Jump to content


Reading comprehension and asperger's


Recommended Posts

My 9 y/o is on the spectrum... mild asperger's.


He decodes very well... above grade level, but I'm worried about his comprehension. He refuses to read most chapter books and I think it's because he can't put the whole story together when it's so long. He will read easier chapter books, but then he's reading far below his "decoding" level. He will read picture books. Problem is when I ask him about the book he can't give me many details. He picks one part of the book (usually the end) and tells me that, but can't answer any questions that would lead up to that part.


Does anyone have any suggestions for methods/curriculum I can use with him to help him improve in this area? My thoughts so far would be to have him read with me and fill out a story map as we go. Also, letting him listen to longer books on CD. He LOVES audio stories and can remember more that way... but then he's not physically reading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Ds refuses to read chapter books because of the length- he is overwhelmed by the thickness of the book and the number of words on the page. We cut a deal, he reads two pages a day from a variety of books. We started with just one page and fewer books.


So you might consider trying smaller segments. Also, we had lots of luck with high interest reading comprehension workbooks where the student reads a single page passage and then answers questions. For us it was a method of training the brain to file things away.


I have not tried to have DS read a full chapter and then report back. But he does remember a LOT from the small snippets he reads daily. FWIW, he absolutely cannot stand to read non-fiction. So genre might matter as well.


ETA: DS also enjoys learning from video sources so we continue to advance his learning through the resources that work best. Work on the problem areas, but enjoy the learning achieve with the tools at your disposal. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comprehension problems are pretty common with ASD. For my son I have worked with many different comprehension programs. The two that have yielded the best results are Visualize and Verbalize and the level 2 Hyperlexia kit from linguisystems. That said, I think the biggest help overall has been from helping him to become a better social thinker. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how ds8 has grown with his comprehension these last few months. These gains very much go hand in hand with his social gains.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something that I have been looking into, in relation to the Autism Spectrum and reading comprehension. Which might seem absurd, is Speed Reading?


Reading comprehension involves extracting keywords from statement, which come together and form comprehension.

Afterall, when you read any post on this forum, and comprehend what was said?

If you reflect on what you actually retained from it and formed comprehension with?

It will most often just be a collection of keywords. Rather than sentences ?

Where these keywords are held in our short term memory, as we continue.

Then a connection between these keywords is formed. Which forms comprehension.

So that when we recall what we just read, we recall a pattern of keywords.

Where it is crucial how they fit together.

So that when you ask what they comprehended from what they read?

What they search for as a reference, is a pattern of keywords in their mind.


Though to come back to Speed Reading ? What this really is, is a method of reading where we scan for keywords in sentences.

Where an important factor about reading, is that we can cognize many words in the 'background'?

So that words like: is, the, and, of, a, that, if, is, etc. Only need to be seen in the background as we read.


Though another side of reading, is called 'sub-vocalising' ? Where we imagine the sound of words as we read them.

But this can be used in 2 different ways? Where we can 'sound out' every single word as we read?

Or alternatively, use it more selectively, and not bother about the above mentioned background words?

So that it is used more selectively, to reinforce the keywords in short term memory.


Where comprehension is essentially extracting the keywords from what we are reading, and putting them together in a way that makes sense to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! The speed reading is interesting. Rylan actually reads really fast and prefers to read to himself as opposed to me. Maybe I should focus on keywords.... very interesting! Thanks!


He actually does pretty well with short passages. It's the longer stories that I'd like to help him gather more understanding from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...