, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 115-127

Exploration of Strategies for Facilitating the Reading Comprehension of High-Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Many students with autism spectrum disorders show good decoding combined with poor comprehension. Twenty adolescent students with autism spectrum disorders participated in a study concerning the effects of three kinds of facilitation on reading comprehension. In a within-subjects design, each students read passages under four conditions: answering prereading questions, completing cloze sentences embedded in the text, resolving anaphora by identifying relevant antecedents, and control (reading only). A repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that conditions differed significantly in their effects on reading comprehension. Post hoc contrasts showed that the effects of anaphoric cuing were statistically significant and medium in size; the effects of prereading questions and cloze completion were small and not statistically significant. Instructional implications for text preparation, remedial instruction, and the design of educational software are discussed.