ASD Reading offers a unique, patented system of education developed by Dr. Marion Blank the Director of the Light on Learning Institute at Columbia University. Unlike other programs that present children with a series of random exercises, ASD Reading provides children with a scientifically designed curriculum that teaches them exactly what they need to master at each point in the learning process.
One of the ways the program accomplishes its goals is via the Skills Surveys that determine the appropriate level at which a child should begin the program. This way, children do not get bored with material they already know, or frustrated by material that is too advanced for them.
The Skills Survey Part 1 determines a child's visual sequencing and keyboard skills.
If the Skills Survey determines that a child needs to develop the visual sequencing and memory skills of reading, he or she is guided to the Seeing Sequences format.
If the Skills Survey determines that a child requires additional keyboard skills to smoothly use the program, he or she is guided to the Letter Land format.
This portion of the program teaches the skills of reading, writing and comprehension, starting with short, simple words and phrases and moving on to increasingly complex language.
Level 1 presents characters such as kids and animals that are central to any story. This first level presents the simple, basic phrases and sentences needed to discuss these key "residents" of the story world.
After being introduced, in Level 1, to characters (such as kids and animals) and key properties of those characters, Level 2 increases the complexity of the writing to introduce more multi-syllable words, longer sentences, more sentences on a page and some unique features of text such as quotations and the punctuation they require. This level also offers pages of text unaccompanied by pictures--a key feature of more advanced books.
In Level 3, the past tense - a form that is critical to effective retelling of events - is systematically introduced. The words at this level involve more advanced concepts, the stories are longer and extend over two books. Comprehension activities are introduced aimed at teaching children the vital skill of knowing how to summarize stories.
Non-story books such as books on science are critical to reading success. At level 4, children are introduced to science-related texts such as the habits of animals and the manned space flight to the moon. Presentation of this material naturally entails more complex vocabulary (the words continue to become more advanced in terms of both meaning and spelling) and more sophisticated sentences.
Level 5 offers richer, fantasy-based stories that contain characters who experience complex thoughts, emotions and experiences. Additionally, the words continue to become more advanced in terms of both meaning and spelling. This sets the stage for the children to independently and successfully read the wide array of appealing books that are aimed not at teaching reading, but at enjoying reading.
The Progress Checks accomplish the vital task of determining if a child has mastered the material after each level of the reading and writing formats. They involve a child completing reading and writing activities from the material that has been taught at that level.