Topic | Teaching a 6yo with autism

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • john16.33

    My youngest Dd (6) has Dravet syndrome and high(ish) functioning autism. Last year she played a lot on hooked on phonics, but I think she was spending more time memorizing the words instead of actually learning to read.

    We’ve historically done a classical method with homeschool but are switching to more CM because I think the gentler approach with be better for her and my older two children, who have anxiety.

    With all of that said I’ve been searching for reading programs for kids with autism. Does anyone have a program they like? Im leaning towards A Gentle Feast, but don’t know if there is anything else I should consider.

    She can identify letters both uppercase and lowercase and their sounds already. She is verbal, sometimes too verbal 😂


    Each one is so different. Some options are All About Reading, Foundational Phonics, or A Gentle Feast. We have used parts of all three.

    Right now we are working on letter sounds with Foundational Phonics. After we get that down, we will either continue with Foundational Phonics or use A Gentle Feast depending on how my son does. Foundational Phonics is Orton Gillingham based, which can be confusing and monotonous for some, but for others it is just the explanation and practice they need. As far as OG programs go, Foundational Phonics is my current favorite.

    I prefer the CM reading lessons method when my child is ready via A Gentle Feast,  The Mindful Alphabet, or others’ blog descriptions of how to teach a CM reading lesson.

    Delightful Reading is another option.


    I tried both Delightful Reading and Sight and Sound from AGF. They werent a good fit at the time. My son is 10 and on the autism spectrum. He finished the pre reading level for AAR which worked well for him. We are now using Happy Cheetah Reading. You can see videos on Youtube about it. It was created for special needs students. My son is doing well and enjoys it.

    Sonya Shafer

    Hannah learned the letter names and sounds pretty early on, but she just couldn’t understand the concept of blending the sounds or “sounding it out.” We worked on short-vowel-A for a couple of years, to no avail. So I decided to skip right to whole words and see if that approach would help. It did. Here’s how we did that:

    We made it a game. First, I wrote on index cards the names of three very different locations in the room where we were doing our school work: bed, window, chair. I showed her a card, told her what the word was, then we went together to place the card in its corresponding location. After a few days of that simple and short exercise, I handed her the card and read the word aloud to see if she could put it where it belonged without my help. Next step, I handed her the card and didn’t say the word aloud. Once she was able to match the words on the cards with their locations (without any help from me), we played the game.

    She would step into the hall and hide her eyes. I would then hide a small toy in one of the three locations. I’d let her know when I was ready and she would come back into the room. Then I would hold up the card that had the location of where the toy was hidden. If she read it correctly, she would go to that place and find the toy (instant positive reinforcement); if she misread it, she wouldn’t find the toy (instant gentle feedback/correction).

    Once we had learned some nouns on cards, I introduced some verbs and we acted them out. Then we started putting sentences together with the cards.

    Once she could read ten or more word cards, I started doing very short word-building exercises on the side using a word she knew, just to try to reinforce the letters and sounds aspect. She started reading when she was 11. She’s now 23 and reading at a third-grade level, reading words that I never taught her.

    Perhaps this short description of our experience will give you some ideas for your son.


    This sounds exactly like the issue my daughter is having. She knows each letter and their sounds but putting them together is a struggle. I will try this method along with AGF this fall. Maybe the two together will help it ‘click’. Thanks!

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Free basic shipping on USA orders over $75!