An Evaluation of a Multicomponent Early Literacy Program for Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities

Remedial and Special Education (Impact Factor: 0.68). 07/2010; 33(4). DOI: 10.1177/0741932510387305


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a multicomponent early literacy curriculum that included phonics and phonemic awareness in comparison to a sight word approach. A total of 93 students with severe developmental disabilities who were enrolled in Grades K through 4 were randomly assigned to either a multicomponent early literacy curriculum or a sight word comparison curriculum. The instructional interventions were implemented over an academic school year. Results indicated that students in the multicomponent early literacy curriculum had significantly higher mean literacy scores than the students in the sight word condition, with small to moderate effect sizes (.30–.49). Further analysis indicated that phonics skills appeared to contribute most to the differences between the two curriculum approaches. Implications for teaching decoding skills, one of the components needed for students to become fully literate, are discussed.

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