Teaching young students with autism to write
Young students with autism and other developmental delays face specific challenges when learning to complete academic tasks, including writing. Through a single subject study, the author examined the use of multiple methods in teaching one kindergarten student with autism and one first grader with autism to write the letters in their names in capital letters without a model. Students were evaluated on letter use and letter legibility. One student was taught to build and identify letters with Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) (Olsen, 2008) sticks, use the HWT magnetic writing board, trace lines, trace their name, write their name with a model and write their name without a model. The other student was taught to write trace their name, write their name with a model and write their name without a model via video modeling. Both live and video modeling methods were found to be useful in advancing a student to more complex handwriting tasks. Both students in the study advanced – the student utilizing a live modeling method advanced two tasks and the student using a video modeling method advanced one. Both students showed improvement from initial baseline to post-test.