Reading comprehension is an integral part of the reading intervention provided to students in school daily. States even mandate how many minutes of reading intervention students must receive. At Princeton House Charter School(Orlando, Florida) many of our students with Autism struggle with reading comprehension. They often have difficulty understanding the Wh-Questions and are unable to answer them after listening to a story. Our teachers have been focusing on intervention to help students understand the difference between each type of Wh-Question.
We use visual supports and Wh-Question apps throughout reading activities. One such app is “Autism iHelp Wh-Questions”. It allows the instructor to choose types of Wh-Questions to ask with vivid picture choices. Recently, a teacher assistant was using this app for her small group during reading.
Autism iHelp is a vocabulary teaching aid developed by parents of a child with Autism and a speech-language pathologist. Autism iHelp was inspired by the need for specific language intervention tools for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder focusing on their unique strengths and difficulty with expressive vocabulary.
The students, who usually love doing anything on the iPad were really struggling to maintain attention to the task. What did she do? Bluebee to the rescue! The teacher assistant stopped the activity and connected Bluebee to the app via the easy to use the Bluetooth connection. She resumed the task with Blubee giving the instruction. Viola! The students were excited to see their friend Bluebee and began attending to the task and answering the Wh-Questions. At Princeton House Charter School we must do a ton of preplanning and have activities set up and ready to go for our students. Even with all that planning, we constantly need to assess our student’s engagement and motivation during tasks. Without attention, there is no learning. Bluebee helps us to be flexible and make quick changes to bring our students back to a “ready to learn” state.
Princeton House Charter School-Orlando, Florida
Carissa Thompson – Teacher***Shannon Westfield – Teacher Assistant***Megan McGovern-Speech Language Pathologist Assistant