Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2022

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jed Locquiao


Reading is an essential life skill that affects both learning, and life outside of school and participating in society. Reading is a complex skill that is influenced by cognitive processes, linguistic abilities, and relevant knowledge. One major component of reading and learning how to read is reading comprehension. The acquisition of reading comprehension is an individual’s ability to learn to understand writing as well as he or she understands spoken language (Perfetti et al. 2013). Reading Comprehension is a crucial component to successful learning for all students but, for some students, reading comprehension is a task that does not come easy to them. Approximately 80% of students with learning disabilities also struggle with reading comprehension. Because of this large percentage, it is important to find reading comprehension techniques and teaching methods that will provide students with the skills to succeed in their educational careers and everyday lives.

In my current classroom placement, I work with a variety of students with needs that vary greatly. One student, Jane, struggles significantly with her reading comprehension, due to her various disabilities including, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and Epilepsy. This project will discuss the current reading comprehension techniques used with Jane, techniques that were trialed to improve her comprehension rates, and the research-based evidence of the importance of high-quality reading comprehension strategies.

When broken down, reading comprehension is the result of decoding and language comprehension. Decoding is when you are learning to read by sounding out words and recognizing them. Language comprehension is making sense of the words within the sentence we hear and read. Those two skills together are what build a child’s reading comprehension. Reading comprehension involved integrating, memorizing, and organizing all of the information that is provided in the text. Through numerous studies and research, it has been shown that students with ASD show significant struggles with reading comprehension and require explicit interventions to improve these skills. My research will connect the research behind reading comprehension difficulties and autism spectrum disorder, and the way that I used those interventions with my students.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.