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Direct Instruction

In addition to ABA, Direct Instruction (DI) curriculum is another under-utilized method of helping children with autism. DI curriculum involves scripted teaching to ensure that children receive efficient instruction and appropriate error correction procedures.

Direct Instruction is a system of teaching which includes a set of teaching principles and specifically developed curriculum. Many use the DI curriculum developed through SRA. Curriculum includes Reading Mastery, Connecting Math Concepts, Spelling Mastery, Reasoning and Writing, Language for Learning, Language for Thinking, Corrective Reading and much more. Each curriculum set is expensive ($250¬¬$600) but can be had for far less on Ebay, internet book resellers, and lists such as the DI list (see section on email listserves).

Direct Instruction is based on Zig Engelmann's theory that children can learn at an accelerated rate if educators deliver instructions that a) are clear, b) are able to predict likely misinterpretations and therefore reduce confusion, and c) assist in forming generalizations.

DI is a highly structured, intensive teaching program that aims to absolutely prepare the educator in such a way that all children learn to 100 percent mastery of the subject.

Every Direct Instruction program has undergone testing, retesting, and multiple revisions in an attempt to convey with absolute accuracy the intended information while remaining as efficient as possible.

Direct Instruction programs have also been statistically proven to be incredibly effective systems of teaching. Project Follow Through (FT), the largest education experiment in history, showed DI to be the only educational system proven effective in educating children in all areas of application.

Direct Instruction programs are designed around not only a teaching method, but a complete system of strategies that have been proven to communicate and educate the learner with the most efficiency and effectiveness.
These methods include:
• Scripted Lesson Plans
• Rapid-Paced Interaction with Students
• Correcting Mistakes Immediately
• Achievement-Based Grouping
• Frequent Assessments
• Choral responding (all students answer a question verbally at the same time on a specified cue)
• Teacher models -> Group practice -> Independent work

Direct Instruction is primarily for grades K-6 in areas of spelling, reading, language arts, math, expressive writing, and science. There are also remedial programs for special education and adult education in corrective reading and corrective math.