Progression of Reading Ability in a Child Diagnosed with Autism Literature Review Sample

Posted on October 10, 2023

Paper Instructions

Academic level – Undergraduate 3-4
Type of paper – Literature Review
Topic Title – Progression of reading ability in a child diagnosed with autism

Introduction: Describe the topic of the paper. Describe the search strategy you used to include: key words, library databases, and why you chose these.

For each article, provide the following: The research method(s) used in the articles reviewed. Key variables in the hypothesis or phenomena of interest. Description of how the hypothesis was supported (or not) and how questions were answered (or not). Determination and explanation of whether the study was (or was not) conducted safely and ethically by the authors.

Literature Review Sample

The paper’s topic is the progression of reading ability in a child diagnosed with autism. The emphasis is on understanding how reading skills develop in autistic children and investigating the elements that may impact their reading ability over time.

Search Strategy:
The search method included terms linked to autism, reading skills, and child development to gather relevant publications on this issue. The keywords used might be “autism,” “reading ability,” “child,” “development,” “progression,” “literacy,” and “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” To guarantee a complete collection of academic literature, these phrases were combined and searched in renowned library databases such as PubMed, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar.

Research Article 1
Title: Early Reading Comprehension Intervention for Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Hyperlexia

Research Method(s): Quantitative research design

Key Variables: Hyperlexia, Lexico-Semantic Processing, Simple View of Reading and Dual Coding Theory

Hypothesis: The researchers hypothesized that preschool children with ASD and hyperlexia (ASD + HPL) would significantly improve their reading comprehension, oral language comprehension, and expressive language skills from pre-intervention to post-intervention. Such improvement was compared to a typically developing (TD) group and a group with ASD without hyperlexia (ASD-HPL).

Findings: The study indicated that from pre-intervention to post-intervention, the ASD + HPL group had noticeable improvements in reading comprehension, oral language comprehension, and expressive language abilities. The results demonstrated a significant increase in reading comprehension scores for the ASD+HPL group compared to the TD group (p=.023) (Macdonald et al., 2021). However, there was no substantial improvement in the ASD-HPL group.

Ethical Consideration: The nature of the study and the risks connected with participation were explained to parents and guardians. All information gathered throughout the inquiry was maintained private and safe.

Research Article 2
Title: Word reading skills in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review

Research Method(s): Systematic review

Key Variables:

  • Year of publication
  • Diagnostic/inclusion criteria used by authors to compose ASD samples
  • Sample size of each group (children with ASD and typically developed controls, when present) and number of female participants
  • Mean age and standard deviation per group
  • Mean years of education and standard deviation per group
  • Name and description of word reading tools or tasks
  • Results obtained for each dependent variable (means and standard deviations per group)
  • P-values and direction of the significant differences between groups

Hypothesis: The article’s hypothesis was to study the word-reading ability of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Findings: The systematic search yielded 3,444 titles, and following full-text examination, 24 papers were included in the review. The 24 selected studies, published between 2006 and 2021, involved 1,549 children with ASD (approximately 19% females; Mpooledage = 7.58, SDpooledage = 1.10) and 1,187 children with typical development (about 55% girls; Mpooledage = 9.96, SDpooledage = 1.16) (Vale et al., 2022). The proportion of tests or subtests that compared children with ASD to children with usual development was 44.3%, whereas the proportion of tests or subtests that compared children with ASD to normative scores or percentiles was 55.7% (Vale et al., 2022).

Ethical Consideration: All studies provided information about the participants or their legal guardians’ informed permission.

Research Article 3
Title: Building Comprehension Skills of Young Children With Autism One Storybook at a Time

Research Method(s): Review of literature, a conceptual framework, practical, evidence-based strategies, and case studies.

Key Variables:

  • Decoding
  • Language Comprehension
  • Joint Attention Skills
  • Social Communication
  • Emergent Literacy Skills

Hypothesis: The authors expected that shared book-reading treatments would effectively promote language and literacy development in early childhood.

Findings: The article’s results confirmed the hypothesis, as the authors discovered that shared book reading treatments were an achievable strategy for changing language and literacy in early childhood for children with ASD. Shared book reading activities can help young children with ASD learn a range of social communication abilities and actions that will serve as a basis for listening comprehension and, eventually, reading comprehension (Fleury et al., 2021).

Ethical Consideration: When working with children with ASD, the authors stressed the need for ethical concerns such as privacy and informed permission. Practitioners also guaranteed that the safety and well-being of the children in their care was prioritized.

Research Article 4
Title: Pre-school Skills and School-Age Reading Comprehension in Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Preliminary Investigation

Research Method(s): Longitudinal retrospective study

Key Variables: The key variables used to determine predictors of reading comprehension in autism included receptive vocabulary, autism traits, non-verbal developmental quotient, listening comprehension, passage reading accuracy, and passage reading comprehension.

Hypothesis: Early childhood skills (such as receptive vocabulary, autism characteristics, and nonverbal developmental quotient) in autistic individuals can predict subsequent reading comprehension ability.

Findings: The study revealed that reading-related early skills might predict subsequent reading comprehension ability in children with autism. Decoding abilities early in the school year predicted reading comprehension abilities later in the school year. Additionally, early childhood screening tests indicated reading profile subgroups in the first or second grade.

Ethical Consideration: All participants provided informed approval, and parents/guardians supplied signed permission on behalf of their kids. This research was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 (Paynter et al., 2023). The University Human Research Ethics Committee approved the investigation as ethical (blinded for peer review) (Paynter et al., 2023).


Fleury, V. P., Whalon, K., Gilmore, C., Wang, X., & Marks, R. (2021). Building comprehension skills of young children with autism one storybook at a time. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 52(1), 153–164.

Macdonald, D., Luk, G., & Quintin, E.-M. (2021). Early reading comprehension intervention for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder and hyperlexia. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(4), 1652–1672.

Paynter, J., O’Leary, K., & Westerveld, M. (2023). Pre-school skills and school-age reading comprehension in children on the autism spectrum: A Preliminary Investigation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Vale, A. P., Fernandes, C., & Cardoso, S. (2022). Word reading skills in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.

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