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Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 2008 Jan;39(1):33-43.

Promoting literacy in students with ASD: the basics for the SLP.

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Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, CB#7190 UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7190, USA.



This article provides a tutorial for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) concerning approaches for improving the reading skills of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). SLPs are encouraged to modify their role to include a literacy focus, not only because of inclusion and standardized reading tests, but also because SLPs offer skills to enrich the literacy skills of students with ASD.


This article is organized to provide guidance on approaches associated with reading achievements in 3 stages of development: (a) emergent, (b) conventional, and (c) skilled reading. For each, we provide a brief overview of major achievements observed in students with typical development as well as a synopsis of what is currently known concerning the achievements of students with ASD. We then provide suggestions concerning specific approaches that can be used to further the reading and oral language skills of students with ASD within the particular stage.


This article suggests literacy interventions that target critical oral language and literacy skills that have been well documented as areas of need among many students with ASD. SLPs can draw on this information when designing and implementing transdiciplinary literacy interventions for this growing population of students whose literacy needs are currently underserved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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