During this session, the presenters will teach practitioners how to conduct meaningful read alouds for children with disabilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Speech Language Impairment (SLI), and Intellectual Disability (ID). The instruction and techniques that will be presented are part of a listening comprehension instructional program that has been associated with improvements in expressive vocabulary, listening comprehension, and narrative abilities.
Effective read alouds can improve comprehension, and are important for children with language impairments, including those with ASD, who often struggle with reading, particularly in the area of comprehension. The social and oral language impairments associated with ASD often contribute to these reading difficulties, therefore, reading instruction that targets the comprehension, oral language, and social areas of these students is imperative for both their academic and social outcomes.
Session participants will learn the purpose of conducting read alouds to improve comprehension and how to effectively deliver read alouds to students with ASD, SLI, and ID.
About Our Presenters:
Emily Solari is the coordinator and professor in the Reading Education program in the Department of Curriculum Instruction and Special Education. Dr. Solari’s scholarship has focused on the prevalence, predictors, and underlying mechanisms that drive reading development with the ultimate goal of developing and testing the efficacy of targeted interventions to prevent and ameliorate reading difficulties. Her work has included intervention development and trials with students who have early profiles of reading difficulties, individuals diagnosed with autism, and English language learners. Her work has been particularly focused on translating the science of reading by engaging with practitioners and policymakers to leverage scientific evidence to improve practice in school settings.
Carlin Conner, PhD is a Post-Doctoral research fellow at the University of Virginia in the School of Education. She received her PhD in May of 2020 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. During her PhD program, she was a scholar with the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs. Her research interests include literacy and behavior interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as English Language Learners. Before beginning her PhD, Carlin spent time as both a special education teacher and special education instructional coach in Dallas.
Dr. Alyssa Henry is a National Center for Special Education Research Postdoctoral Research Training Fellow in Autism and Education with the Reading and Academic Development Research Group at the University of Virginia. She has nine years of experience working with children and families in both clinical and research capacities. Her research centers around preschool and school-aged children with autism, with a particular focus on intervention services to support reading and social skills development.
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