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IES Grant

Title: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Reading Interventions for Students with Mild MR
Center: NCSER Year:
Principal Investigator: Sevcik, Rose Awardee: Georgia State University
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards: Special Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 1/1/2005 to 12/31/2009 Award Amount: $2,878,446.00*
Award Number: H324K040007
Description:

Funded through the Office of Special Education Programs prior to the establishment of NCSER.

Purpose: This project evaluates the potential efficacy of theoretically motivated instructional reading programs for children with mild mental retardation. These programs are based upon increasingly convergent evidence that early reading difficulties are primarily due to two core linguistic deficits: phonological awareness and naming retrieval/access speed.

Project Activities: The project is designed to address the following research questions:

  1. What is the impact of 3 different interventions (2 reading interventions; 1 math) on reading skills of children with mild MR?
  2. Are there transfer of training effects in different domains?

The researchers will target 240 students in Grades 2 through 5 with mild mental retardation who have not yet learned to read, or who have evidenced difficulty in developing their reading skills. A factorial design will be used to evaluate the potential efficacy of instruction for students within and across intervention programs. The design allows for the evaluation of program impact on both early developing reading skills (phonological awareness, word identification/decoding) and the development of reading fluency and beginning reading comprehension skills, including other developmentally related language and cognitive skills.

Products: The expected outcomes of this study include:

  1. Evaluation of two reading interventions and an intervention control on reading skills for students with mild mental retardation in grades 2-5, and
  2. Presentations and publications on the potential efficacy of the interventions on reading skills of students with mental retardation.

Setting: Participating students will be from Georgia.

Population: Approximately 240 students in Grades 2 through 5 with mild mental retardation who have not yet learned to read, or who have evidenced difficulty in developing their reading skills will participate. Students selected to participate will be pulled out and administered the intervention by a trained research teacher in a small group setting.

Intervention: Three interventions will be evaluated: Phonological Analysis and Blending (PHAB), PHAB + Rate, Automaticity, Vocabulary, Elaboration, and Orthography (RAVEO), and MATH (a mathematics instruction control). The PHAB program focuses on word segmentation and sound blending skills. Students are taught letter-sound correspondences, how to put individual sounds together, recombine and blend sounds, as well as other skills. The RAVEO program focuses on the timing and retrieval factors associated with visual naming speed deficits. There are three areas of emphasis: meaning, rapid retrieval of oral and written language, and efficient orthographic decoding. Finally, the MATH program (control condition) focuses on basic math concepts, number facts, computational skills, and problem-solving strategies.

Research Design and Methods: A pretest-post control comparison group design will be used in which the subjects are randomly assigned to three treatment conditions. The unit of analysis will be at the student level for this project. A factorial design will be used to evaluate the potential efficacy of instruction for students within and across intervention programs. The design allows for the evaluation of program impact on both early developing reading skills (phonological awareness, word identification/decoding), development of reading fluency and beginning reading comprehension skills, including other developmentally related language and cognitive skills.

Control Condition: The control group will consist of students randomly assigned to the MATH program (control condition), which focuses on basic math concepts, number facts, computational skills, and problem-solving strategies.

Key Measures: The two reading interventions will be evaluated using a battery of both commercial and non-commercial measures of phonological decoding, blending, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. The measures will be administered pre and post-intervention with key measures for progress monitoring such as the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised-Normative Update (WRMT-R/NU), Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE), Sound-Symbol Identification, and KeyMath. In addition, data related to treatment integrity will be collected using a behavioral observation rating form.

Data Analytic Strategy: Quantitative data analysis techniques include mixed-repeated measures MANCOVA to examine differences by group in reading skills and related language function. In addition, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) will also be used to evaluate growth in performance across time.

Publications from this project:

Donohue, D. K., Wise, J. C., Romski, M. A., Henrich, C., & Sevcik, R. A. (2010). Self-concept development and measurement in children with mild intellectual disabilities. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 13, 322–334.

Wise, J. C., Sevcik, R. A., Romski, M. A., & Morris, R. D. (2010). The relationship between phonological processing skills and word and nonword identification performance in children with mild intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31 (6), 1170–1175. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2010.08.004.

Barker, R. M., Sevcik, R. A., Morris, R. D., & Romski, M. A. (2013). A model of phonological processing, language, and reading for students with mild intellectual disability. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 118, 365–380.

Foster, M. E., Sevcik, R. A., Romski, M. A., & Morris, R. D. (2015). Effects of phonological awareness and naming speed on mathematics skills in children with mild intellectual disabilities. Developmental Neurorehabilitation. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2013.843603

Rhodes, K. T., Branum-Martin, L., Morris, R. D., Romski, M. A., & Sevcik, R. A. (in press). Testing math or testing language?: The construct validity of the KeyMath-Revised for children with mild intellectual disability and language difficulties. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

* The dollar amount includes funds from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and NCSER.

Citation:
Wise, J.C., Sevcik, R.A., Romski, M., Morris, R.D. (2010). The relationship between phonological processing skills and word and nonword identification performance in children with mild intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 3(6), pp. 1170–1175.


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