Reading Education for Students with Autism: A Comparative Study between the United Kingdom and the United States

Open Access
Hyman, Emily R
Area of Honors:
Childhood and Early Adolescent Education
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jamie Myers, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jamie Myers, Honors Advisor
  • David Lee, Thesis Supervisor
  • James F Nolan Jr., Faculty Reader
  • education
  • reading
  • autism
  • united states
  • united kingdom
  • special education
As the rates of autism continue to rise in both the United States and the United Kingdom, educators increasingly need to receive and employ the skills and information that may ensure success in reading for their students on the autism spectrum. These rising rates have inspired legislation, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in the United States and The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act of 2001, requiring educators to meet the needs of all students, including those on the autism spectrum. Both these rising rates and legislation make it necessary for educators to have the skills and information to support students with autism. This thesis takes a comparative approach between the United States and the United Kingdom, examining specific strategies and interventions educators can use to support their students with autism within the general education classroom. As both the United States and United Kingdom speak the same language and have increasingly similar ideas on education, comparisons between the two are natural. This thesis additionally chooses to focus on the lens of reading, as the subject is traditionally a necessary component in becoming a fully functioning member of society. To begin, this thesis examines strategies and interventions recommended by previous research within the United States and United Kingdom individually. After examining these recommended strategies and interventions, this thesis then compares and contrasts the strategies and interventions specifically for reading in both countries through the lenses of special educators. With personal anecdotes, these educators of students with autism describe specific strategies and interventions they have found to be effective, as well as additional steps they recommend teachers take to create the best learning environment for their students on the autism spectrum.