Welcome to the only curriculum designed exclusively for nonverbal learners
Too often, it's assumed that students with nonverbal autism struggle to learn because they have an intellectual disability. In most cases, that's not true.
According to a 2015 study by the University of Quebec, as many as 75% of nonverbal autistic students placed in special education classrooms have average or above average intelligence. What they struggle with is communication, especially expressive communication.
6 Week Reading Lift Off assumes that your child is intelligent and can learn. All they need are the right tools and the right teacher. (That's you!)
6 Week Reading Lift Off
In just six weeks, your child will make real, academic progress in reading AND communication using AAC!
Class begins April 5!
In this program, you'll receive six weeks of curriculum that focuses on reading and expressive language skills using a variety of communication modalities, with an emphasis on using Proloquo2Go AAC software.
Your 6 weeks begins with a personal, 1:1 video consultation with co-creator Heather Anderson to discuss your student's specific interests, strengths and challenges. Together, you'll create a plan that will ensure your success!
Each week, you'll also have access to live Q&A sessions with co-creator Ken Sims, a 30-year special education teacher who has taught more than 1,000 special needs kids how to read. Your kid doesn't scare him, he's seen it all. ;)
Most nonverbal kids teach themselves to read, memorizing their favorite movie characters, foods and YouTube keywords. Many have photographic memories and can easily memorize sight words. Sight words are an important part of literacy, but learning only sight words limits a student to only a few hundred words.
Phonics is a system of reading that expands a student's potential vocabulary to millions of words. Although it may seem counterintuitive to use "sounding it out" to teach a nonverbal student to read, studies show phonics is nonetheless the best method for teaching nonverbal students to read.
However, nonverbal students must learn phonics in a specific way that accommodates auditory processing challenges and uses a variety of communication methods to prove mastery. This course provides both the curriculum and instruction needed to do just that!
Expressive Language Skills
6 Week Reading Lift Off uses a variety of communication modalities that will encourage your child to build expressive language skills. Proloquo2Go users will learn how to progress beyond simple food requests with lesson that teach how to model AAC at home for use in daily activities. In this course, we'll use AAC while playing on the swings, sorting laundry, playing with balloons and more!
You will get results!
All curriculum and activities are carefully selected because they were created for nonverbal students, or they can be easily adapted to meet their needs. Our schoolwork is fun for both active learners and students with limited motor skills.
We know your child may resist schoolwork. In fact, we anticipate it and we will help you overcome it. 6 Week Reading Lift Off isn't just a reading course, it helps you and your student adjust to new academic expectations.
How does it work?
Each week, you'll log on to the course website, download a bundle of PDFs, and watch a few instructional videos that will teach you exactly how to use the materials. Follow the instructions and work with your child for a hour or two a day, five days a week. That's all there is to it!
You can even send these activities to speech, OT and ABA therapy sessions for even better results!
If you have questions during the week or need additional, personalized support, you can attend a twice-weekly live Zoom session with the co-creators of Nonverbal Autism Homeschool, set up a personal Zoom call or email your questions.
6 Week Reading Lift Off gives you exactly what you need: organized, proven curriculum, instructional videos and live support!
Watch this AAC training video from Week 1
You CAN teach your student how to communicate using Proloquo2Go! See for yourself by watching this video included in week 1 of 6 Week Reading Lift Off.Enroll now
I know this system works: I used it to teach my son how to read!
My son, Tosh, is 9 years old and has nonverbal autism. Just two years ago, we met Mr. Sims when he was assigned to be Tosh's homeschool EF by our charter school.
At the time, Tosh couldn't demonstrate the ability to count beyond 7, he couldn't read, and he could barely write his name. He became agitated when asked to do any school work and couldn't attend to a task or listen to a teacher for more than a couple of minutes.
Under the direction of Mr. Sims, and with the support and coordination of his ABA providers, Tosh has made unbelievable progress. He is now reading at a second grade level and can write sentences using Proloquo2Go at a first grade level. Even though he requires significant accommodations, he is learning grade level math, science, social studies, literature, art and PE.
The image you see is a screen shot from Tosh's iPad, demonstrating one way we used AAC to learn grade-level vocabulary words and context. Mr. Sims allowed me to take a screenshot, print it and turn it in as work.
My son is not a genius. He's bright, but he also has some pretty severe impairments. I'm not the world's greatest teacher, either. But with Mr. Sims' help, we did it. And so can you!
Mr. Sims and I are very passionate about the rights of nonverbal autistic people. We are honored to create this program and can't wait to change the lives of kids like Tosh.
- Heather Anderson, Co-Creator
Nonverbal Autism Homeschool & 6 Week Reading Lift Off
This will work even if you're not a SAHM
I'm a working, single mom and I make it work! I can help you figure it out, too.
This will work even if your child already has a full schedule with speech, OT and ABA.
In fact, I recommend including all of your service providers in this program. Most of our students do! Additional logins are available for your therapists so they can access weekly lessons to prepare.
Our AAC materials are made by speech therapists and can be used for sessions. OT can help with handwriting, cutting and pasting. ABA therapists can use homework to build academic skills like increased attention and focus, and how to ask for breaks.
I'll even supply tips each week on which assignments are best to send to therapy appointments!
This will work even if your child hasn't shown much interest in AAC before.
Our AAC activities are fun and inviting, and most don't require sitting still. Even when we use AAC while we read books, we find ways to make it silly.
Meet the creators
Heather Anderson is a former journalist and blogger at The Autism Oasis, where she provides information and support to autism families. When she enrolled her nonverbal autistic son in a homeschool program, Mr. Sims was assigned as her son's supervising teacher. Together, they taught him how to read, communicate expressively and enjoy learning.
Ken Sims, MA Special Education
Mr. Sims has been a special education teacher for 30 years. During that time, he has taught more than 1,000 disabled kids to read, and helped many of them continue on to earn high school diplomas. He is a full time special education teacher in Southern California, and is currently credentialed to teach K-12 special education and K-6 general education.
You can do this!
You're already more than qualified to teach your child.
You were their very first teacher and you're going to continue to guide them their entire lives. Nobody knows them as well as you do. You know their special interests. You know when to push and when they're finished. You know when they're being sneaky. You know extremely important things that can make or break any educational attempt regardless of background.
6 Week Reading Lift Off gives you the right curriculum, a library of instructional videos and schedule that guides you day by day.
Our parent teachers are additionally encouraged to attend weekly live Q&A sessions with Ken Sims, co-creator of 6 Week Reading Lift Off and a special education teacher who has taught 1,000 special needs kids how to read. No matter what difficulties you're having with your student, after 30 years teaching special needs students, he's seen it all and he has the answer.
And, you'll receive support from me, a mom who has been there! I'm always here to answer AAC modeling questions, give homeschooling advice, answer tech questions, recommend toys, apps and support products, and even provide a shoulder to cry on if you need it. Most of our parents do that, too. :)
Literacy is a human right
According to CDC estimates, there are nearly 1 million people in the U.S. alone with severe, nonverbal autism. Sadly, many of them are functionally illiterate despite having normal or gifted intelligence.
Most public schools are not structured to teach nonverbal children to read, communicate and reach their academic potential. The reasons for this include:
- Group classrooms are overstimulating and make it difficult for autistic students to focus and sit still, skills that are required in school. However, schools don't have room or funding for 1:1, low sensory learning environments.
- Intelligence tests rely on expressive language to produce answers. This discriminates against students with expressive communication disabilities and produces false intellectual disability diagnoses.
- Expressive communication is required to prove academic mastery in school, and mastery in the form of testing is required to move forward academically. This forces kids with expressive communication disabilities to spend years stuck with age inappropriate curriculum.
- Parents lack the training to model AAC use at home. Many aren't even aware that they need to model.
We believe that every child, regardless of expressive or cognitive ability, can learn. Nearly all can learn to read and communicate.
Yes, education reform is needed. But by the time that happens, it will be too late for your student. I believe in educating my son now, and fighting for reform later. If that sounds like you, I'd love to work with you and your student!