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Natural Emergent Literacy Supports for Preschoolers with Autism and Severe Communication Impairments

Koppenhaver, David A. PhD; Erickson, Karen A. PhD

Original Article

Print materials, experiences, and writing technologies were introduced into a preschool classroom for children with autism spectrum disorders, including three 3-year-olds with severe communication impairments. The goal was to increase natural literacy learning opportunities and to explore the effects on children's emergent literacy behaviors and understandings. Findings suggest that the children found the materials and experiences interesting and that their understanding and use of print materials and tools increased in sophistication.

Education Department, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota (Dr. Koppenhaver), and Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Dr. Erickson)

Corresponding author: David Koppenhaver, PhD, Education Department, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 W. College Ave., St. Peter, MN 56082; E-mail:

The research reported here was supported, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (#H133G30099).

© 2003Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins