a focused multimedia strategy, is a newly developed method that has
been successful in boosting literacy and communicative development
among children with autism (Basil & Reyes, 2003; Heimann et al,
1995: Tjus, Heimann & Nelson, 1998, 2001. 2004; Tjus, 1998). It
is a method that establishes a motivating learning environment by
combing attractive multimedia material with good teacher support
and thus creates a better foundation for developing language and
communication skills. MIR combines three building blocks:
(1) Multimedia programs that offer immediate feed-back of text
material through clear animations and digitized speech representing
the same semantic content in different modes.
(2) Interaction. The teacher acts as a supportive dialogue partner.
(3) Recasting. When appropriate the teacher uses recasts based on
the child-s verbal utterances or written sentences created
within the multimedia environment.
MIR is based on a cognitive theory that aims at specifying the
fundamental components necessary for language learning for children
with various disabilities. A basic assumption is that several
important factors (linguistic, social, cognitive and motivational)
need to converge in order for language delayed processes to
continue. The MIR strategy has proven effective in creating a rapid
progress in learning for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Significant gains in literacy have been documented for both reading
and phonology and the method has also been effective in motivating
children with autism to enter into interesting conversations with
their teacher. These results plus a specially developed multimedia
tool will be presented and discussed in the