The home literacy environment of school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders

Rebecca M. Lucas, Courtenay Frazier Norbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For typically developing (TD) children, the home literacy environment (HLE) impacts reading competence, yet few studies have explored the HLE of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We collected information about the HLE of children aged 7–13 with ASD and their TD peers via a parental questionnaire and examined whether there were any differences in home literacy practices. Subtle group differences emerged. Children with ASD and concomitant language disorder (autism language disorder [ALD]) were engaged in shared reading and reading discussion more frequently than were TD children and children with ASD and age-appropriate language skills (autism language normal [ALN]). However, both ALN and ALD children engaged in shared reading for a shorter duration than their TD peers. Across groups, frequency and duration of independent reading were positively associated with reading ability and attitude. Thus, home literacy practices appear to reflect child characteristics, and parents are well placed to facilitate their children's literacy development through encouragement and scaffolding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-219
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Cite this