I’m looking for a computer program to help my student read better.
Before we get into talking about computerized reading programs, may I ask why you want one? Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not at all opposed to using computers as a tool. But good teaching cannot be replaced by a computer.
And sound reading approach needs to focus on phonological processing, not just phonic. A useful book for parents and educators is Reading Reflex : The Foolproof Phono-Graphix Method for Teaching Your Child to Read by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuiness.
You can find out more about phonemic awareness and phonological processing at sites such as:
A good reading resource is Orchestrating Success in Reading by Dawn Reithaug.
Excellent FREE information is available here.
While not all children with autism read, many do. Some children are hyperlexic and learn to read as very young children. Here’s a link to help you learn more about hyperlexia.
As with much of their learning, a child with an autism spectrum disorder may not follow a typical learning path. It’s wise to approach reading through many avenues; hence the concern over a search for one computerized program that will teach children with autism to read. It’s hard to imagine any one-size-fits-all strategy since each individual has his own pattern of strengths and weaknesses.
That said many people with autism have strengths in the visual area, while auditory processing is a more difficult method of taking in information. Academic approaches should keep this in mind and provide opportunity for the child to learn in visual (seeing), tactile (touch) and auditory (hearing) ways. Below is the link to one method of teaching reading visually: http://www.readingreallyrocks.com/pages/1/index.htm
Among others that support a multimodal approach are:
- The LiPS Program
Some children appear to read well. But they may be proficient at “word calling” while remaining weak at comprehension. A program that is often useful is Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking by Nanci Bell. (Click on the book’s picture for more information.)
If your child would benefit from having words read to him from the computer, here are a couple free programs:
Here is an assortment of computerized reading programs. This list is not exhaustive and comes with no particular endorsement:
Kurzweil 3000 (free trial available)