The POPS Reading Scheme for Children with Autism (ASD)

One of the most critical aspects of teaching a child with Autism (ASD) to read is to make the experience a positive one. By making the reading experience enjoyable and successful, your child will want to read on and cooperate with you in the supporting activities. The stories in our reading scheme are based on the everyday life of the POPS family. Humorous storylines introduce familiar situations that are recognizable and fun.

Many children with Autism (ASD) respond well to a defined structure. All the books in the reading scheme have a similar style and structure, the style has been chosen to ensure the text is separated from the illustration, so that it can be easily read. Keeping the same style ensures children will become familiar and confident with the format as they become involved in the lives of the POPS family.

Building Phonic Decoding and Visual Learning Skills
Some autistic children read phonetically and some are natural sight readers. Some children will learn reading more easily with phonics, and others will learn best by memorizing whole words. Some children with autism (ASD) will learn best if flash cards (word cards) and picture books are used so that whole words are associated with pictures.

The POPS phonics resources break the decoding process into small easy steps, so that a child can be successful in decoding words and in blending sounds into words. Our learning by doing approach with Words Cards for “Name, Match and Select” activities in every book ensures the child can be successful on every page by matching one of more words before progressing onto independent reading.

Building Reading Comprehension and Inference Skills
Often children with Autism (ASD) demonstrate a strong understanding of concrete information. It is important to teach to their strengths and ask factual questions while using reading materials that address practical and authentic experiences rather than fantasy.

The child can easily relate their personal experiences to the story lines in the POPS Reading Scheme. This builds on the child’s understanding of everyday actions and equips them with everyday function words. The topics are understandable and relevant to the child’s experiences, allowing them to make connections to what is happening in their own life.

Children with autism (ASD) have trouble answering questions that require inferences to be made about a story, “filling in the gap between the text and the outside world”, even though they are more than able to answer factual questions.

The POPS Reading Scheme has unique features to help the child overcome this issue

  • Each book starts with a Shared Reading Page to be read to your child to set the scene of the story to come. The ending of each story relates back to the Shared Reading Page so that there is a defined start middle and end sequence
  • The characters facial expressions and positioning are designed to help children understand the emotions portrayed.
  • The illustrations are simple, attractive and uncluttered and reflect the text, keeping the need for the child to make inferences to a minimum.
  • The language development exercises at the back of every book helps the child to comprehend the “meaning” in the story, to develop the emotional experience of the characters and to promote conversation.

Selecting Interesting Topics
If your child is interested in the topic, they are more likely to pay attention for longer periods of time and be more willing to learn, because the topic is personally interesting.

Our schools downloads contain all the POPS characters for use with Clicker.