Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education



First Reader/Committee Chair

Richardson, Gregory


Research in special education has shown an increase in reading difficulties of

children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within the last ten years. Reading

difficulties include challenges in word reading experiences, such as decoding,

syllabication, and phonological awareness.

Several reading interventions help children with ASD improve reading

difficulties. Such reading interventions include but are not limited to priming with

visual supports (VS) and pre-teaching vocabulary. However, during the

performance of reading interventions for children with Autism, behavioral support

is an issue. Behavioral support has included significant prompting and


Furthermore, children with ASD have not shown full engagement

during the process of reading instruction. They have demonstrated improvement in

reading ability but not the joy of reading.

Addressing difficulties in the early stages of reading for young children is

essential for future success in more complex reading skills. One crucial reading

skill is to read with understanding, known as reading comprehension.

The purpose of this research is to describe, through a meta-synthesis of

qualitative research, how singing activities can assist the implementation

of early literacy instruction for children with ASD.

The findings within this research are described from several case studies

This research shows the significant benefits of an alternative approach to

traditional reading interventions. Through implementing singing activities and

reading instruction, the benefits have led to the considerable improvement of

word reading experiences for young children with ASD.

Keywords: Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Music Interventions, Music

Therapy, Early Literacy, Word Reading