Autism and Dialogic Reading

Children with a symptomatology that falls within the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), include children with a series of pathologies or syndromes having as a common denominator a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the impairment of social interaction and from a deficit of verbal and non-verbal communication that causes narrowness of interests and repetitive behaviors. These children can benefit from Dialogic Reading as scientific research proves. Numerous scientific studies in fact indicate the positive impact of Dialogic Reading in autistic children and those who fall within the Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Autistic Disorder (or Autism) is a Pervasive Developmental Disorders that manifests itself with a total detachment of the person from the others. The disorder is evident already in the first months of life.
The child does not seek the attention of the mother and does not respond to that of the parents, neither to verbal stimuli nor to the gaze, is indifferent to physical contact and often cannot stay in her arms.
Growing up he or she continues not to show interest in others or in things, he or she is repetitive in his or her gestures and in speaking; he or she behaves routinely, to the point of having excessive negative reactions to changes.
Children with this disorder expresses themselves with difficulty and have little ability to understand double meanings, irony, other people’s feelings.

In their 2016 research on “An Adapted Dialogic Reading Session for Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” Veronica P. Fleury, PhD and Ilene S. Schwartz, PhD, examined the effect of an Adapted Dialogic Reading session the skills of verbal participation and vocabulary development in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Traditional book reading resulted in consistently low levels of verbal participation as opposed to a significant increase in verbal participation during the Dialogic Reading sessions. Dialogic Reading has also led to greater gains in the specific vocabulary of children, compared to traditional reading sessions (the adult reads and the child listens passively). Improved verbal participation was characterized by more frequent responses to stimuli posed by adults during reading.

For further information concerning the use of Dialogic Reading with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders:

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