Does the Mrs Wordsmith program work for children with autism?People often ask whether Mrs Wordsmith products are effective teaching tools for students with autism. This question lacks a 'one-size-fits-all' answer because individuals with autism have a wide range of cognitive, verbal, and nonverbal skills. With this in mind, we recommend that parents and practitioners take into account the specific needs of the child in question.
Importantly, in the verbal domain, many students with autism have higher receptive skills than expressive. That is, they understand much more than they are able to articulate. For these students, it may be useful to use Mrs Wordsmith products to teach new vocabulary, and students can respond with gestures, pointing, or other modes of communication to establish whether or not they understand the new words.
Many students on the autism spectrum are particularly gifted in the visual realm. They are able to recall visual details quickly and almost effortlessly. For these children, the engaging, detailed, and humorous illustrations in Mrs Wordsmith products are ideal.
A unique aspect of our illustrations are the emotions that they convey. Individuals with autism often have difficulty understanding emotional cues, so pairing words that convey subtle emotions with an image that 'hits the nail on the head' can jump-start comprehension of new vocabulary. The product is designed at the level of a typically developing 2-17-year-old. The range is purposefully wide because children's development depends on individual differences as well as exposure.