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Questions from my son's tutor: reading and spelling for autistic spectrum students

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Hello, DS12's writing tutor is an Orton Gillingham method handwriting tutor. One of her other students is gifted, dysgraphic, and has Asperger's syndrome. He has undergone testing for IQ, dysgraphia, and aspergers; she suspects he is also dyslexic. Today at tutoring, she mentioned that her spectrum kids have trouble with Orton Gillingham because of the structure, and that she struggles with teaching these kids reading and spelling.


Any suggestions on what she can use for her aspergers spectrum students to teach reading and spelling?


Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions!

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We have a couple extremely experienced OG tutors in town who started as SLPs, got OG certified, and now have gotten their ASD certificates (master's level study).  There's actually coursework she could take in this, if she wants to get more proficient.  They didn't mention having any issue using OG with the kids when we discussed my ds, and Barton, as a method of learning to read and spell, does fine for my ds.  There's a lot we have to flex, yes.  My ds has language issues, so he couldn't understand anything he was reading in Barton.  I had to stop and bring in speech therapy materials to work on the language disability.  There are also known issues that come with autism affecting how they process language (categorizing, details, etc. etc.).  They're likely to have comprehension issues.


So, not to be impolite (honest), but it's possible the students just need a lot more help than what she is trained to provide.  If she wants to learn more, she'll need to dig in.  The problem is not the OG.  The problem is they have so much ADDITIONAL stuff going on.


She can get Teach Me Language.  She can read about the ABLLS and VB-MAPP and how the interventions are done using those for language holes.  She can go to Super Duper and go through all their recs for autism so she can recognize when holes are turning up that would benefit from intervention.


Like I said, Barton alone has NOT been sufficient for my ds.  He's super complex because of his mix of ASD + SLDs.  We're literally using multiple levels of Barton at once with him right now.  He's in level 4 for reading instruction, level 2 for spelling (because he couldn't actually write anything before now), and has average, smack on the dot average language comprehension thanks to a year of aggressive language intervention with therapy materials.  In other words, we still don't have all those things up enough that it can come together and let him read independently for pleasure.  There's just a lot to do!  


Some of these kids will struggle with fiction because of social thinking and social learning disability deficits.  If you're not perspective taking and not visualizing, you won't have good reading comprehension of fiction.  So you'll see outcomes where these kids read non-fiction but abhor fiction.  So, ironically enough, PLAY, imaginative play, can be a big component of building reading comprehension!  And immersive kits for reading comprehension where they really start to put themselves in the shoes of the character can help.  LitWits has this, but also Barton endorses some materials that support her comprehension stories.  

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I just added some more to that post, lol.  If she is already OG trained, she doesn't need Barton.  I would encourage her to get Social Thinking training, TML (Teach Me Language), look up stuff on Super Duper, etc.  There are just common, known issues that affect comprehension and language in ASD.  And then she'll have physical stuff too like retained reflexes, etc.  


Fwiw, my ds is pretty atypical.  Once my ds gets it, he GETS it.  He doesn't forget anything we cover.  He just can't move forward on his own at all.  The language disability affect on his reading is tremendous.  So it's just going to vary with the kid and their mix of what is weak.  Technically aspergers should not have a language delay, but they could have issues with inferences, perspective taking, etc.  

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