FAQs: Getting started

Who is the program for?

Please see this guide to determine if the program is right for your child or student: https://www.asdreading.com/learn-to-read/is_it_right

At what age can I start the program with my child?

We recommend starting the program when a child is 4 to 5 years old.

Until what age can the system be used?

ASD Reading can be used with children of any age who need the skills it provides.

Where does a child start in the program?

ASD Reading is designed to start a child off at exactly the right level based on his or her skill level.

How long does it take for a child to complete ASD Reading program?

To complete the entire set of components takes about 12-18 months.

What level of reading will a child achieve?

Upon completion of the final program, a child will be reading at about third grade level. More importantly, he or she will have a broad set of skills that will improve learning in all other areas. Among these are the ability to read with total accuracy, to attain fluent decoding, to develop accurate writing, to use punctuation and to achieve full understanding. These skills not only supply reading mastery, but of equal importance, they supply the sense of confidence that effective reading requires

How do I know if a child is making progress?

You will notice obvious progress almost immediately. You will see a child easily completing and remembering many reading and writing tasks. As confidence grows, he or she will also begin to read signs and other new material. There is also a parent/teacher report that is always available when you log into the program that shows you exactly how a child is doing in ASD Reading.

How does ASD Reading fit with the program a child is using in school?

ASD Reading works extremely well with any other program a child may be using. As a child masters the system underlying effective reading and writing, all their learning skills improve, and so classroom performance and grades are naturally improved as well.

I am worried about my child's progress in learning to read, but my child's teacher tells me not to be concerned. Should I be?

While the common, well-intended advice is to be patient when your child is having reading difficulties, we do not think you should wait if your child has problems with the single most important skill he or she needs for learning in life. Even if your child's skills were to even out in a couple of years, during that lag, your child is steadily comparing himself or herself to peers and is coming up short. The damage to morale and self-esteem cannot be overestimated. Why not offer your child every opportunity for success? There is no advantage in waiting for things to clear up and every advantage in helping your child succeed right now.

It's wonderful that a child does not have to memorize all those sounding out rules. But without those rules, how is he or she going to be able to figure out new words?

In English words, letters take on very different sounds depending on the letters that surround them. Consider the "s," sound, for example, in sun and sand versus sure and sugar. If you want to "explain" these differences, you have to offer a child almost 600 rules just to get to third grade reading. And still, the rules are filled with exceptions. Even the "at" combination -- a bedrock in early reading instruction -- changes its sound in the majority of words in which it appears (as you can see in words such as ate, watch, great, beat, attack, etc.). The variations in sounds do not trouble good readers because, from early on, their focus is not on individual letters, but rather on the patterns formed by letter combinations. That is why, even though they may have been taught that "ph" sounds like "f" they do not for a moment think that a word like "uphill" should be pronounced "ufill." All the activities in ASD Reading have been designed to lead a child to see key letter patterns. With that skill fostered in each session, figuring out new words becomes easy and appealing.

Who designed ASD Reading?

ASD Reading was designed by Dr. Marion Blank, Director of the Light on Literacy program at Columbia University and one of the world's leading experts on reading education. You can read more about her here.

How do I learn more about how the ASD Reading program works?

For a complete description, we recommend reading Dr. Blank's book, "The Reading Remedy."

How is this program different from other reading programs?

ASD Reading uses new teaching methods pioneered by renowned literacy expert, Dr. Marion Blank. These methods do not rely on standard phonics techniques which have yielded a national 40% reading failure rate. For better or worse, the vast majority of words in English cannot be sounded out. To adapt phonics to this reality, it uses almost 600 rules which are almost impossible to memorize and riddled with exceptions. ASD Reading, on the other hand, has no complicated rules and empowers children to learn using simple and easy to follow techniques that leverage the tremendous skills they have mastered in learning spoken language. In addition, ASD Reading is the only program that customizes itself to a child. In this way children do not become bored learning something they already know or frustrated by material that is too advanced for them.