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Phonemic Awareness Interventions for Autism

written by: brandieewine • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 12/16/2010

Many people are overwhelmed by the mountains of information regarding phonemic awareness interventions for autism. This article gives the basics of games and programs designed to increase phonemic awareness in autistic children.

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    Phonemic Awareness Interventions

    Phonemic awareness is simply the ability to manipulate and comprehend sounds in words that are spoken, and the connection between sounds and actual words. Phonemic awareness is essential to children who are learning to read and write. This is why it is vital that the correct phonemic awareness interventions are used as early as possible. The average parent or caregiver may find navigating through all of the available products, games, and books a daunting task. Following are examples of excellent phonemic awareness games and programs aimed at individuals with autism.

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    Word Rhyming Phonemic Awareness Interventions

    Children generally enjoy rhyming words. When caregivers create games that use sentences such as "hat rhymes with bat" they can be extremely successful in building phonemic awareness. As the learner begins to master the simpler sentences the caregiver or teacher can increase the difficulty of the sentences. Variations in game play such as songs and stories increase the success of this method.

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    Beginning Sounds

    The ability to understand the beginning sounds of a word can be extremely beneficial to an autistic child. An example would be a parent or caregiver who inquires "cat begins with which sound?" or "which words start with the c sounds?". This again can be altered as time progresses. Autistic children usually respond well when this is used in a song format.

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    Ending Sounds

    The ability to identify which words end with certain sounds is also vital to phonemic awareness. A great example would be a parent or caregiver who inquires "what sound do you hear at the end of ham?" or " which sound is at the end of ham?" Combine these questions with songs to increase success. One popular song is "Old MacDonald had a farm". Each animal presents the opportunity to discuss sounds.

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    Replacing, Removing, and Blending Sounds

    Using a word that a child has mastered and replacing, removing, or blending sounds is an excellent way to build phonemic awareness. An example of replacing a sound would be to ask "What sound do you make when you replace the c in cat with a b?" Children can begin to build on those basic words to increase their understanding of phonics. When removing sounds a great example would be "What happens when you remove the c from cat?"

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    Purchase a Program Aimed at Developing Phonemic Awareness

    You could also purchase a phonemic awareness program such as Baby Bumblebee. While their use of digital versatile disks is considered controversial, this program is quite popular with parents and uses a paired associative learning technique to build categorization skills.

    All the techniques mentioned in this article have provided users with encouraging results in phonics, reading, and writing. These activities can be done anywhere and at anytime to improve comprehension.

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    References

    http://reading.uoregon.edu/big_ideas/pa/pa_what.php

    http://www.readingtarget.com/PAGames.htm

    http://teams.lacoe.edu/documentation/classrooms/patti/k-1/activities/phonemic.html

    http://www.babybumblebee.com/company/teaching.cfm