Fun Ideas to Teach Sight Words to Students With Autism

fun ideas for teaching sight words to students with autism

This is a very popular post that was first published in March of 2015!

fun ideas for teaching sight words to students with autism

 I thought I’d share some fun, creative, and engaging ideas for teaching sight word to students with autism with you!

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I am a firm believer that all children can learn and want to learn!

If our student is having difficulty learning a concept one way perhaps we just haven’t been presenting the material in a way that our student can understand it!

Despite many years of attempting to teach my daughter, Bethany to read using the phonics method, we can’t seem to move beyond learning each letter sound in isolation.

She just does not understand how to blend individual letter sounds together to make words.

I really want Bethany to be able to read even just a little bit so that she can have another leisure time activity to enjoy other than watching movies.

So I have begun trying to teach her how to read using the sight word method.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you, it has not been the miracle reading “cure” for Bethany that I had hoped for.

But even so,  she does enjoy working on each activity and her brain is being exercised and  stimulated while doing so even if she doesn’t always remember what I have been trying to teach her!

Unfortunately, years of having her brain battered by seizures and the side effects from using mind altering seizure medications have taken a toll on her ability to learn and memorize.

Bethany does remember some animal and color sight words now, but only if she knows we are working specifically on those words.

She doesn’t seem to be able to pick them out randomly anywhere else.

Here are a few ideas that I have used for teaching Bethany the animal and color names that accommodate both visual and hands-on learners.


1)  Word/Picture Matching Games

word/picture matching games
word picture matching game

More sight word matching game resources:

Word games based on sight words

Rainbow Sight Word Game

rainbow color sight word game

2) Interactive, Individualized sight word reading books.

interactive animal sight word reading book
interactive animal sight word book
Because I get asked where to purchase the clear pockets for the cards a lot, I thought I’d include an affiliate link a similar product

 3) Word/Picture Work Sheets.

word/picture worksheet
word/picture worksheets
color word matching worksheet

cut and paste sight words
cut and paste sight word worksheet
A cut and paste worksheet resource: has all kinds of cut and paste sight word worksheets available.

5) Spelling sight words with letter magnets with or without picture and word cues.

spelling words with magnet letters

6) Bingo Games

Zingo Sight Words (an affiliate link)

zingo game

More Bingo resources:
Sight Word Game: Bingo

Sight Word Bingo Card Creator

Three Letter Words Flash Cads
spelling cards
three part spelling cards

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Please enjoy the video below showcasing some of the activities in this post and Bethany in action!

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Dollar Store Teacher has tons of free and inexpensive educational downloads available!

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See and Spell

Sight Word String Ups

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Books I have used in my efforts to teach Bethany to read.
How Do I Teach This Kid to Read?
This book has ideas for teaching students with autism to read using the phonics method.
Teaching Reading to Children With Down Syndrome

You may also enjoy reading my post, Matching Skills for Autistic Kids
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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

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6 Replies to “Fun Ideas to Teach Sight Words to Students With Autism

  1. This is a great resource for all children who are learning to read. Fortunately reading and spelling were Alex’s strengths. He learned to read at 3 years old by just listening to me teach his older sister.

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