Digital Books with Dynamic Text and Speech Output: Effects on Sight Word Reading for Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Despite the importance of literacy in today’s educational curriculum, learning to read is a challenge for many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One of the foundational skills of early literacy learning is the ability to recognize sight words. This study used a single-subject, multiple-probe, across-participants design, to investigate the effects of a new software feature, dynamic text and speech output, on the acquisition of sight words by three pre-literate preschoolers with ASD during shared digital book reading experiences. All participants demonstrated successful acquisition of the target sight words with minimal exposure to the words. Limitations and future research directions are discussed, including the importance of investigating how the new software feature can be integrated into a more comprehensive literacy curriculum.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder (ASD) Literacy Sight word reading Digital text Visual scene displays (VSDs)
KM conceptualized the study design, recruited participants, completed data analysis and interpretation, and wrote the manuscript. JL and DM obtained funding, contributed to the interpretation of the findings, and made contributions to the revision of the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study was funded by (a) a doctoral training grant funded by U.S. Department of Education Grant #H325D110008; and (b) a Grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR Grant #90RE5017) to the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (The RERC on AAC). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this study do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
It was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Boyle, S., McCoy, A., McNaughton, D., & Light, J. (2017). Using digital texts in interactive reading activities for children with language delays and disorders: A review of the research literature and pilot study. Seminars in Speech and Language, 38, 263–275. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0037-1604274.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Broun, L. T., & Oelwein, P. (2007). Literacy development for students with special learning needs: A strength-based approach. Port Chester: National Professional resources, Inc.Google Scholar
- Browder, D. M., & Xin, Y. P. (1998). A meta-analysis and review of sight word research and its implications for teaching functional reading to individuals with moderate and severe disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 32, 130–153. https://doi.org/10.1177/002246699803200301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Caron, J., Light, J., Holyfield, C., & McNaughton, D. (2018). Effects of dynamic text in an AAC app on sight word reading for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 34, 143–154. https://doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2018.1457715.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gardiner, S. (2001). Ten minutes a day for silent reading. Educational Leadership, 59, 32–35.Google Scholar
- Gutierrez-Griep, R. (1984) Student preference of sensory reinforcers. Education and Training of the Mentally Retarded, 19, 108–13. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23877223.
- Heimann, M., Nelson, K. E., Tjus, T., & Gillberg, C. (1995). Increasing reading and communication skills in children with autism through an interactive multimedia computer program. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25, 459–480. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02178294.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Holyfield, C., Light, J., McNaughton, D., Caron, J., Drager, K., & Pope, L. (2018). Effect of AAC featuring VSDs with dynamic text and speech output on the single-word reading of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and limited speech. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- Houston, D., & Torgesen, J. (2004). Teaching students with moderate disabilities to read: Insights from research. Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services, Florida Department of Education.Google Scholar
- Jagaroo, V., & Wilkinson, K. (2008). Further considerations of visual cognitive neuroscience in aided AAC: The potential role of motion perception systems in maximizing design display. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 24, 29–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/07434610701390673.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kennedy, C. H. (2005). Single-case designs for educational research. Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Kluth, P., & Chandler-Olcott, K. (2008). ‘‘A land we can share’’: Teaching literacy to students with autism. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.Google Scholar
- Kodak, T., Fisher, W. W., Clements, A., & Bouxsein, K. J. (2011). Effects of computer-assisted instruction on correct responding and procedural integrity during early intensive behavioral intervention. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 640–647. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2010.07.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lang, R., O’Reilly, M. F., Sigafoos, J., Machalicek, W., Rispoli, M., Shogren, K., et al. (2010). Review of teacher involvement in the applied intervention research for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disability, 45, 268–283.Google Scholar
- Light, J., & McNaughton, D. (2013). Literacy intervention for individuals with complex communication needs. In D. R. Beukelman & P. Mirenda (Eds.), Augmentative and alternative communication: Supporting children and adults with complex communication needs (4th edn., pp. 309–351). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Light, J., McNaughton, D., Jakobs, T., & Hershberger, D. (2014). Investigating AAC technologies to support the transition from graphic symbols to literacy. RERC on AAC: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Retrieved from https://rerc-aac.psu.edu/research/r2-investigating-aac-technologies-to-support-the-transition-from-graphic-symbols-to-literacy/.
- Light, J., McNaughton, D., Weyer, M., & Karg, L. (2008). Evidence-based literacy instruction for individuals who require augmentative and alternative communication: A case study of a student with multiple disabilities. Seminars in Speech and Language, 29, 120–132. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2008-1079126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Martin, B., & Carle, E. (1984). Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? New York, NY: Henry Holt.Google Scholar
- Rasinski, T. V., & Padak, N. (2008). From phonics to fluency: Effective teaching of decoding and reading fluency in the elementary school. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Smith, F. (1971). Understanding reading: A psycholinguistic analysis of reading and learning to read. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
- Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1998).). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Vacca, J. S. (2007). Autistic children can be taught to read. International Journal of Special Education, 22, 54–61.Google Scholar
- Watson, M., Fore, C., I. I. I., & Boon, R. T. (2009). Corrective feedback of oral decoding errors for diverse learners with reading disabilities: The effects of two methods on reading fluency. International Journal of Special Education, 24, 20–31.Google Scholar