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Year 3 who can't blend or segment

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by jellybears, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. jellybears

    jellybears New commenter

    Hi all,

    Looking for some advice on what to do with a boy in my new Y3 class who has autism and knows all Phase 2 and 3 phonics sounds but can't blend or segment at all. I've been told to use sight words as one strategy but I'm unsure how to go about using these with him and giving him the teaching input - I only have a TA 2 mornings a week and she won't be spending all her time with him. Could anyone give me some tips on activities I can plan for him to do mostly independently that will help him learn and practise sight words? Or any other strategies that can help?

    As a separate issue, he doesn't like not doing the same work as the other children, something that wasn't an issue until Y3 transition just before the holidays. He will try to argue and bargain a lot to get out of his work which wastes a lot of learning time. Does anyone have any separate strategies to help him accept that this is the work that he has to do - maybe a reward chart or something? I've used a sand timer which he responds well to but still doesn't want to do the work in the first place!

    TIA from an NQT!
  2. wokinghamteacher

    wokinghamteacher New commenter

    Look for some phonological awareness activities. Focus on oral skills first before applying to letters and blending for reading. Perhaps he could pick a friend to join him for ten minutes a day to work on phonological awareness games?
    christyfrost26 likes this.
  3. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Please do not bash away at trying to teach him to learn via phonics. Phonics does not suit every child and there is lots of evidence that children with ASC do indeed learn to read via sight words. Imagine how frustrating it would be to be taught something that just doesn't enable you to grasp reading. Of course there then maybe work avoidance tactics...

    Children with ASC tend to find group work and making choice difficult.

    Learning via sight can be done in lots of different multisensory ways. It depends on the child and his ability and learning style. Could the TA teach him new words every week and then he practices them? He could match them, word searches, snap games with a friend an adult in a STRUCTURED game.

    Talk to him about how he likes to learn and when he learns best. Talk to his family. Your SENCo should be able to give more advice.

    All behaviour is a form of communication. You need to talk to him and his family. Maybe he needs a quieter space? Maybe a visual checklist of what to do? Maybe you need to give him a clear and planned learning break? Maybe a timer to show how long he is expected to work for? Maybe he can't cope with where he is sitting.
  4. CurriculumForAutism

    CurriculumForAutism Occasional commenter

    Might be worth getting input from a Speech Therapist- he may not hear the sound blends or be able to articulate them
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  5. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    In the nicest possible way, I think it's really important on such a specialist issue that people don't offer advice if they are not confident it is good advice/have no expert knowledge of the subject.
    dzil likes this.
  6. wokinghamteacher

    wokinghamteacher New commenter

    I'm a qualified specialist dyslexia teacher. I picked up on the fact that the pupil knows his letter sounds but cannot blend them together to read words, which suggests to me that the point of breakdown is in his phonological skills.

    Having re-read the original post, I can see that the pupil also has difficulty with high frequency words, which he will need to learn as sight words - so activities such as matching pairs, snap etc will be useful.
  7. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    There is also the possibility, as Tinycat suggests, that it is because children with autism learn differently to neuro typical children. Good phonic teaching is invaluable for neuro typical children with a good working memory.
    There is a HUGE body of evidence that suggests that some people with autism do not learn well using synthetic phonics. They can learn the sounds but don't "get" the blends. Analytical phonics is slightly less difficult for them if you want to try a phonic route.They also learn to read the words but do not always make the link between the written word and it's meaning.
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  8. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Yes that's exactly what I'm saying!! This is a child with ASC! The OP has rightly been suggested to try teaching sight words... She wouldn't benefit for ASC specific stargeties. As I said, games like snap and match may be useful, but in a predictable, constistant and structured manner. Personalised learning approaches may be useful e.g. Some children learn to read via sight word flash cards.

    Also, I would argue, that even if the child was dyslexic (if we were discussing a different child) more history of previous learning approaches is needed before recommendations. If the child has been taught phonics since Reception and has STILL not grasped it, surely something else needs to be tried!? You've simply recommended continuing the same thing... How utterly demoralising for the child.

    As I also said, his emotional issues need to be addressed too.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  9. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

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