In recent years, a significant surge has occurred in the amount of children who are being diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum. Current statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) show that 1 in 110 children in the United States have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and that the diagnosis of such is estimated to grow prodigiously due to a variety of different aspects, such as an ever-increasing broadening definition of autism, an inclusion of autism as a disability category under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990, improved diagnostic methods, and some other unknown factors (In Nickel's work as cited by Nickels in 2010). Also, because a lack of or weakness in communication skills is a common characteristic for students who have an ASD, receiving early intervention to increase communication is imperative for this population. In consideration of this premise, this study looks at whether using a blended, balanced mode of reading instruction, the Language Experience Approach (Stauffer, 1970; Van Allen, 1970) and the work of Patricia Oelwein (1995), through written means can improve oral language fluency output and syntactical structure concurrently for a student who has suffered from many of the symptoms of ASD, but has not been clinically diagnosed. Along with the collection of qualitative data aggregated throughout this study through observational means, quantitative data was also collected before, during, and after the intervention to measure the effects on the subject. Quantitative data was obtained from a Letter-Identification Assessment (Clay 2005), the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011), the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Dunn & Dunn, 1997) , and Mean Length of Utterance (MLU).; Results obtained from this study showed that the interventions had a positive effect on the subject in terms of listening, speaking, reading, and writing where the fluency and complexity of the subject's speech patterns and ability to read and write improved over the course of the intervention period.


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Thesis Completion





Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Elementary Education


Dissertations, Academic -- Education;Education -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis