Investigating the effect of graphic advance organizers on the reading comprehension of secondary-age students with autism spectrum disorder
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Reading comprehension interventions that target students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have traditionally included explicit instruction in the delivery of the intervention in order to compensate for the well-documented executive function difficulties experienced by many individuals within this population. A handful of single- case studies (n=9) within this literature have used supplementary graphic organizers (GOs), as one component of a larger treatment package, to successfully help students with ASD comprehend text more readily. The independent effect of a GO on the reading comprehension of individuals with ASD therefore remains untested. In this dissertation study, which employed single-case research methodology, five secondary students with ASD completed a reading comprehension intervention that featured graphic advance organizers (GAOs) with limited pre-training or instructional support provided by the implementer. Results indicated that some participants may be able to effectively use GAOs independently to increase their comprehension of expository texts. Findings, limitations, and implications are presented.