The ASD Reading Program (www.ASDReading.com) was designed to help children on the autistic spectrum learn to read, but it actually works for all kids. I signed up because my kindergarten son needed a little extra help with reading and I thought this looked like a fun way to incentivize him to work on his reading. I was right. He enjoys the “game” and has even asked me a few times “can I do my homework”? Here are some of the Pros and Cons I found to the program.
- It is a game (for some reason kids like computer games)
- It not only teaches reading but also requires basic computer navigation skills, which is another thing that some kids need to work on
- It is fun (some parts more than others)
- It is meant to be played without adult help (so theoretically I can just put my kid behind the computer and go take a nap)
- It is relatively simple (in design and game play), which is appropriate for kids
- It doesn’t require installation (you play it online)
- It comes at a good price point (first 30 days free)
- While it’s cool that a lot of research is behind the software, I’m an educational researcher with game design experience and their in-game explanations were boring to me, let alone my child. I wish it wasn’t required for the kids to hear why certain features were included in the game
- This was very difficult for my child to do on a laptop without a mouse. I would guess that the tablet experience is very different from a traditional computer without a mouse.
- Because of the computer difficulties there were a lot of things that my son couldn’t complete on-time. I wish there was a speed setting because it was demotivating to know how to complete a task but not be able to because he couldn’t navigate the game very efficiently.
|Updated 6/5/17. ASD Reading actually read this review and emailed me some clarification regarding some of my concerns (see below).
1) There is a “skip” button that you can use to skip all the instructions you referenced. They are not required.
2) When a student is having difficulty using a mouse, Dr. Blank, the creator of ASD Reading recommends providing hand support as outlined in this document:
3) You can change the speed! To change the response time, log into your account. Then from the dashboard menu (in the blue bar at the top) select: Account Settings > Modify Account Settings
Overall, I’m quite happy with the program and am actually tempted to get a tablet just so my son can take full advantage of all the program offers. My kids don’t do computer games so there’s a bit of a learning curve just getting comfortable behind the screen, but he’s picking it up and having fun with it. And I love that this is helping his reading AND helping him gain computer skills.
Purchase: get started with a FREE 30-day trial at their website https://www.asdreading.com/store