Reading For Special Needs

Reading for special needs has become an area of interest as the understanding of reading has improved. Teaching children with special needs how to read was not historically pursued due to perspectives of a Reading Readiness model. This model assumes that a reader must learn to read in a hierarchical manner such that one skill must be mastered before learning the next skill (e.g., a child might be expected to learn the names of the letters in the alphabet in the correct order before being taught how to read his or her name). This approach often led to teaching sub-skills of reading in a decontextualized manner. This style of teaching made it difficult for children to master these early skills, and as a result, did not advance to more advanced literacy instruction and often continued to receive age-inappropriate instruction (e.g., singing the alphabet song).

During the mid-to-late 1970s, the education system shifted to targeting functional skills that were age appropriate for people with special needs. This led to teaching sight words that were viewed as necessary for participation in the school and community (e.g., "exit", "danger", "poison", "go"). This approach was an improvement to previous practices, but it limited the range of literacy skills that people with special needs developed.

A newer model for reading development, specifically with regard to early reading development, is emergent literacy, sometimes referred to as early literacy, model. This model purports that children begin reading from birth, and that learning to read is an interactive process based children’s exposure to literate activities. It is under this new model that children with developmental disabilities and special needs have been considered to be able to learn to read. Note that there is limited research regarding reading in special needs, but this article attempts to represent the most current evidence on this topic.

Read more about Reading For Special Needs:  Literacy-Reading and Writing, Populations At Increased Risk, Intervention Team, Reading in Special Populations

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Reading For Special Needs - Reading in Special Populations - Cerebral Palsy
... and/or language impairments, which can lead to reading difficulties ... Children with SSPI can be at increased risk for reading difficulties not only because they may have language impairments, but also because they can have limited literary experiences and ... Of course, access to assistive devices is not sufficient for reading development ...

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