Curriculum Spotlight: Steps to Stories for Children on the Autism Spectrum


The Reading Kingdom online program is quickly becoming known throughout the world as “the new and better way” to learn how to read. We wanted to let you know that the brilliant techniques underlying our program, Dr. Marion Blank’s“6-SIM” Six Skill Integrated Method, is also incorporated into many other products in the Reading Kingdom store.

Today we shine our spotlight on one of these products with the hope that it may further assist your child or student in their journey toward literacy.

This week’s featured learning curriculum:  Steps to Stories for children on the autism spectrum

Steps to Stories is a unique program to build story comprehension in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Dr. Marion Blank & Dr. Laura Berlin.  Reading Kingdom and Dr. Berlin are also Internationally Renowned Authors of the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI)

For children with autism, even those with relatively high levels of language ability, difficulties in story comprehension often persist—holding up a child’s progress both academically and in social exchange.

Now through the totally new approach offered in Steps to Stories, these problems can be overcome.

Click here to purchase Steps to Stories

If your child can understand and use sentences of 4 to 5 words, then (s)he is ready to begin Steps to Stories. Sentences of the type we are talking about are: There is a lady. She has a dog. They are walking. Your child does not have to produce sentences like these spontaneously. If he or she can imitate them, then the program is likely to be of major benefit. If your child has difficulty in understanding and reporting what s/he reads or has read to him/her, then the program is likely to be productive and lead to major gains in language and communication.


  • 20 attractive, full color picture stories that a child can understand, retain, & retell (the stories advance in carefully sequenced steps)
  • the language accompanying the pictures is adapted to the individual needs of the child
    • Module I for children who speak– or write– in 3 to 5 word sentences
    • Module II for children who display more advanced language

Stories span two levels of complexity, enabling a child to gain smooth, rapid increases in both language and comprehension skills.

  • A user-friendly program guide detailing the ways to present the stories and how to deal with any errors or difficulties that may occur
  • A simple, effective brief assessment to determine the module that best suits a child’s language skills,
  • Detailed, easy-to-follow lesson plans
  • Record forms to keep track of child’s progress

Story Smarts is also beneficial for children who can read and write more smoothly than they think.  The entire program can be carried out by having your child write his/her responses–either via handwriting or the computer. Directions in the program guide tell you exactly what to do.

As a child advances in the program, over a period of two to three months, you will see that he or she

  • gets the “main idea”
  • relates events of the day in school
  • understands events that others relate
  • follows classroom discussion

About the authors:

Dr. Marion Blank is a world-renowned literacy and language expert on the faculty of Columbia University where she created and directed the Light on Learning Program. She has lectured extensively around the world, authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles and books and developed numerous award winning teaching programs (including the ground-breaking reading education site, She is a recipient of the Upton Sinclair Award which honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to education.

Dr. Laura Berlin is a psychologist specializing in the development of language and learning. She has collaborated with Reading Kingdom on a number of key projects including the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI and PLAI-2), a widely-used test that assesses the verbal communication skills of preschool age children. She has served on a wide range of committees aimed at improving educational and health services in Connecticut where she currently resides.

To Purchase:

Steps to Stories ($79.99)

Purchase includes license for personal use (one child) only. For multiple children, please purchase multiple licenses (contact us for volume discounts).