A Framework for Developing Quality Literacy Instruction for Learners with ASD Part 2
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[00:00:02.099]Thank you for being with us again.
[00:00:04.474]For the last 10 years, Christi and I have collaborated
[00:00:06.624]in the areas of reading and autism.
[00:00:09.201]Today, we will be sharing with you a framework
[00:00:11.289]for planning and implementing literacy lessons for students.
[00:00:14.901]Before we get started, we want you to think back
[00:00:17.205]to the first webinar.
[00:00:18.844]What do you remember about our approach to literacy?
[00:00:25.096]When we think about literacy,
[00:00:26.691]we remember that literacy is a uniquely social experience.
[00:00:31.538]The foundation of literacy is social interaction.
[00:00:34.796]Specifically, language interactions that help us
[00:00:37.131]develop our vocabularies.
[00:00:39.213]For students with ASD, communication differences
[00:00:42.239]are influenced by joint attention
[00:00:44.835]and executive function differences.
[00:00:48.207]Scholars are really beginning to acknowledge
[00:00:50.192]that these may be the root for later challenges
[00:00:53.016]with literacy, particularly in the areas of comprehension.
[00:00:59.381]So the purpose of this webinar is to describe
[00:01:01.823]our framework for literacy instruction,
[00:01:04.208]which is informed by our understandings of how students
[00:01:06.730]with autism develop literacy skills.
[00:01:09.697]We will explain the importance of data informed instruction
[00:01:12.806]that includes consideration of students' reading profiles.
[00:01:16.470]Finally, we'll share some strategies for literacy
[00:01:19.114]instruction that can be used in your classrooms tomorrow.
[00:01:25.643]Before we describe a literacy framework,
[00:01:28.224]we'd like to touch on five important overarching ideas
[00:01:31.442]that we think about before we implement
[00:01:35.509]We use a bridge analogy as we see these as
[00:01:38.059]overarching ideas that influence how we structure
[00:01:41.184]literacy experiences to meet students' needs.
[00:01:44.979]First, we think about students' language abilities,
[00:01:48.108]both their ability to understand the meaning of words,
[00:01:50.673]and their abilities to express ideas using words.
[00:01:54.847]Do we need to build new meaning vocabulary,
[00:01:56.859]or do we simply need to activate known vocabulary?
[00:02:01.445]We also need to be thinking about how students
[00:02:04.356]show us what they know, which we call their response system.
[00:02:08.350]Can students respond to a question by selecting the answer
[00:02:11.031]from an array of two picture choices?
[00:02:13.265]Or can they provide a verbal response?
[00:02:16.818]We also consider students' discreet literacy skills
[00:02:19.880]by summarizing these discreet skills into reading profiles.
[00:02:24.341]Reading profiles are composites
[00:02:26.676]of students' reading abilities.
[00:02:28.882]There are three broad reading profiles
[00:02:31.494]for individuals without autism.
[00:02:33.966]We have students who can pronounce words
[00:02:35.551]better than they can comprehend them,
[00:02:37.712]students who can comprehend better than they can pronounce
[00:02:40.328]words, and students who are good at both.
[00:02:43.364]Although we can find individuals with autism who have each
[00:02:46.569]of these three reading profiles,
[00:02:48.456]the most typical profile is individuals
[00:02:50.720]who are stronger at pronouncing words
[00:02:52.735]than comprehending them.
[00:02:54.872]Further, our understandings of reading profiles
[00:02:57.311]for individuals with autism are also informed
[00:03:01.318]by reading comprehension profiles.
[00:03:04.381]As we described in our last webinar,
[00:03:06.374]in our research, we found that there are
[00:03:09.073]three reading comprehension profiles.
[00:03:11.810]Text bound, strategic, and imaginative.
[00:03:16.033]Text bound individuals cling
[00:03:17.778]to what's explicitly in the text.
[00:03:19.858]While imaginative comprehenders use the text
[00:03:22.311]to create their own stories while interacting with the text.
[00:03:26.111]And strategic comprehenders use their known
[00:03:29.814]reading strategies as they work their way
[00:03:32.097]though comprehending the text.
[00:03:34.531]This brings us to our next overarching point.
[00:03:37.418]We wanna be aware of how reading comprehension profiles
[00:03:40.606]influence the role of background knowledge during reading.
[00:03:44.523]Text bound comprehenders are unlikely to retrieve
[00:03:47.341]relevant background knowledge during reading,
[00:03:50.058]even when they know a great deal about the reading topic,
[00:03:53.830]while individuals who lean toward an imaginative profile
[00:03:57.146]might overuse their background knowledge
[00:03:59.474]and under use what the author put in the passage.
[00:04:03.098]Finally, strategic comprehenders will pull out
[00:04:05.321]all their reading strategies as we just mentioned
[00:04:08.019]in attempt to make sense of what they are reading.
[00:04:10.880]However, for these individuals, we know social differences
[00:04:14.198]in their understandings about how the world works
[00:04:17.614]will still disrupt their comprehension.
[00:04:20.639]Taken together, this leads us to think about
[00:04:23.127]which evidence based practices we might embed
[00:04:25.723]in our literacy lessons to help us draw
[00:04:28.417]students' attention to what's important
[00:04:31.016]and not distract from comprehension.
[00:04:34.988]We know that by using evidence based practices,
[00:04:38.102]students will learn what we teach them,
[00:04:40.670]thus we believe it is important that we select
[00:04:42.929]meaningful literacy targets that support
[00:04:45.643]important life outcomes for these individuals.
[00:04:48.842]We don't want to waste their time
[00:04:50.810]attending to tiny little moves and tiny little things
[00:04:54.154]that might really not build their overall understanding
[00:04:57.103]of the world more broadly.
[00:05:03.313]This is our framework for literacy instruction.
[00:05:06.398]When it was first published, we called it
[00:05:08.257]Balanced Literacy Instruction.
[00:05:10.400]Now it's perhaps better referred to as comprehensive
[00:05:15.366]Our approach balances holistic, meaning focused instruction
[00:05:18.890]with explicit skills based instruction.
[00:05:22.187]Within this approach, every student should have access
[00:05:25.416]to daily reading, writing, and word work
[00:05:28.115]that considers students' individualized learning needs,
[00:05:31.420]contexts, and texts.
[00:05:34.902]In addition, the approach embeds helping students
[00:05:38.009]attend to and think about content
[00:05:40.864]before, during, and after literacy events.
[00:05:44.368]Next, we'll describe this model in a bit more detail.
[00:05:48.134]We'd like to draw your attention to the three
[00:05:49.885]intersecting circles in the middle of the drawing.
[00:05:53.278]The orange circle represents everything we know
[00:05:55.689]about the learner.
[00:05:57.481]This includes information about how autism
[00:06:00.429]influences the student's learning,
[00:06:02.940]reading assessment information including reading profiles
[00:06:06.972]and comprehension profiles,
[00:06:09.480]student interests, response systems, and other factors
[00:06:13.479]that enable the student to be available for learning.
[00:06:17.502]The green circle represents the learning context
[00:06:20.610]and includes classroom structure, lesson structure,
[00:06:24.509]group size, and all other environmental factors.
[00:06:29.335]Finally, the purple circle represents the texts
[00:06:33.205]being used for teaching and includes
[00:06:35.881]the readability of the text, embedded text features,
[00:06:40.456]genre and length.
[00:06:42.946]What's important here is for teachers to plan lessons
[00:06:45.360]that address the intersection of these three factors.
[00:06:48.819]The intersection represents the sweet spot for instruction.
[00:06:52.947]Instruction that is individualized to support
[00:06:55.225]students' literacy growth.
[00:06:57.553]By this we mean that lessons are appropriately challenging
[00:07:00.654]for students through careful attention to structures
[00:07:03.761]embedded in both the environment and text.
[00:07:07.905]They support students' communication and literacy
[00:07:10.306]development while promoting students' independence
[00:07:13.392]with content and materials.
[00:07:16.237]The independence piece is critical to advance
[00:07:20.770]This means that for most literacy tasks,
[00:07:23.358]embedded supports will be faded over time.
[00:07:26.818]For example, as students learn to pair words
[00:07:28.962]with their meanings, picture supports should be faded.
[00:07:33.226]As students learn to comprehend texts,
[00:07:36.013]graphic organizers should be faded.
[00:07:39.077]The goal is for students to progress toward reading
[00:07:41.547]and writing with the least amount of support necessary
[00:07:44.429]to promote literacy performances
[00:07:46.695]that represent their knowledge.
[00:07:48.986]We realize that this will be different for individual
[00:07:54.300]Also important are the before, during, and after framework
[00:08:00.647]which emphasizes the cognitively intensive nature
[00:08:04.308]of literacy instruction, thus it's critical
[00:08:07.307]that during each facet of every lesson,
[00:08:09.731]teachers make explicit the thinking required
[00:08:12.137]to actually complete the performance.
[00:08:14.836]One strategy that we've used in our intervention work
[00:08:19.096]is to embed think alouds during teacher modelling.
[00:08:22.457]For example, if we were teaching a student how to decode
[00:08:25.270]a word, we might think aloud about why decoding
[00:08:27.877]is important in the first place.
[00:08:30.339]It's a quick way to identify an unknown word
[00:08:32.912]when you're reading, in addition to
[00:08:35.380]modelling the decoding and blending piece.
[00:08:38.360]We would also think aloud about pairing the meaning
[00:08:41.168]of that word with the word that we just pronounced.
[00:08:45.101]Another example might be when we're reading
[00:08:47.160]a longer piece of text.
[00:08:49.106]We might think aloud about how we make an inference
[00:08:51.355]during reading, when two sentences contain information
[00:08:55.228]that help us make that inference.
[00:08:58.724]We might model during writing how we would think aloud
[00:09:01.451]about how to come up with support for a main idea
[00:09:04.908]with different details.
[00:09:07.226]In other words, we are very explicit about what students
[00:09:10.267]should be thinking about as they read and write.
[00:09:14.687]Finally, taken together, we see this literacy framework
[00:09:18.122]as necessary to promote the acquisition of literacy skills
[00:09:21.635]for students with autism, more importantly, though,
[00:09:25.564]we see this as deeply connected to developing
[00:09:28.111]self determination skills that are critical to success
[00:09:35.632]Through our work with teachers, one of the biggest
[00:09:38.170]challenges they face is related to how to use
[00:09:41.355]assessment data to inform instruction.
[00:09:44.314]A lot of times, the reading assessments that we're
[00:09:46.530]required to use with students may not really actually
[00:09:51.423]work very well for students with autism.
[00:09:54.119]For example, among early readers without autism,
[00:09:57.285]reading fluency actually does a pretty good job
[00:10:00.547]of predicting reading comprehension,
[00:10:02.761]however because students with autism often read words
[00:10:05.708]better than they comprehend them,
[00:10:07.550]that assessment doesn't work very well
[00:10:09.673]as a predictor of reading comprehension.
[00:10:13.011]As a result, we have been using this continuum
[00:10:17.108]of literacy development pictured here to help us
[00:10:20.044]decide what kinds of reading assessments
[00:10:22.019]we might actually collect and use to identify
[00:10:25.097]important reading targets.
[00:10:27.160]If you look at this picture, it represents two different
[00:10:30.273]continuums depicted by arrows.
[00:10:33.157]The first continuum is shown as a straight arrow,
[00:10:36.334]and it represents student involvement in literacy events.
[00:10:40.546]The top of the arrow is labeled Interactive.
[00:10:43.839]At this end, we find students whose involvement in literacy
[00:10:47.283]activities must be initiated and sustained by the teacher.
[00:10:51.313]At the bottom of the arrow, the Independent label
[00:10:54.148]indicates that the student is able to initiate
[00:10:56.302]and sustain involvement in literacy activity on their own.
[00:11:00.710]There are several factors that influence students' progress
[00:11:03.690]up and down this arrow, and those factors are represented
[00:11:06.984]by the three circles in our literacy framework,
[00:11:10.071]namely the student, the context, and text factors.
[00:11:14.296]For example, if a student has limited communication skills,
[00:11:18.225]they may be more dependent on teachers to initiate
[00:11:21.266]and sustain literacy activities.
[00:11:23.746]Unless your learning context embeds structures
[00:11:27.221]to help students know what's expected of them,
[00:11:29.957]they're going to be more dependent upon their teachers
[00:11:32.390]to get the work completed.
[00:11:34.594]Likewise, if a text is too challenging or too easy,
[00:11:38.321]independent reading may be really challenging at best.
[00:11:42.308]The second arrow is a helix,
[00:11:44.412]and it represents literacy development
[00:11:46.572]from emergent literacy skills through conventional
[00:11:50.799]As we discussed in our first webinar,
[00:11:52.908]communication skills begin developing in babies
[00:11:55.926]and continue as learners come to realize
[00:11:57.978]that spoken words can be represented by the science
[00:12:01.592]we call letters and printed on pages for others to read.
[00:12:05.954]Words on pages can represent people's thoughts and ideas,
[00:12:08.941]and those ideas can range from poems to stories
[00:12:11.688]to other kinds of information we can learn about.
[00:12:15.496]We learn how to read so that we can access
[00:12:17.900]all the wonder that books represent.
[00:12:20.560]Next, we want you to notice the ovals
[00:12:23.651]laid atop the straight arrow.
[00:12:25.829]These represent different levels of literacy
[00:12:28.387]and the kind of interaction that would be required
[00:12:31.773]for the learner to be engaged.
[00:12:34.364]At level one, near the top of the arrow,
[00:12:36.576]we have individuals to whom do not yet have
[00:12:39.047]joint attention around literacy events.
[00:12:42.331]Individuals in level one need adults to work
[00:12:44.618]really hard to engage them and create communication skills
[00:12:48.705]such as responding with back and forth, I do, you do,
[00:12:54.643]where as students at level two actually have joint attention
[00:12:58.105]and thus can begin to profit more fully from instruction
[00:13:01.540]and that includes objects.
[00:13:03.634]At level three, students are beginning to develop concepts
[00:13:07.050]of book, and by the end of level three,
[00:13:09.287]they understand concepts of print.
[00:13:11.744]The idea that words carry the meaning of text.
[00:13:14.620]They might begin developing phonemic awareness,
[00:13:18.219]knowledge of sound symbol relationships,
[00:13:20.152]and other kinds of current, related information.
[00:13:24.543]At level four, students are really beginning to be
[00:13:28.170]beginning readers who might still need support
[00:13:31.152]from a teacher to remain engaged in literacy tasks.
[00:13:34.796]And then finally at level five,
[00:13:36.586]we have students who can perform all kinds
[00:13:39.051]of different literacy activities independently.
[00:13:42.588]It's also important for us to tell you
[00:13:44.682]that these levels are not necessarily
[00:13:46.905]connected to students' ages.
[00:13:49.326]For example, we've worked with secondary students
[00:13:51.510]who are at level one.
[00:13:54.031]Also important is what we use this tool for
[00:13:57.104]is to inform our broader understanding
[00:14:00.096]of the learners we're working with
[00:14:02.181]so we can decide what kinds of communication
[00:14:05.621]and literacy assessments we might use to help
[00:14:08.279]inform instruction, so for example,
[00:14:10.950]if you have a student at level three,
[00:14:13.133]you might want to understand which concepts of book
[00:14:15.805]he or she knows, you might also wanna know more
[00:14:18.129]about their language.
[00:14:19.799]For example, does she know that toast is a kind of bread,
[00:14:23.338]and that red is a color word?
[00:14:26.242]Does she use two or more words to communicate her wants?
[00:14:29.346]Or are typical utterances longer and more complex?
[00:14:33.464]For students at level four, you might wanna know
[00:14:36.545]what his reading levels are for stories
[00:14:39.036]and his reading level for informational text.
[00:14:42.275]And you might also want to even understand
[00:14:44.310]his listening comprehension levels if you're trying
[00:14:47.142]to help him access grade level social studies content
[00:14:50.126]in a general education classroom.
[00:14:52.582]Thus, the big idea is that these levels
[00:14:55.197]give you an idea of what kinds of instructional,
[00:14:58.744]what kinds of assessment tools you might use
[00:15:01.658]to inform your instruction.
[00:15:03.858]So for example, with level two and three,
[00:15:06.505]you might assess a student's understanding of book concepts
[00:15:09.515]at level three you might understand and assess
[00:15:12.214]their print concepts, phonemic awareness
[00:15:14.828]and listening comprehension.
[00:15:16.999]Once students are reading sentences,
[00:15:18.726]it would be more important to include
[00:15:20.188]assessments that directly are associated with comprehension
[00:15:23.895]such as reading inventories, informal reading inventories
[00:15:28.440]and not just simply assessments that should have
[00:15:32.490]a relationship to comprehension, like fluency assessments.
[00:15:37.083]Once you've decided what kinds of information
[00:15:39.494]about the student's literacy level you need to collect,
[00:15:42.747]you'll need to interpret what your data suggests
[00:15:46.550]about both your literacy targets and instructional supports
[00:15:50.130]as you pursue developing the literacy skills
[00:15:53.225]of this particular learner.
[00:15:58.406]Here, we have our Instructional Decision Making tool.
[00:16:01.794]This tool emphasizes the relationships among assessment
[00:16:05.627]results, literacy targets, goals and objectives,
[00:16:10.798]and selections of evidence based practices,
[00:16:13.493]supports, and strategies to facilitate student learning.
[00:16:17.814]You will notice that the literacy target should include
[00:16:20.675]the big three, reading, writing, and word study.
[00:16:24.357]Together, these three help students with autism
[00:16:26.653]better understand the reciprocal nature
[00:16:28.411]of oral and written communication and reading and writing.
[00:16:32.597]We communicate to exchange thoughts, words, and ideas,
[00:16:35.648]and we learn to read and write so our thoughts, words,
[00:16:38.144]and ideas can exist outside of the present.
[00:16:44.307]Up to this point, we've discussed overarching ideas
[00:16:47.227]that inform literacy instruction for individuals with autism
[00:16:50.845]an instructional framework for thinking about instruction,
[00:16:54.356]how to develop literacy assessment data
[00:16:57.446]that can help inform instruction, and how to make decisions
[00:17:00.569]about which literacy targets to address,
[00:17:03.277]along with evidence based practices, supports,
[00:17:06.281]and strategies to improve the power of your instruction
[00:17:09.783]to move student outcomes.
[00:17:11.755]Next, we will discuss instructional methods
[00:17:13.961]that can be used to address word study, reading,
[00:17:17.048]and writing for students functioning at different levels.
[00:17:23.603]Beck, Mckeown, Kucan gave us a useful way
[00:17:26.262]to approach vocabulary instruction.
[00:17:28.848]They note that vocabulary words fall into three tiers.
[00:17:32.633]Tier one words include words used in our everyday speech.
[00:17:36.586]For typically developing children,
[00:17:38.866]tier one words are frequently learned through conversation
[00:17:41.527]and rarely need to be explicitly taught.
[00:17:44.957]For students with autism, some may require
[00:17:47.897]explicit teaching of tier one words.
[00:17:50.919]We also include core words as tier one words
[00:17:53.677]for students with autism.
[00:17:55.764]Core words are usually though of as foundational words
[00:17:58.477]that improve communication.
[00:18:00.774]Core words include social words
[00:18:02.272]such as please and thank you.
[00:18:04.308]They also include words that can represent many different
[00:18:06.996]ideas such as pronouns and determiner words.
[00:18:11.329]For example, the word she can mean
[00:18:13.269]any number of different females in different contexts,
[00:18:16.405]while the word some can refer to a quantity
[00:18:19.077]of any number of different things.
[00:18:22.408]Core words also include high impact words for questions,
[00:18:25.796]prepositions, and verbs that form the backbone
[00:18:28.905]of social speech.
[00:18:30.656]Explicitly teaching core words is preferred
[00:18:33.229]to teaching dolch sight words to students with autism
[00:18:36.277]as meaning is more easily emphasized.
[00:18:39.496]Tier two words are high frequency words that are used
[00:18:42.946]across many content areas and in many different contexts.
[00:18:47.774]They are juicy words that teachers frequently assume
[00:18:50.152]someone has already taught students.
[00:18:52.530]Once again, for students with autism,
[00:18:54.982]tier two words are important targets as students
[00:18:57.547]develop more sophisticated literacy skills.
[00:19:00.860]Given their wide use, they are important words
[00:19:03.164]to teach and for the same reason,
[00:19:05.188]they can be more challenging for students to learn.
[00:19:08.224]They often have multiple meanings which represents
[00:19:11.167]special challenges for students with autism
[00:19:14.137]for example, the word marble can be a kind of stone,
[00:19:17.485]a toy, or even a technique for making paper.
[00:19:21.404]Tier three words are highly specialized words
[00:19:24.243]that are frequently associated with specialized content.
[00:19:27.833]We often refer to these words as terms.
[00:19:31.239]Determining what tier words fall into
[00:19:33.709]can help you make decisions about what
[00:19:35.787]may be important for teaching them.
[00:19:38.058]For tier one words, it is important to understand
[00:19:40.324]students' capacity for abstraction.
[00:19:43.267]Can they learn the word from photos,
[00:19:45.575]colored pictures, line drawings?
[00:19:47.782]Pictures paired with words or words alone?
[00:19:51.049]Plans to generalize both receptive and expressive
[00:19:54.058]word use need to be developed, as well as plans
[00:19:57.649]to generalize the word across contexts.
[00:20:01.330]For tier two words, it is important to begin flexibility,
[00:20:04.701]building flexibility around word meanings
[00:20:06.805]as soon as possible.
[00:20:08.496]You want to explicitly teach students how to determine
[00:20:12.684]the context around that targeted word
[00:20:15.553]which will lead to an understanding of the meaning.
[00:20:19.378]Instruction might include presenting sentences
[00:20:21.834]that highlight different word meanings
[00:20:23.952]while thinking aloud about how to find semantic clues,
[00:20:27.253]picture clues, and syntactic clues
[00:20:29.756]to help develop correct meanings.
[00:20:32.330]Semantic clues include conceptual categories to determine
[00:20:35.911]possible word meanings, for example,
[00:20:38.620]if the target sentence was, Kaitlin was a nurse,
[00:20:41.156]and she cared for a person with diabetes,
[00:20:45.003]we could use our knowledge of what a nurse does,
[00:20:47.549]she cares for sick people, to determine that
[00:20:50.293]diabetes must be some kind of medical problem
[00:20:53.043]that people might need care for.
[00:20:55.705]We could also use syntax to figure out the grammar role
[00:20:58.645]of a word and figure out the word's meaning as a result.
[00:21:02.823]For example, if the sentence was,
[00:21:04.782]she serendipitously came across a new recipe for a cake,
[00:21:09.387]if we identify the word serendipitously as an adverb,
[00:21:13.629]we know it has something to do
[00:21:15.196]with how she found the recipe.
[00:21:17.765]For tier three words, teaching morphemic decoding
[00:21:20.894]can be useful.
[00:21:22.622]The first step is to identify word parts,
[00:21:25.165]including affixes, base, and root words,
[00:21:28.022]along with your associated meanings.
[00:21:31.682]Next, students are taught to dissect
[00:21:33.858]multi-syllabic words into cards
[00:21:36.326]and use that knowledge of word part meanings
[00:21:40.150]to estimate the meaning of the whole new word.
[00:21:43.697]For example, if the new word was monologue,
[00:21:46.421]we could break the word into mono, which means one,
[00:21:49.604]and logue, which means words in discourse.
[00:21:53.268]We might be able to infer that the word monologue
[00:21:56.085]means one person who is talking for a long time.
[00:22:02.048]When it comes to teaching reading comprehension,
[00:22:04.479]research based approaches are continuing to be developed.
[00:22:07.669]We will focus on three research based interventions
[00:22:10.803]that target comprehension.
[00:22:12.912]The first strategy is called dialogic reading.
[00:22:16.135]Our colleague Kelly Whalon modified this
[00:22:18.536]intervention for early literacy learners
[00:22:21.131]to work with students with autism.
[00:22:23.317]The other two strategies are drawn from our own work
[00:22:25.549]with readers and include text structure instruction,
[00:22:27.786]specifically for reading science texts,
[00:22:30.538]and character event maps, which were used to teach
[00:22:33.251]comprehension of a novel.
[00:22:39.592]Dialogic reading has been used for decades
[00:22:42.132]in early language intervention.
[00:22:44.345]Using books, it systematically engages students
[00:22:47.004]in progressively sophisticated dialogue about those books.
[00:22:50.892]The key is to select a book that includes pictures
[00:22:53.304]that tell stories, for example, concept books,
[00:22:56.735]or books that just show different pictures about one topic,
[00:22:59.874]shoes for example, would not really work
[00:23:02.234]for dialogic reading.
[00:23:04.004]While they might be useful at earlier levels,
[00:23:06.079]level one, where we're just asking students to talk about
[00:23:08.983]pictures, they would not be useful in level three,
[00:23:12.330]where we're asking students to explain
[00:23:14.869]why something might be happening in the story
[00:23:17.567]and to also relate that to their own prior experiences.
[00:23:23.744]As shown here, dialogic reading includes three levels
[00:23:26.794]through which the students progress.
[00:23:29.141]During level one, the idea is for teachers and students
[00:23:32.199]to have a conversation through the use
[00:23:34.158]of close ended questions.
[00:23:36.143]For example, the teacher might ask the student
[00:23:38.462]to identify a picture, an object in the picture.
[00:23:42.129]When the student identifies the object,
[00:23:44.460]the teacher would repeat the student's answer
[00:23:46.367]with a slight elaboration.
[00:23:48.161]For example, if the object was a car,
[00:23:50.851]the teacher might elaborate on the student's car response
[00:23:54.382]by saying, yes, that's a red car,
[00:23:56.994]what do you think a car's used for?
[00:23:59.878]At level two, questions shift primarily to open ended
[00:24:03.717]questions such as, what do you see on this page?
[00:24:07.290]The idea is that the student is responsible
[00:24:10.003]for expressing what they see instead of commenting
[00:24:12.392]on what the teacher sees.
[00:24:14.523]Finally, during level three, conversations emphasize
[00:24:17.981]higher order thinking, such as,
[00:24:20.056]why do you think the man drove his car to school?
[00:24:24.268]The idea is for students to begin making predictions
[00:24:26.742]about what's happening in the book.
[00:24:29.334]In addition, the teacher begins asking what are called
[00:24:34.081]Distancing questions relate to what's happening in the book,
[00:24:38.123]relates what is happening in the book
[00:24:40.333]to previous experiences the students might have had.
[00:24:43.900]This is very important for language development
[00:24:46.219]as students have to think rather than only responding
[00:24:49.069]to the visual prompts contained on the page of the book.
[00:24:49.902]The next strategy we'd like to describe is
[00:24:56.866]a Text Structure Intervention.
[00:24:59.604]This intervention was based upon the work
[00:25:01.611]of Joanna Williams who developed it for use
[00:25:04.784]with struggling primary students.
[00:25:08.035]She was using it to teach them expository text structure,
[00:25:12.123]or the structure of informational texts.
[00:25:15.270]We have conducted two different studies that
[00:25:17.616]included students with autism who were reading
[00:25:20.079]as low as the primer level and first grade levels.
[00:25:23.609]Our second study was with students who were
[00:25:26.554]reading at the intermediate level,
[00:25:28.607]but they were already in high school,
[00:25:31.086]so in all cases they were individuals who were
[00:25:33.571]much older than their reading levels would have suggested.
[00:25:37.321]We've written an article for teachers
[00:25:38.941]regarding how to do this intervention,
[00:25:41.062]and it's available in the journal called Interventions
[00:25:43.353]in School and Clinic for those of you who might
[00:25:46.397]like additional information on this strategy,
[00:25:49.206]but today we're gonna share enough information
[00:25:51.392]to get you started.
[00:25:54.157]Informational text has a unique structure
[00:25:56.479]when compared to stories.
[00:25:58.724]The structure of narratives is called story grammar.
[00:26:02.217]The elements of story grammar include characters,
[00:26:05.176]setting, plot, and solution,
[00:26:07.656]whereas the macrostructure of informational texts
[00:26:10.896]includes very structured, selected by authors,
[00:26:14.070]to help people learn from what they've written.
[00:26:17.200]For example, an author might begin with a description
[00:26:20.401]of their topic that's followed by a comparison
[00:26:23.398]with presumably a familiar topic.
[00:26:26.723]Unlike story grammars that follow essentially the same
[00:26:29.557]structure across all stories,
[00:26:31.619]informational text authors have a lot of latitude
[00:26:34.249]about how they construct texts to help students learn.
[00:26:38.004]What's important here is that research suggests
[00:26:40.612]that if students understand how a text is structured,
[00:26:44.440]this knowledge can compensate for their lack
[00:26:46.518]of background knowledge on a topic.
[00:26:49.193]This is critical for students with autism
[00:26:51.326]as sometimes their knowledge bases are more specialized
[00:26:53.847]than other students might be.
[00:26:56.060]In other words, their interests help them develop
[00:26:58.122]deep knowledge rather than broad knowledge
[00:27:00.460]than might be really necessary for them to ensure
[00:27:04.043]that they're prepared for life after school.
[00:27:08.037]So the basic idea of text structure interventions
[00:27:10.998]is to let students with autism in on the secret
[00:27:13.600]of how authors organize their texts.
[00:27:16.935]This is done through explicitly teaching a language
[00:27:19.369]used by authors to signal particular structures,
[00:27:22.996]and these signal words are then paired
[00:27:24.698]with graphic organizers that represent visually
[00:27:27.837]how the brain should be organizing this new information.
[00:27:35.514]Here we present a graphic we adapted from the work of
[00:27:38.395]Zwiers for use in our studies.
[00:27:42.575]In the first column, the text structure is named.
[00:27:45.747]You will notice there are four different structures
[00:27:47.867]represented in rows on this guide.
[00:27:50.983]The second column explains the purpose of the structure
[00:27:54.079]or what the author's hoping you will learn
[00:27:56.049]during the reading of that section of the text.
[00:27:59.124]For example, when an author uses the compare contrast
[00:28:01.782]structure, the author's showing how two topics are alike
[00:28:05.458]and different from a cognitive perspective,
[00:28:09.059]comparing two similar but different ideas
[00:28:12.440]has the potential to provide a deep learning opportunity
[00:28:15.650]as your brain thinks about how to
[00:28:18.138]keep this information separate.
[00:28:21.365]In the third column, features of the structure are listed.
[00:28:24.691]This column highlights what is part of the structure.
[00:28:29.345]The fourth column contains signal words
[00:28:31.718]and questions that can be answered from reading
[00:28:33.948]this kind of structure.
[00:28:35.919]Finally, in the last column, are graphic organizers
[00:28:38.629]that can be used with each structure
[00:28:40.902]to visually represent the information contained in the text.
[00:28:44.927]We talk about this as showing students
[00:28:47.919]how their brain organizes the information
[00:28:50.451]they just read about and learned.
[00:28:53.493]You might be saying to yourself
[00:28:54.835]this seems like a lot of information to have
[00:28:56.686]on one page, and it is.
[00:28:59.293]When you teach text structures, you must first identify
[00:29:02.018]which structure or structures you wish to teach.
[00:29:05.718]We suggest that you look at the text
[00:29:07.782]you want them to be able to read,
[00:29:09.403]perhaps their science textbook.
[00:29:11.342]Next, you read and identify the most useful structures
[00:29:14.786]contained in that text.
[00:29:17.142]Based upon reading levels, select one structure
[00:29:20.033]for students who are reading at lower levels,
[00:29:25.470]or two or three for students who are reading
[00:29:27.752]at higher levels, and then you modify this form,
[00:29:31.079]so that only the targeted information is there.
[00:29:35.774]We'll show you how we did this with our lower readers
[00:29:38.741]using one text structure.
[00:29:43.590]For students in our study who were ready at the primer
[00:29:46.450]and first grade levels, we elected to explicitly teach them
[00:29:50.501]the compare contrast text structure.
[00:29:53.214]We took the information from the chart we just showed you
[00:29:56.051]and put it into two separate sheets.
[00:29:58.943]The organization guide here, and the graphic organizer
[00:30:02.126]sheet, which we'll talk about next.
[00:30:05.216]To teach students this process,
[00:30:07.259]we also developed model passages
[00:30:09.718]that only compared and contrasted two topics.
[00:30:13.739]In addition, we made sure they only contained
[00:30:16.332]the signal words listed on this guide
[00:30:18.820]and we bolded them in the passage.
[00:30:21.737]Using a task analysis, we explicitly taught students
[00:30:25.172]each part of this signal sheet.
[00:30:27.947]We explained that in an informational text,
[00:30:31.483]the author is trying to help us learn new information.
[00:30:34.887]To do this, the author uses signal words
[00:30:37.393]to alert us to what we should expect and understand.
[00:30:41.712]For example, there are signal words that alert us
[00:30:43.835]that the information is about how two things are the same
[00:30:47.991]and there are signal words that show us
[00:30:50.158]how two things are different.
[00:30:52.820]Next, we had students read the model passage aloud.
[00:30:57.522]They identified the topics that were being compared
[00:31:00.436]with the help of signal words embedded in the text.
[00:31:06.128]As soon as they finished reading,
[00:31:08.045]we explicitly taught students how to complete this diagram.
[00:31:11.346]They began by labeling the topics being compared in the text
[00:31:15.027]and they used the signal words
[00:31:16.952]that signified the same to identify information
[00:31:19.971]that would be placed in the center of this diagram.
[00:31:23.261]We emphasize that this was the author teaching us
[00:31:25.610]how two topics were the same.
[00:31:28.345]Next, we explicitly taught them how to use signal words
[00:31:31.650]that indicated how topics were different or unique
[00:31:35.348]to complete the rest of the diagram.
[00:31:38.291]After the diagram was completed,
[00:31:40.315]we asked students to verbally summarize
[00:31:42.517]how the topics were alike and different.
[00:31:46.633]In this study, the intervention improved students'
[00:31:49.074]reading comprehension of passages.
[00:31:51.840]In a follow up with these same students,
[00:31:54.272]we found that students were able to maintain gains
[00:31:57.164]and comprehension with the use of these tools.
[00:32:00.509]We also noticed that students began recording
[00:32:02.927]fewer details from passages over time
[00:32:06.419]while still maintaining high levels of comprehension.
[00:32:10.309]We speculated that this meant students were beginning
[00:32:13.128]to internalize how to understand the information
[00:32:16.810]and likely needed less support from the tools.
[00:32:20.497]As we mentioned at the beginning of this webinar,
[00:32:23.184]fading support over time is critical
[00:32:25.569]for longer term outcomes.
[00:32:28.028]If you use this intervention, consider this progression
[00:32:31.319]to fade support.
[00:32:33.710]First, put students in passages that are not
[00:32:36.492]tightly controlled and discontinue the use
[00:32:39.317]of the organization guide.
[00:32:41.663]Let them continue to use the graphic organizer.
[00:32:45.591]Once you see their comprehension is still good,
[00:32:48.331]fade the organizer to test whether or not they need it
[00:32:54.132]Finally, as we mentioned earlier,
[00:32:56.319]we also used a similar intervention to teach
[00:32:59.015]grade level texts to students who were reading
[00:33:01.787]at middle school levels in high school.
[00:33:05.300]For that intervention, we explicitly taught them
[00:33:07.740]to manage three text structures at a time
[00:33:10.647]using very similar techniques.
[00:33:13.179]Again, the intervention was effective for all students
[00:33:15.988]in the study.
[00:33:18.084]As we noted in the beginning of the section,
[00:33:20.380]this is a research based strategy to teach students
[00:33:23.250]with autism how to comprehend informational texts.
[00:33:28.356]Next, we will describe a research based approach
[00:33:31.076]to teaching narrative text.
[00:33:35.278]As we mentioned earlier, narrative texts are
[00:33:37.814]organized by story grammar.
[00:33:40.243]Explicitly teaching story grammar is a useful intervention
[00:33:43.403]for students who read short books.
[00:33:45.670]However in our work with older students in high school,
[00:33:48.648]it became clear that simply teaching story grammar
[00:33:52.016]for a novel was not as useful.
[00:33:54.934]This makes sense if you think about it.
[00:33:56.975]Plots unfold slowly across many pages,
[00:33:59.899]and authors include interesting details
[00:34:01.925]that may not be important for understanding
[00:34:04.192]the important information contained in the novel.
[00:34:07.173]As a result, we develop the character event map strategy
[00:34:11.069]to teach students how to comprehend novels
[00:34:13.582]by understanding critical interactions among characters.
[00:34:18.581]We also explicitly taught students
[00:34:20.490]how to comprehend literary terms,
[00:34:22.996]which are expected content in high school English classes.
[00:34:30.282]For our study, students were reading The Hunger Games,
[00:34:33.750]which was a novel selected by their teacher.
[00:34:36.794]We created maps for each chapter of the novel
[00:34:40.380]where we summarized what happened is the center column.
[00:34:43.704]That was how the form was presented to students.
[00:34:47.252]After reading, students were asked to identify
[00:34:50.463]which characters were involved in the incident
[00:34:53.083]listed in the center column.
[00:34:55.395]This information was recorded in the first column
[00:34:57.701]of the form.
[00:34:59.092]Next, students discussed the meaning of the incident
[00:35:02.038]and recorded that information in the third column.
[00:35:08.000]In addition, we introduced students to literary terms
[00:35:11.648]used by the author in the novel,
[00:35:13.845]including metaphor, foreshadowing, and irony.
[00:35:17.830]We provided students with definitions of these terms,
[00:35:20.725]and we've provided examples from the novel.
[00:35:25.018]Teachers were asked to model how to think about these terms,
[00:35:29.183]locate them, and figure out what they meant
[00:35:31.730]by comparing them to this form.
[00:35:36.383]As shown here, students were provided with examples
[00:35:39.980]of each literary term from the chapter they were reading,
[00:35:43.503]and they were asked to record which characters
[00:35:45.550]the terms referred to.
[00:35:47.361]Next, they were asked to determine the meaning of the terms.
[00:35:50.936]This helped students better understand the writer's use
[00:35:54.042]of craft during the completion of the story.
[00:35:58.885]Once again, we used the evidence based practice
[00:36:01.505]of task analysis to explicitly teach students
[00:36:04.544]how to complete the character event maps
[00:36:07.003]during and after reading.
[00:36:09.713]Students then were asked to summarize what happened
[00:36:12.235]in the chapter using their character event maps
[00:36:15.286]and make predictions about what they thought
[00:36:17.190]might happen in the next chapter.
[00:36:19.848]Before reading subsequent chapters,
[00:36:22.167]students were asked to revisit their summaries
[00:36:24.466]and predictions for that next chapter.
[00:36:27.096]They would complete the character event map
[00:36:29.081]for the day's chapter and repeat the process they outlined,
[00:36:32.364]we outlined, rather.
[00:36:34.362]It was important for them to think about those predictions
[00:36:38.350]also and make sure that the predictions were accurate
[00:36:41.853]or inaccurate and they would describe why
[00:36:44.780]they were accurate or weren't accurate
[00:36:47.899]after the day's reading.
[00:36:50.194]Another support we embedded in this study
[00:36:53.000]was the use of an unabridged recording of the story.
[00:36:57.009]Students followed along as the recording played
[00:37:00.278]in their own books.
[00:37:02.204]The research on recordings used during reading
[00:37:05.165]told us that this alone would not help comprehension.
[00:37:09.157]Instead, we used it in our study to maintain
[00:37:11.912]students' attention to the book.
[00:37:15.676]We have followed up on this study,
[00:37:17.981]and in that intervention we taught students
[00:37:21.186]explicitly about how authors use characters
[00:37:25.050]to teach them how to separately categorize information
[00:37:31.204]that's interesting in the story
[00:37:33.325]from information that's important to the story.
[00:37:36.860]Although this study has not yet been published,
[00:37:39.691]we can share that explicitly teaching students how authors
[00:37:42.745]use round and flat characters to move story plots forward
[00:37:49.214]In summary, our work and the work of others
[00:37:51.638]all seems to suggest that when we explicitly teach
[00:37:55.019]students with autism how to determine
[00:37:57.492]what is important during reading,
[00:37:59.610]it impacts their reading comprehension in powerful ways.
[00:38:03.524]We've also learned that it's very important
[00:38:05.406]to systematically determine the most straight forward
[00:38:07.722]path to comprehension using the language
[00:38:11.568]that author's use when writing.
[00:38:14.469]Finally, it is critical to explicitly teach students
[00:38:17.303]with autism how to think during reading.
[00:38:21.156]This might be the most important takeaway of all.
[00:38:27.446]Next, we will briefly talk about writing.
[00:38:30.427]Perhaps not surprisingly, studies all suggest
[00:38:33.463]that as students with autism have a strength in writing,
[00:38:36.409]it is their ability to manage spelling,
[00:38:38.799]perhaps not perfectly, but in a way that will communicate
[00:38:41.348]what they mean, and grammar, compared to writing ideas
[00:38:45.559]and connecting those ideas together
[00:38:47.826]in a cogent piece of writing.
[00:38:50.936]We would call that second piece
[00:38:55.171]really an indicator of writing quality.
[00:38:58.649]Thus when we talk about writing,
[00:39:00.447]we are primarily interested in students' abilities
[00:39:03.070]to generate and express ideas.
[00:39:06.176]For student with autism, it is also important
[00:39:08.349]for them to connect reading with writing.
[00:39:10.767]They reinforce learning about the other.
[00:39:13.588]Simply stated, it is very good practice
[00:39:16.004]for students to write about what they are reading
[00:39:18.510]and to read what they are writing.
[00:39:24.030]Although teaching different writing strategies
[00:39:26.525]is beyond the scope of this webinar,
[00:39:28.837]we want to provide you with some important information.
[00:39:33.106]Graham and Harris developed the Self-Regulated
[00:39:36.283]Strategy Development model of writing instruction
[00:39:39.714]for students who had learning disabilities.
[00:39:42.898]Scholars in the area of autism,
[00:39:44.901]including Delano, Pennington, and even ourselves,
[00:39:48.447]have begun using this strategy effectively
[00:39:51.038]with students who have autism.
[00:39:53.417]Similar to reading interventions,
[00:39:55.846]scholars have embedded evidence based instructional
[00:39:58.239]practices for students with autism
[00:40:00.451]within protocols associated with the SRSD methods.
[00:40:05.578]We see evidence of task analyzed instruction,
[00:40:08.967]use of visuals, and we also see the use of
[00:40:11.852]mnemonic devices embedded in SRSD
[00:40:15.381]to aid recall of procedures designed to improve
[00:40:19.740]the overall writing quality, and also the writing quality
[00:40:24.626]of particular genres, so our best advice for you
[00:40:29.672]is to have students write what they read.
[00:40:32.695]If you're teaching them how to read
[00:40:34.385]compare contrast text structures,
[00:40:36.383]have them write compare contrast about two topics
[00:40:42.527]We'd also suggest using the graphic organizer used
[00:40:45.145]during reading to brainstorm the ideas
[00:40:47.708]that they will write about.
[00:40:49.547]They can also use the organization guide
[00:40:52.052]as a source of signal words that can be
[00:40:55.115]used in their writing.
[00:40:57.217]For early writers, we suggest giving them picture prompts
[00:41:00.295]and themselves as a stimulus for writing.
[00:41:02.903]They might summarize what they see
[00:41:04.786]so they could send a text message
[00:41:06.381]about what's happening at school,
[00:41:08.195]with the teacher's help of course, to their mom.
[00:41:11.321]For beginning writers, you'll want to give them
[00:41:13.578]sentence frames that increase in complexity
[00:41:16.385]as their writing develops.
[00:41:18.515]In summary, students with autism need to be writing
[00:41:21.071]early and often, just like their peers.
[00:41:27.723]In summary, this webinar described our framework
[00:41:30.363]for literacy instruction which is informed
[00:41:32.806]by our understandings of how students with autism
[00:41:35.590]develop literacy skills.
[00:41:37.651]We explained the importance of data informed instruction
[00:41:40.991]that includes consideration of students' reading profiles.
[00:41:44.635]Finally, we shared strategies for literacy instruction
[00:41:47.633]that can be used in your classrooms tomorrow.
[00:41:50.975]We want to sincerely thank you for your attention
[00:41:53.559]during this presentation.
[00:41:55.579]We hope that you found some information
[00:41:57.798]that you will find useful as you go forth
[00:42:00.410]and make a difference in the lives
[00:42:02.111]of the children you work with.
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