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Tuesday 2 February 2016

Teaching Reading to Students with ASD - Part Two

Hi Everyone!  It's my day to post for the We Teach SPED group and I thought I would elaborate more on how I teach students with ASD to read.  You can read about the reading program I use in my classroom here. Last time, I wrote about the instructional method I use, but today I want to talk about how I incorporate the Daily Five into my literacy instruction, with a focus on teaching non-verbal students.

Before I discuss the Daily Five, I wanted to share with you how I develop word lists to teach my students.  In my last post, I wrote about how it is important to start teaching with words that have meaning to the students.  Words of items they find reinforcing and/or that are important to them in their lives, such as family members.  After they have mastered those words, it is important to teach them words that can be used in sentence formation, such as "I", "see", "like", etc.  At this point, I like to use words from the Edmark program.  I do not have access to this program, but have found the word lists online.  I like these word lists, because they include words in each set that allow students to build sentences with them from the beginning.  However, I find that these lists do not include all of the words that I would teach initially, so I also incorporate words from the Dolch and Fry lists.  I also make sure I teach words that the students need to read to be able to complete worksheets and tasks more independently such as, "colour", "trace", "circle", etc.

Read to Self:

In my classroom students read interactive books at this center.  I make the books myself so that the student's target words are included in the books.  The books are also levelled as students learn and master new words.  These are examples of books I use for this center.  In the top photo, students are matching the word to word.  I use these books when students are learning new words.  In the bottom photo, students match the word to the picture.  I use these books when students have mastered the words.

Read to Someone:

For this portion of the Daily Five, my students meet with the teacher, either myself or one of my EAs and we read a book together.  Since my non-verbal students can't read aloud, when we read a book together, the teacher or EA reads the book and the student points to the target words in the sentences.  During this time, students also construct sentences with their mastered words, either on their own, or by matching words to a sequence of pictures that myself or an EA has constructed.  We also work on teaching new sight words through discrete trial training at this center.

Listen to Reading:

At this center, students use iPads to listen to stories either using the "I Like Books" app or RAZ kids.  I like the "I Like Books" app as you can choose the setting where students have to touch each work on the screen to read the story, but you can't select books that have their targeted words in them.  RAZ kids does have this feature, however.

Word Work:

At this center, my students complete spelling tasks.  This center is also levelled for students who can match letters to spell the words one by one, for those who can see the whole word and then spell it and for those who can look at the picture and then spell the word.


At this center, my students work on writing sentences to the best of their abilities.  Again, work at this center is levelled and I have worksheets for students who are learning new words and for those who have mastered target words, as well as work for writers and non-writers.  Below are examples of worksheets I made for my beginning and non-writers.  We also work on printing skills and letter formation at this center.

Do you use the Daily Five in your classroom?  How do you make it work for your students who are non-verbal?  I'd love to hear from you!  Leave me a comment below!  And don't forget to check out the rest of the We Teach SPED team's posts throughout the month.

Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time,


  1. Are the materials you made available for purchase in your TpT store?

    1. Hi! Thanks so much for your interest! These resources are currently not available in my TPT store, but I am hoping to get them posted within the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned for updates!

  2. Really first of all my hearty congratulations to you for being doing a great piece of service to the society. yes, I could see that most of the parents still in some parts of the world are not willing to keep his autism affected children with them because of their worry about the society. But, without caring about anything as you have been working as a teacher for autism students means, then you are really doing a great job. please keep on continuing this great job because i know how much attention, patience and calmness needed while teaching for such students. So, from today i have decided to spend some time to teach some lessons and provide guidance to such students who are all living in my area. So, for that from today i will leave my research paper writing office earlier than any other days which will be started from today. So, please try to post such beautiful piece of posts which will be very helpful in creating impact among at least one viewers per day which will be a best way to create a great revolution in the society.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It's comments like these that keep me posting!

  3. Thank you for this post! I struggle finding ways to teach reading and this is perfect. I love Daily 5 and have been trying to find ways to incorporate it into my room.

    1. I am so glad that you found this helpful!


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