Autism Spectrum Disorder and Reading Comprehension: Challenges and Implications in the Primary School
Keywords:ASD, Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Reading Comprehension, Literacy, Language, Mainstream, Primary Schools
Although it is widely recognised that pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) have well-developed word recognition skills alongside impaired reading comprehension, it is unclear where the causes of this presentation lie. This paper consists of a literature review, which aims to clarify why pupils with ASD tend to be competent decoders of text, yet struggle to comprehend text effectively. The literature review is illustrated with a case study and the educational implications of difficulties with reading comprehension in the mainstream primary setting are outlined. The literature review and case study inform suggested interventions and strategies, which can be used in the mainstream primary setting. The fact that ASD is a spectrum disorder indicates that there may be variability in the level of impairment of reading comprehension and also variability in how these pupils will respond to interventions. It is not a case of ‘one size fits all’.
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