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Reading for Meaning

Learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often develop strong decoding skills, but have difficulty in the area of reading comprehension. Letter and word identification comes easier than comprehension of text. As in social situations, recognizing and interpreting cues is necessary in the pursuit of "reading for meaning."

AKCAM has worked closely with the Autism program at SESA to compile a collection of practical tools and strategies for families, teachers, and support staff. This section is designed to support the development of reading comprehension for students on the autism spectrum, both at school and at a distance.

Literacy Apps

Ready-To-Use Lesson Plans and Activities

Future Horizons Inc. 

Autism and reading comprehension: ready to use lesson plans for teachers.

The Autism Helper

Tips, strategies, and templates for lesson planning for an autism classroom based on state standards and Common Core. 

Autism Educational Resources 

Free worksheets, printables, and data sheets for all ages diagnosed with autism and developmental delays.

Art Fun

High/Low Book Sources

High/Low books offer highly engaging, age appropriate reading material at a low reading level to support fluency, vocabulary, and an interest in reading. 

Capstone Press

"We engage readers by creating the right content for the right purpose for the right kid."

HIP Books: High Interest Publishing

"..exciting novels at accessible reading levels for even the most struggling readers."

High Noon Books

"Offers a wide variety of opportunities to decide what are the most appropriate books for your struggling students."

Stone Arch Graphic Novels

Piquing curiosity through positive early literacy experiences."

Curriculum Resources

Below is a listing of examples of curriculum and programs that can be used to teach individuals on the autism spectrum.

Direct Instruction

Uses face to face instruction and specific lessons to teach language skills.

EdMark Reading Program

Research-based instruction in vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Can be used in print only or in combination with matching software. 

Tar Heel Reader

A collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. 


Lessons focus on literacy and offer opportunity to practice and generalize skills learned in direct instruction sessions. 

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