ASD Read­ing Reviews

Dis­clo­sure: This is a spon­sored post ( for more details please read our pri­va­cy policy/sponsored post dis­clo­sure) by ASD All opin­ions expressed in this post are based on our per­son­al review, after going through the pro­gram and get­ting some reviews from par­ents and teach­ers who already have been using it for a while.”

Chil­dren with autism must devel­op strong lit­er­a­cy skills. For aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess and life in gen­er­al, read­ing and writ­ing are imperative.

Chil­dren on the autism spec­trum have not always devel­oped strong lit­er­a­cy skills, and ASD Read­ing is work­ing to change that.

Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der Read­ing is an online plat­form ded­i­cat­ed to teach­ing chil­dren with autism to read, write and comprehend.

The pro­gram is tai­lored specif­i­cal­ly to the needs of chil­dren with autism who are often left behind by con­ven­tion­al school­ing and who thus fail to devel­op lit­er­a­cy skills.

ASD Read­ing rec­og­nizes the innate intel­li­gence of chil­dren with autism, and their abil­i­ty to read and write. It adapts instruc­tion­al meth­ods to har­ness that intel­li­gence and con­vert it into lit­er­a­cy skills. The unique pro­gram offers many ben­e­fits to chil­dren with autism and their families.

What Is Unique About ASD Reading?

ASD Read­ing is based on inno­v­a­tive con­tent and meth­ods devel­oped by Dr. Mar­i­on Blank. Dr. Blank drew on her years of expe­ri­ence as a world-renowned lit­er­a­cy and lan­guage expert to cre­ate a teach­ing method that enables chil­dren to suc­ceed, even if they are non-ver­bal.

Dr. Blank served as Co-Direc­tor of the Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty Devel­op­men­tal Neu­ropsy­chi­a­try Pro­gram for Autism and Relat­ed Dis­or­ders and brings a wealth of knowl­edge in child devel­op­ment and the devel­op­ment of language.

It is this expe­ri­ence that was mould­ed into a spe­cif­ic pro­gram that is help­ing many autis­tic chil­dren to read.

Features Of ASD Reading

The teach­ing pro­gram requires no pre­req­ui­site skills on behalf of its par­tic­i­pants. Any child can use the pro­gram, even chil­dren who are non-verbal.

One of the advan­tages of the pro­gram and one of the rea­sons that it is able to engage stu­dents who would oth­er­wise not learn to read is that it uses images.

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The pro­gram incor­po­rates graph­ics, audio and ani­ma­tion to rein­force mean­ing in a text, and this has been proven to increase the com­pre­hen­sion of a text for autis­tic children. 

The pro­gram also com­bines writ­ten and spo­ken lan­guage. Expert research has found that writ­ten and spo­ken lan­guage mir­ror each oth­er, and rein­force each oth­er. A child’s spo­ken lan­guage can, there­fore, be used to enhance their read­ing ability.

ASD Read­ing is indi­vid­u­al­ized. It offers cus­tomized instruc­tion that is adapt­ed to the spe­cif­ic needs of that child, includ­ing their ini­tial read­ing and speak­ing abil­i­ty, their likes and dis­likes and their personality.

This kind of indi­vid­u­al­ized instruc­tion is dif­fi­cult to find in a main­stream school class­room and is one of the rea­sons that ASD Read­ing has been suc­cess­ful with so many children.

A sys­tem­at­ic assess­ment is anoth­er hall­mark. The lessons and var­ied assess­ment tools iden­ti­fy each stu­den­t’s errors and address them specif­i­cal­ly, while also iden­ti­fy­ing the child’s strengths and successes.

This is a more tar­get­ed approach to over­com­ing spe­cif­ic dif­fi­cul­ties and pro­vides chil­dren and their par­ents with an accu­rate descrip­tion of that child’s progress at every stage.

Why does it work?

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ASD Read­ing moves away from phon­ics instruc­tion. Phon­ics is a tra­di­tion­al method for teach­ing young chil­dren to read, but experts now real­ize that it has lim­it­ed effectiveness.

It teach­es sounds but not mean­ing. ASD Read­ing, on the oth­er hand, focus­es strong­ly on mean­ing and com­pre­hen­sion in a text.

autism spectrum

ASD Read­ing relies on vision. It is not depen­dent on a whole word or whole lan­guage teach­ing. Instead, it is found­ed on Dr. Blank’s “6‑SIM” principle.

The “6‑SIM” prin­ci­ple refers to the Six Skill Inte­grat­ed Method, which uses inten­sive word teach­ing. Every aspect of a word is taught in a com­pre­hen­sive and inte­grat­ed process.

The six skills taught are:

  • Spelling
  • Mean­ing
  • Rela­tion­ship
  • Place­ment in sentences
  • Con­tent
  • Gram­mar

ASD Read­ing teach­es autis­tic chil­dren about all of the aspects of a word that deter­mine the mean­ing of that word in a par­tic­u­lar context.

- Detail

The ASD Read­ing pro­gram focus­es on impor­tant minor details. Even small words such as “but, some, and, that” are addressed in the program.

The use of these words is a com­mon weak­ness for chil­dren on the spec­trum and often remains a chal­lenge because tra­di­tion­al teach­ing meth­ods do not specif­i­cal­ly address this weak­ness. ASD Read­ing tar­gets this skill specifically.

Fur­ther­more, ASD Read­ing allows teach­ers of chil­dren with autism to inte­grate into their teach­ing skills such as sequenc­ing, let­ter-sound iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, spelling, writ­ing and blend­ing, skills that all chil­dren need as they learn to read.

- Content

ASD Read­ing uses spe­cif­ic con­tent. Con­tent that is rel­e­vant and spe­cif­ic to chil­dren on the spec­trum. Com­mon­ly used con­tent is fine for oth­er chil­dren. Still, the more tai­lored con­tent used in ASD Read­ing pro­grams has been found to engage chil­dren more effec­tive­ly and to relate to their life expe­ri­ences, there­fore improv­ing their lan­guage abil­i­ty in the long term.

- Fun

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ASD Read­ing pro­grams are fun. Chil­dren love fun. Chil­dren learn bet­ter when they are hav­ing fun, and they are more inclined to return to or per­se­vere with an activ­i­ty when they are hav­ing fun.

The unique teach­ing pro­grams delib­er­ate­ly incor­po­rate fun, colour and inter­ac­tive activ­i­ties, includ­ing games. Par­ents and teach­ers who use the pro­gram con­tin­u­al­ly com­ment that chil­dren ask to do more and more activ­i­ties because they are hav­ing so much fun. The chil­dren are also learn­ing with­out even real­iz­ing it!

In addi­tion, the pro­gram design­ers were sure to make the pro­gram enter­tain­ing while real­iz­ing that chil­dren can be dis­tract­ed by images and sounds. The care­ful design of the pro­gram elim­i­nates distractions.

- Positive reinforcement

As well as offer­ing fun ani­ma­tion and char­ac­ters, the pro­gram pro­vides chil­dren with pos­i­tive reinforcement.

Chil­dren are con­grat­u­lat­ed for cor­rect answers; they also accu­mu­late ‘points’ for suc­ceed­ing in a par­tic­u­lar task or mod­ule and are even giv­en a ‘pass­port’ where they can store and dis­play their points.

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Pos­i­tive rein­force­ment is huge­ly ben­e­fi­cial to any child, espe­cial­ly those on the spec­trum who have pre­vi­ous­ly strug­gled to read.

- Easy to follow

The indi­vid­u­al­ized activ­i­ties are also pre­sent­ed in a way that is easy to under­stand for children.

This way, the child can com­plete the pro­gram with min­i­mal or no help from par­ents. Lessons are also pre­sent­ed in such a way that par­ents can pro­vide guid­ance if nec­es­sary, even if the par­ent has no teach­ing experience.

Impor­tant­ly, chil­dren don’t need to know how to read to access the pro­gram and com­plete the tasks. After all, they are using the pro­gram to learn how to read.

- Transferrable

Lit­er­a­cy and numer­a­cy are core skills for aca­d­e­m­ic and gen­er­al suc­cess. They are also the basis of all school subjects.

Lit­er­a­cy skills are required for chil­dren to under­stand and thrive in any sub­ject, and the read­ing out­comes achieved by chil­dren using ASD Read­ing are read­i­ly and auto­mat­i­cal­ly trans­ferred to oth­er sub­jects at school.

This allows the chil­dren to apply their intel­li­gence to oth­er school sub­jects, which improves aca­d­e­m­ic out­comes, improves the child’s self-esteem and can improve their social inte­gra­tion with their peers.

- Graded

ASD Read­ing pro­grams are specif­i­cal­ly grad­ed. Chil­dren devel­op mas­tery of one grade before they move on to the next grade, where the chal­lenges are more dif­fi­cult and tar­get­ed towards more advanced lan­guage features.

More com­pli­cat­ed lan­guage is intro­duced at each lev­el and builds on the pre­vi­ous lev­el, but the activ­i­ties and the for­mat are the same.

Famil­iar­i­ty and rou­tine are vital com­po­nents in the life, and learn­ing, of chil­dren on the spec­trum, and famil­iar­i­ty is delib­er­ate­ly built into the program.

This means that chil­dren are con­cen­trat­ing on how to mas­ter the lan­guage fea­ture, and not on how to mas­ter the pro­ce­dures of the task.


ASD Read­ing is trans­portable because it is entire­ly web-based. It does not require any down­loads, so chil­dren can access the pro­gram any­where pro­vid­ed they have a device and an inter­net con­nec­tion. In addi­tion, the child’s progress is always saved, and they can pick up where they left off, no mat­ter where they are or which device they are using.

Study at home

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ASD Read­ing is also high­ly ben­e­fi­cial to chil­dren who are study­ing at home. This includes chil­dren who are home­schooled, autis­tic chil­dren doing tar­get­ed prac­tise for their spe­cif­ic lit­er­a­cy needs, or chil­dren who are forced to study at home for what­ev­er reason.

Chil­dren can com­plete the tasks at home in their own time with min­i­mal super­vi­sion or instruc­tion and are giv­en advice and feed­back from the pro­gram itself.

Last but not least

ASD Read­ing pro­vides many ben­e­fits to chil­dren with autism. It incor­po­rates fun, colour, ani­ma­tion and inter­ac­tive activ­i­ties, and it is easy to use. It is based on the exten­sive research and knowl­edge of Dr. Mar­i­on Blank, a respect­ed expert in child devel­op­ment and literacy.

A pro­gram is an inno­v­a­tive approach to teach­ing chil­dren on the spec­trum. It has proven suc­cess­ful with many chil­dren who were not learn­ing to read via tra­di­tion­al school teach­ing methods.

Through the pro­gram, many chil­dren on the autism spec­trum, even non-ver­bal chil­dren, have learned to read and have trans­ferred their new­found lit­er­a­cy skills to oth­er school sub­jects and oth­er areas of life, to the joy of them­selves and their par­ents. Fur­ther­more, ASD Read­ing can be used at home and is ben­e­fi­cial to any child who finds them­selves need­ing to improve their lit­er­a­cy at home.


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