sequencing every which way. I'm using some really basic sequencing workbooks for him. I looked for some that start with pictures, some that have a familiar story cut into strips. I also have pictures. We can do things like ordering the strips and them summarizing them. We can ask what happened next or why the character did what they did. There are also sequencing sets you can buy from Lauri, Lakeshore Learning, etc.

Lauri Pocket Chart Cards - Story Sequencing

Read, Think, Cut & Paste

Fairy Tale Sequencing

Fables  This is not sequencing. It's a fresh set of fables by Arnold Lobel that I got to use to work on sequencing after we finish the other workbooks.

Sequence & Write Story Tiles  

Nonfiction Sequence & Write Tiles

 

I like those last two, the sets from Lakeshore Learning, because they include what IEW would call keyword prompts. Lakeshore is 20% off till 9/3, but nothing says you have to buy them. It's handy, but you could just use stuff you already have and use the IDEA, kwim? Totally possible to make your own. I just want to get them because, for me, things happen better when I just get it.

 

Remember, the point is not just can she figure out that a seed grows in order. It's can we talk about it, can we use the non-verbals in the pictures, could we give a different order to the pictures and justify that, could we make dialogue for the pictures, could we write a title. So we're bringing in our social thinking, inferences, main idea, summarizing, everything. 

 

And if you want to do it with toys you have around the house, that works too! We'll make a story with his playmobil and take pictures. We use a white foam board for the backdrop. Then you can import the pictures into the free Lego story creator software. Once in there, you can add dialogue bubbles, all kinds of cute stuff.

 

6-Scene Sequencing Cards  Here, these look really good. These are Lakeshore again. 6 step is going to be good for higher IQ kids, and these are social. We don't want only non-fiction, kwim? We have to grapple with social situations. Socialthinking - Sequences: 6 & 8-Steps for Adults  Don't die at the price, but these are your ultimate. Realistic pictures and situations, and the pictures flow to require them to really look at the non-verbals, do the social thinking, so they can make reasonable dialogues and say WHY they think it could sequence that way. 



#11 Amy Elizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:58 PM

I highly recommend having her narrate at the level she can be successful at every day. It made a HUGE difference for both of mine. It helped with sequencing, comprehension, and vocabulary....as well as their own language usage. Be wary of pushing too hard or moving ahead with strength areas. In my experience, some skills really need to be built in a particular sequence....so if you move ahead with say comprehension but keep remediating sequencing, oftentimes it doesn't all come together naturally and ends up feeling rather "forced." I think sometimes special needs parents feel so much pressure to help their kids catch up that we don't end up giving them they time they need to stay in one place for a while and grow some of those neural connections and develop a comfort and fluency level before moving on. Hope that makes sense.

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#12 ElizabethB

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 12:37 PM

I just uploaded my Syllables Spell Success Long Vowel video to YouTube, that might be a good start for you.  The series might also be a good way to quickly overview all the sounds before going back to a basic phonics program.

 

https://www.youtube....GDDB1Lr5lyP6CHO

 

You could try the blend phonics lessons and stories, they have word lists from blend phonics and then stories with comprehension questions, free to print:

 

http://www.donpotter...ics_stories.pdf

 

Don has a lot of other Blend Phonics resources:

 

http://www.donpotter...nd_phonics.html