The Basic Reading Comprehension Kit for Hyperlexia and Autism Pam Britton Reese, Nena C. Challenner

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Ages: 5-12Grades: K-7

Do you have children with autism who can read words well beyond their grade level but don't have any comprehension of what they just read? That's hyperlexia, the ability to read words but with an apparent lack of comprehension.

Strengthen the comprehension of children with hyperlexia with this program that uses their strength of visual learning. Children learn to create visual images at the word and sentence level in a predictable format. Sight words and sentences are taught with accompanying Boardmaker symbols and line illustrations.

The program consists of a storybook with twenty stories divided into two difficulty levels; 576 sight word/symbol/picture cards; and a dictionary. The 288 sight words are adapted frorm a list found in The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists as well as those commonly found in many children's literature books.

Level 1 teaches sight word vocabulary comprehension. Ten simple stories each target 10-12 sight words. Children learn to create visual images for the sight words using the sight word cards (words are displayed with picture symbols only and with text only). The sight word visual images are associated with written text in rebus-type stories that feature strong visual supports.

Level 2 contains 10 higher-complexity stories to help children practice these critical reading comprehension skills:

  • looking for details in a picture-identify items and details in a picture and answer questions about the picture
  • creating visual images of vocabulary words-associate picture symbols with new vocabulary in the story
  • creating visual images of sentences-match visual images to sentences in the story
  • finding specific information in a text-answer wh- questions using picture prompts
  • sequencing events in a story-put three pictures in the correct story sequence
  • finding the main idea-choose the best picture for the story and choose the title that matches the picture

The Dictionary helps students organize new words by connecting them to previously learned words. Each word in the dictionary can be looked up for the meaning (text definition) and for the category (picture format). Words are listed alphabetically and organized into 39 categories.

COMPLETE PROGRAM: 180-page storybook, 133-page dictionary, 576 perforated sight word/symbol/picture cards, in a vinyl bag (©2003).