Adapted Books Special Education

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Adapted books can be a great asset in your special education classroom! Making books accessible to all learners is so important. If your student or child has a language processing delay, adapting books will help them in many ways. Keep reading to find out how!

Adapted Books To Facilitate Matching Skills

Many of our young autistic students come into the preschool setting and are working on foundational skills, such as matching. They may open and flip a few pages in a book but aren’t yet listening to an adult read to them. We can start teaching matching skills by using adapted books in special education. There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to print an extra copy of each picture and use packing tape to adhere a picture to each page. For example, if there is a frog on a page of the book, cut out the square picture with a frog on it. Tape it to the page and place Velcro on it. Then, take the second copy of that picture and attach it on top with Velcro. That way you have an exact picture to picture match. The other option is to just place Velcro on the page and have a picture of the frog placed on the Velcro. With this option, the child looks at the illustrations in the book to match the picture to each page.

Adapted Books To Increase Engagement

Many times when an adult reads a book aloud to young children with language delays, it gets too long and wordy. This will decrease the engagement because it can sound like “blah blah blah”. By paraphrasing and using single words or short sentences paired with pictures, you can increase engagement. At first, you will model putting the pictures in and move through the pages quickly. Next, hand the child the correct picture and use a hand under hand prompt if needed to help them attach the picture. Continue with this until they start to place the pictures on each page. You can work on discriminating between pictures later!

Increase Vocabulary Skills

Using adapted books in special education will increase vocabulary skills. You will be modeling the important words and vocabulary while pairing them with visuals. It’s a recipe for success. Use the cue cards in my set to reinforce the vocabulary and prompt using the “I see” sentence starter. With books that feature animals, it can be fun to get small animal figurines to match to the pages and cue cards. Then, play with the animals!

Pictures Make Books Hands-On

Whenever we can make activities hands-on, the better the engagement! One way is by using visuals to place inside the book. Another way is to use play-doh and squish it on the cue card as you find each picture in the book. Play-doh makes everything more fun and interactive!

I hope you are able to use these tips and ideas to increase engagement by using adapted books in your special education classroom or at home. You can find the themed adapted board book set here.

Read more about how to assemble adapted books by clicking here.

Free Farm Adapted Book Pieces

If you want to try out adapted books, you can download a free farm adapted book set here. You can also sign up for my free Visual Supports Starter Set, which has the visuals for Brown Bear, Brown Bear, as well as the Go Go Go Stop board book.

a photo showing several visual supports for young children with autism

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  1. Love all of your ideas; absolutely love your video on self-regulation.
    Thank you for understanding our kids.