Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

mshanson3121

? about teaching phonics to a child with ASD

Recommended Posts

My daughter is soon to be 5. She has ASD (high functioning/Aspergers). She is an extremely literal child - so things can mean one thing, and one thing only. Once she's learned it that way, that's that. She knows all her letters A-Z, but does not know their sounds, which we are trying to teach her using online programs like Reading Eggs & Starfall. She's really struggling with the whole idea that letters say sounds different than their name. She is sooo visual as well, and has a phenomenal memory. She already knows many sight words, and I think she's going to be more prone to learn to read via sight words, than phonics.

 

Anyways, right now we're not working with her real heavily, but I'm thinking ahead to later this summer when we start K. I planned on using McGuffey readers/spellers, but... I'm wondering what the best way is going to be to teach her phonics/how to read. How to help her grasp the whole concept of it.

 

Is there a program out there that worked really well for you? I really want to use the McGuffey readers - they're free, I love them, BUT... I just don't know if that's going to be enough for her. I've been considering MFW - I love their approach and she loves worksheets, it's a nice blend. I've also been looking at LindaMood Bell LiPS and AAR.

 

Also, how much does it matter if she still can't say certain sounds correctly?

 

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's normal for her still to be acquiring speech.  Did she have a speech eval as part of her ASD eval?  They should have done that and also looked at pragmatic language to see if she could use any help there.  So as far as articulation, google for a chart.  My ds is 6, and they want /l/ solid, formative /r/, and don't expect /th/.  There are charts to show you all that.  There's also an overall percentage of intelligibility they look at.  Around 4-5 they should be basically 100% intelligible.  That doesn't mean they're articulating perfectly, but a stranger listening to them understands what they're saying without you needing to repeat or clarify.  We just got my ds re-eval'd for his IEP, and the SLP found him 80% intelligible.  When he's with strangers, they will not understand words and I'll need to clarify for the listener.  (We're working to get the IEP for the scholarship so we can get more therapy, never fear!)

 

If she's K4 and learning site words, that's a good sign.  LIPS is specifically for helping dc connect the production of speech with the written letters.  Does she have issues with this?  If you say c-a-t very slowly and drawn out, can she glue it together and say cat? If you say dog, can she do the reverse and unglue it, identifying the component sounds?  Can she clap syllables?  

 

Honestly, if you're having this discussion of multiple sounds for written phonograms, she's probably gifted.  Just the fact that you think she ought to comprehend it (something most kids that age would NOT get), indicates she probably has a high IQ.  And many kids with ASD/ADHD/the alphabet soup are going to be whole to parts, needing to get the big picture before they get the parts.  Something like AAR is very parts to whole.  You *might* consider waiting, letting her continue her whole word, and answer her questions when she finally asks why.  She might be a good candidate for visualization for spelling (see Freed's book Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World) and skipping phonics entirely.

 

I know at least one ASD dc who reads phenomenally who never did phonics or even got it.  I'd be more inclined to work with her than against her.  Say I who taught one dc with SWR and the other with Barton, lol.  But seriously, I taught them that way because they COULDN'T get it the other way.  If she's going very whole to parts, the rest might sort out when she begins spelling and has questions.  I'd look at her IQ and follow her lead on this.

 

My own slight bias against the McGuffey readers?  I was taught with them as a child and have horrendously bad memories that stayed in my mind 30+ years.  I wouldn't make my dog use them.  But other people seem to find them charming.  I just remember these horrible forced reading sessions where you were supposed to I don't know what.  I'm a terrific, intuitive reader btw, fine speller, awesome with languages, etc.  So I say sounding out and McGuffey sucks for some kids and to leave her alone as long as she's progressing.  And since she's 4 and progressing, I'd hand the kid comic books and walk away.  Have you tried Calvin & Hobbes on her yet?  My ds6 is looking at Tintin.  I have no clue what he's getting out of it, but he sure likes looking at it.  Visual kids like this tend to REALLY like comics.  Don't be afraid of them.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She is sooo visual as well, and has a phenomenal memory. She already knows many sight words, and I think she's going to be more prone to learn to read via sight words, than phonics.

 

I can't speak to the spectrum issues, but my oldest is a very visual, intuitive whole-to-parts kid with a phenomenal memory who picked up sight words on her own. I deliberately decided to teach her phonetically despite the fact she was the poster child for whole language (without me ever showing her, she automatically used picture clues and context clues and grammar clues to help her decode from the start). This was because I was taught whole word and though it worked, I was able to intuit phonics and read unfamiliar words, it still left me with some holes that had caused me problems. Dd8's phonemic awareness lagged behind, and some days I really questioned my choice to teach through her weaknesses (phonetically) instead of through her strengths (visually).

 

I tried several programs but ended up with Let's Read: A Linguistic Approach. It was a good fit for both dd's strengths and weaknesses. For her PA weaknesses, it introduced new letter-sound correspondences slowly and deliberately delayed introducing the idea of multiple sounds for that same phonogram until the most common sound had time to be cemented (she was completely baffled by the SWR approach of learning all the sounds at once). And it explicitly taught each and every word before using them (dd needed that) and it had lots of cumulative practice. For her strengths, the program was organized so that students could intuit phonetic patterns correctly, and had a ton of in context practice - lots of sentences (that implicitly taught grammar patterns and expectations). My little whole-to-parts girl read for meaning from the start and resisted words out of context and *loathed* syllables out of context (she still hates Webster's Speller) - she needed a lot of practice, but she needed it in story form. And Let's Read provided it.

 

She learned to read :thumbup:. And a year later I learned she still couldn't blend. And then she flunked the Barton pre-screening. And now we're doing LiPS.

 

In general, because of my experience I'm hesitant about skipping phonics with a big picture kid who hates phonics and would love to go straight sight words - because it can mask underlying deficits that do *not* go away and can continue to cause problems. (I only noticed dd's because of my insistence on sound-centered reading and spelling; I'm pretty sure dd would have done much better spelling with a visual approach - she only has to spell it once before she has it.) My mom and I both learned straight sight words and my mom *cannot* read phonetically (she insists she'd be illiterate if she was taught by phonics), but spells perfectly by "if it looks right". I thought I could read phonetically, but I cannot blend or segment without already knowing how the word is spelled. And neither of us can pronounce words we learned in our reading, and my mom can't reliably connect printed words with words in her spoken vocabulary (when I was a teen she mentioned how she *just* realized that the printed word "awed" was awe+ed - for decades she'd been pronouncing it a-wed). And she's extremely intelligent - valedictorian of her class and 4.0 at a flagship state university (and first of her family to get a four year degree). And we all suck at learning foreign languages because of this, but for years I thought we were just "good at math, bad at languages" - but there was a *reason* we had trouble with languages. And nobody ever *noticed* - because we compensated so dang well - but the compensation wasn't perfect and took just that extra bit of energy - and that matters sometimes.

 

Idk how generalizable this is, but we're going on three generations of phonological processing issues in my family, and just because we learned to read in spite of them didn't make them go away, kwim?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, if you're having this discussion of multiple sounds for written phonograms, she's probably gifted.  Just the fact that you think she ought to comprehend it (something most kids that age would NOT get), indicates she probably has a high IQ.  And many kids with ASD/ADHD/the alphabet soup are going to be whole to parts, needing to get the big picture before they get the parts.  Something like AAR is very parts to whole.  You *might* consider waiting, letting her continue her whole word, and answer her questions when she finally asks why.  She might be a good candidate for visualization for spelling (see Freed's book Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World) and skipping phonics entirely.

  

Agreeing with this. This was our experience exactly (even though we didn't know at the time that we were dealing with ASD and Visual spatial/whole to parts). We taught letter names and the basic sounds together (short vowel only), he picked up some sight words along the way and he was off.

 

When we came across words that didn't fit the sounds he had learned, we talked about them, but he already had enough confidence that he could "read" that he was more willing to accept the exceptions. He had the letter sounds down at just turned five and by his sixth birthday he was tackling Charlotte's Web.

 

I know a lot of people here will be very anti not doing a strict phonics approach, but these kids do not learn in the neuro-typical way. I was warned that I had ruined him for life and that he would hit the fourth grade slump and never progress beyond that but it never happened. He is 14 now and doing College level courses so I don't think I ruined him.

 

I agree with Elizabeth's advice to work with her rather than against her - since that's about all you can do with these kids anyway. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter is autistic.  He did not have any trouble learning to read (he currently reads at a mid-third grade level), but what did/does frustrate us both is his severe lack of stamina (in most areas of life, not just reading).

 

When Peter was first learning, he could read literally 2-3 CVC words perfectly, and then his brained checked out and he would just stare at the fourth word and say he was thinking, but his brain was just spinning its wheels and not really seeing or comprehending the letters.

 

The same thing happens now.  He can easily read a page or two of Frog and Toad - not missing any words, following punctuation well, adding emphasis and inflection.  But he has a hard time finishing the story because by the third page he brain is overwhelmed and he starts mumbling and skipping words and eventually gets stuck on a word like "frog" which should not pose any problem, but he just stares at it like it is written in a foreign language that he's never seen before in his life.

 

We have the same issues with math.  He does 437-289 in 20 seconds.  He does 224-186 in 20 seconds.  Then he gets to 531-482 (literally the third problem on the page) and he just stares at it blankly.  I talk him through regrouping (which he had down cold a minute ago) and he is left with 11-2 and his brain can't make heads or tails of that either.  He just stares and stares and stares like if he waits long enough the weird symbols will turn back into something he recognizes.

 

I don't know to what extent this issue is ASD related or ADD related or just Peter-related, but it definitely effects how we school.

 

Wendy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! I'll respond to a few things:

 

1. Yes, she is gifted. They haven't done the full IQ eval on her yet, that will be next year, but after her psych-ed, the psychologist told us that he already knows were he to administer it, she would be in the superior/gifted range. As it was, on the Visual Reception and Problem solving skills she scored completely off the charts, several years ahead of her age. She's very gifted with numbers and is definitely advanced in math. Quite honestly, she and DS (who's 3 years older) could probably handle the same level of math. But we have been holding off, since she's been doing 20 hours of ABA therapy a week.

 

2. She has not had a full speech eval in over a year (grrr.... don't get me started on that). I did a screener myself, and she is technically still in the "okay for age" zone for pronunciation, though once she turns 5, she'll be lagging perhaps a bit. Right now her areas of struggle are the typical more advanced sounds such as th, some r-blends and l-blends. Her biggest age-appropriate struggles are l. She say l correctly at all, and finial V is also a problem. I have bought some articulation games to work with her on these at home. As far as others understanding her, I would not say it's 100% by any means but probably 80-90%. She still has a very babyish-sound to her voice if that makes any sense. And some of it, more than pronunciation is just what she's trying to say more than anything. Both her receptive and expressive language are slightly delayed. She has an excellent vocabulary, it's mostly a matter of her putting it together and getting it out properly. Often she has to repeat herself a few times to get it out right. She definitely needs pragmatics helps, yes.

 

3.  If you say c-a-t very slowly and drawn out, can she glue it together and say cat? No, not yet. I tried with your sample of cat, and she kept missing the first sound, and was just getting "at"

If you say dog, can she do the reverse and unglue it, identifying the component sounds?  No

Can she clap syllables? Yes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My own slight bias against the McGuffey readers?  I was taught with them as a child and have horrendously bad memories that stayed in my mind 30+ years.  I wouldn't make my dog use them.  But other people seem to find them charming.  I just remember these horrible forced reading sessions where you were supposed to I don't know what.  I'm a terrific, intuitive reader btw, fine speller, awesome with languages, etc.  So I say sounding out and McGuffey sucks for some kids and to leave her alone as long as she's progressing.  And since she's 4 and progressing, I'd hand the kid comic books and walk away.  Have you tried Calvin & Hobbes on her yet?  My ds6 is looking at Tintin.  I have no clue what he's getting out of it, but he sure likes looking at it.  Visual kids like this tend to REALLY like comics.  Don't be afraid of them.  

 

I'm interested in hearing more about your issues with McGuffey and why you don't like them? I'm currently using them for my son who is a very strong reader, so we use them for comprehension, spelling etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She's really struggling with the whole idea that letters say sounds different than their name. She is sooo visual as well, and has a phenomenal memory. 

 

I would start referring to letters by their sounds. They do this in Montessori rather than teaching the names of the letters. Then maybe you can add in other ways to write the same sound, kind of like how more than one person has the same name. Maybe long sounds and such could be like nicknames--people use them in some circumstances but not others.

 

My 2e ASD kiddo picked up basic reading at a Montessori preschool and attended school for k-2, so I don't have too many tips in that regard. He is very visual, but he does use phonics when necessary, kind of a tool in the toolkit, but not the only one he'll use. I think it runs in the background and isn't overly significant to him until he encounters a word that that requires some effort. We did not know he had ASD until he was 9; we just did our best to logic our way through the hiccups and stubbornness--sometimes it worked. 

 

I did inadvertently put him off of reading for a long time though. He was interested in letters very early, and I told him that knowing letters helped us learn to read words, and then we could learn to read sentences, and then we could read. He LOVED books. Well, sometime around 2.5 or so, he learned all the capital letters of the alphabet, and as soon as he knew that he knew them, he opened a book and demanded that I give him this magical reading knowledge. When he found out that he would not be able to read that very day, he was really disgusted and basically wouldn't have anything to do with letters or sounds with me anymore. :svengo:I am certain I would have been able to come up with some kind of repair to the damage, but alas, he's the child who gave no second chances when he was little and no warning whether any question was high stakes or not. I am not sure how Montessori got through, but thankfully, they did. You might bring in an ally to verify the whole letter sound thing if your daughter gets really dug in--someone that has a proven track record with her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she is in the okay-for-age range, then I think she is fine to start.  My daughter is in Kindergarten, and in the average group, and they are nowhere near working on l or r blends.  They are working on sounding out CVC words.  She can sound out words that are CCVC or CVCC if they have a short vowel, but she is not asked to in her decodable readers that are coming home.  

 

I think, if you get to the point in reading where l and r blends are a problem, worry about it then.  

 

In the mean time -- I think I would not worry.

 

Do ask the speech therapist at the eval ------ ask about phonological whatever (it will be with hearing differences in sounds, or this is my understanding).  If this is a problem, it is good to know.  When my older son had problems with some letter sounds, I was able to do reading instruction with him, with letter sounds that he was very solid with.  I just skipped over some words sometimes, and/or knew that I would be coming back to them.  But he could practice blending and segmenting words he was able to do well with.  

 

For him he had major, major trouble with l and r blends, and I had tried AAS (before AAR came out) and AAS introduces blends early in Level 1.  If you see this as an issue, find out where in AAR they start with CCVC or CVCC words.  It doesn't mean that AAR can't be great for her up to that point, but maybe she is not read for those when she comes to them in the curriculum.  Or maybe she is by then.  

 

I switched to Abecedarian and a good thing about it for my son, they did not have a lot of words with consonant blends, or a lot of consonants at a time.  He spent a long time only able to blend 3 or 4 sounds, and in AAS they threw in words with 6 phonemes pretty early ------ but that was AAS and not AAR, I was just trying to use it, and my son did AWESOME with the beginning of AAS Level 1 and made MAJOR progress and the letter tiles were WONDERFUL for him.  

 

In Abecedarian, they introduced more phonics, but keeping the words still with fewer phonemes.  Like -- "boy."  Two phonemes, b and oy.  Or you could work on "oy" with words like "destroy" (off the top of my head, where stroy has s t r oy.)

 

Just thinking, I hope you find things that work and do well with the speech therapist :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I want to point out, did she blend a t into at?  B/c if she did, to me, that is what I would call a good sign.  

 

Try a word like mat where you can make the m sound long "mmmmm" ----- it is much, much easier than using a consonant that is short like "k" that you can't drag out.  

 

Even mat ends with t (another short sound, can't be dragged out) so maybe a word that is all longer sounds and all sounds she does well with as far as her speech.  

 

Sam is a good word -- ssss, aaa, mmm they can all be dragged out.  

 

For a 4-year-old I think this is not a bad place to be, at all.  I am not in any way trying to diminish concerns or say "there is no problem here," I am just saying -- hey, if she can blend VC then that is a start!  

 

Words like am, at, egg, if, up, are all VC words.  You can blend CV words but they will all have a long vowel sound, but that is fine for just seeing is she can blend CV I think.... so, no, go, see, me, tie, bye, my, say, may,  -- these are all some CV words she might be able to orally blend.  

 

If you have given quite a few examples and done some in the car, you might find that she starts to be able to do them.  Or, you might find she has no idea what it is you are doing when you even talk about it.

 

But if she did do a t = at by herself, that really is promising.  I know I might have blended that for her and not realized I had done it, though, I do things like that all the time.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I notice kbutton said she recommends an ally to talk about the letter names/sounds issue.  

 

My son is more one where -- I would think of introducing a new/different/separate time with new/different/separate materials, and do letter sounds -- and then over time start to mention a letter name when doing the usual letter sounds, or a letter sound when using the usual materials that go with letter names.  I would not try to have him do this instantly.  

 

At the same time, I have also heard, that once you realize your child may have this tendency, then start introducing different ways from the beginning, so they know from the beginning there may be different ways.  

 

I do not know, as I am nowhere near this, if this will play out in teaching more than one sound for a letter (like the 3 sounds of a,  -- short, long, like in the word all).  Some programs introduce this concept fairly early, though almost all seem to start with short vowels only for the littlest kids.  But if you get the Dragons whatever (Doodling Dragons) book through Logic of English, you could be exposing her to the idea that there are multiple sounds for some letters.  I think it is a cute book.  But at the same time, be aware that in dyslexia materials you are strongly encouraged not to overload kids with multiple sounds for letters too quickly.  

 

If you think she might get hung up on "no, a makes the short a sound" then I would try to introduce this idea, but maybe not expect her to learn this idea.  Maybe!  

 

I think it is too confusing for my kids to make too much of a big deal about it, but that is how they are.  If you think your daughter does better to know it, I would start mentioning that letters can make more than one sound sometimes, or read the Doodling Dragons.  For my daughter, when I read it, I just say things like "look, that is interesting."  I do not have a goal for her to know the multiple vowel sounds, but she is being exposed to the idea that they exist.  But for my boys -- I don't think it would help or would have helped -- probably it would just confuse them.  But I can read it to my younger son later when he is getting to that point.  I wouldn't read it to him now.

 

I do not think this is a major concern, but I am just mentioning it, if you think she would get hung up on this in the future.  I do not think it will be an issue for my son, b/c he is just going so slowly, and b/c he is also on the flexible side even if he can be resistant initially.  When he is resistant initially, it is just that he is confused.  But he can get over that, it is not too bad and has only gotten better recently.  But I am told that he is more flexible than some kids with autism.  He has an easy-going personality in a lot of ways.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wonderful little ASD child took off like a comet last summer on reading (it was the summer he turned 7).  His comprehension still lags behind a bit--he can read anything I can throw at him, but he can't always understand it!  

 

In any case, he learned his letter sounds through the Leap Frog letter factory video. He is also highly visual, and the video somehow just worked. I don't use video learning much at all, but I needed to paint the bathroom when he was a preschooler, so you know..;) I put that one on....and soon he was making the sounds.  

 

Phonics teaching was absolutely laborious at the age of 5, though. Misery!  So we read The Cat in the Hat a lot, and also One Fish Two Fish.  He got to the point of memorizing them, but I'd point to the word and he'd read.  I tried 100EZ lessons at this point--absolutely fruitless.

 

 I started him with OPGTR, very gently and modifying it some as I went along, when he was about 6.  Also last year (when he was 6)  we started, very gently again, ETC workbooks, just 1-2 pages a day. He just finished the third one and is about to start the fourth, and they are easy for him at this point, but I think it's helpful reinforcement. I continue OPGTR too, simply because I want to make sure we're covering our bases.  But I keep it gentle and non-threatening.

 

And I read to him a lot!  In the final analysis, I think this was the linchpin for him, *not* traditional phonics.  Just being steeped in reading--usually an hour a day, at various times (divided into chunks).  I also had a few books that had CDs, and he'd sometimes look at the book while listening to the CDs. Not often, but sometimes.    

 

She will get there!  Neurological readiness is so important. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...