Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Michael Hebert

Second Advisor

John Maag

Date of this Version



Burton, C. M. (2018). Effects of Direct Instruction Flashcards and Reading Racetracks on Sight Word Acquisition and Maintenance for a Student with Autism (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Special Education, Under the Supervision of Professors John Maag & Michael Hebert. Lincoln, Nebraska : July, 2018.

Copyright (c) 2018 Chelsea Burton


A student’s abilities in literacy can be indicative of his/her ability to live successfully in our society (Rinaldi, Sells, & McLaughlin, 1997). The ability to read is an area of difficulty, particularly for many students with autism spectrum disorders. Two fundamental cognitive processes required for skilled reading are word recognition and reading comprehension (Spector, 2010). Struggles with word recognition hamper the ability of students with ASD to work towards the goal of literacy (Spector, 2010). Browder and Xin (1998) argued that sight word instruction is important because that knowledge provides a foundation for other functional academic skills. The purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate an instructional method for teaching sight words to students with autism using direct instruction with flashcards and a reading racetrack. The study focused on one elementary school student with autism. A multiple probe design was used across word sets to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention with this student. Results of the study showed that the instructional intervention using both direct instruction with flashcards and a reading racetrack, can be an effective way to teach sight words to students with autism.

Advisors: John Maag & Michael Hebert