Shared Reading with PODD

Quick Overview

Shared Reading with PODD is a strategy for teaching language and communication skills to children with disabilities, such as Angelman Syndrome. The strategy involves using a system called PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display) to facilitate shared storybook reading. The strategy includes three steps: model, encourage, and respond. Model involves reading and talking about the book using AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) systems. Encourage involves providing wait time for the child to take a turn in communication. Respond involves expanding on the child’s communication using AAC modeling. The strategy can be used with various books and materials, and can be adapted to the individual needs of the child. The goal is to empower the child to read and talk about books, and to foster communication and connection.


In this talk, we will explore the concept of shared reading and how it can be used as a strategy to develop language skills in children with disabilities, such as Angelman Syndrome. Shared reading is not just about teaching a simple skill, but rather a complex set of skills that can help children acquire language. We will discuss the importance of strategy instruction and how it can be implemented in various settings, including schools and homes.

The Strategy Instructional Model

The strategy instructional model begins with developing background knowledge. We will delve into this concept and discuss the strategy in detail. We will also watch videos that demonstrate the strategy in action. After understanding the strategy, we will move on to practice it using AAC boards and books. Finally, we will discuss how to progress towards independence.

Why Shared Reading?

Shared reading is an important intervention because it creates a space for interaction and connection. It allows children to engage with books and talk about them, which is a simple yet powerful goal. By providing reading materials and encouraging communication interactions, we can empower children to read and talk about books.

Getting Reading Materials

Finding age-appropriate reading materials can be a challenge, but there are various options available. Teachers can find books at school, while parents can explore options like yard sales, libraries, and online resources such as Magazines and newspapers can also be great sources of age-appropriate reading materials.

Communication during Shared Reading

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a multimodal approach that can be used during shared reading. AAC can include speech, gestures, sign language, paper communication displays, computers, and speech generating devices. It is important to use a combination of these communication methods to support children during shared reading.

The Model, Encourage, Respond Approach

The model, encourage, respond approach is a key component of shared reading. Model AAC by demonstrating how to use the system and communicate effectively. Encourage communication by providing wait time and giving children the opportunity to take turns. Respond to their communication by expanding on what they say and modeling AAC.

Practicing the Strategy

Practicing the strategy involves memorizing the steps and then putting them into action. Start by memorizing the timeline and analogy of the strategy. Review the steps and practice using AAC boards and books. Model, encourage, and respond during shared reading sessions, and remember to be yourself and have fun with it.

Progress and Challenges

Shared reading can be a slow process, especially for children who have difficulty taking turns or communicating. However, even small gains should be celebrated as they indicate progress. It is important to be patient and find joy in the connection and togetherness that shared reading brings.


Shared reading with PODD is a powerful strategy for developing language skills in children with disabilities. By using the model, encourage, respond approach and providing age-appropriate reading materials, we can empower children to read and talk about books. Remember to be patient, have fun, and celebrate even the smallest progress.

Talk details

  • Title: Shared Reading with PODD
  • Author(s): Sam Sennott
  • Author(s)’ affiliation: None
  • Publication date: 2017-08-14
  • Collection: 2017 ASF Family Conference