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Methods for Increasing the Intensity of Reading Instruction for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

By: Jill H. Allor, Tammi M. Champlin, Diane B. Gifford, and Patricia G. Mathes

Abstract: Current research is demonstrating the effectiveness of comprehensive reading instruction for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID; Allor, Mathes, Roberts, Cheatham, & Champlin, 2010; Allor, Mathes, Roberts, Jones, & Champlin, 2010; Browder, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Courtade, Gibbs, & Flowers, 2008). One overarching finding from these studies is that intense amounts of repetition and practice on critical literacy skills are needed to produce meaningful gains. Providing intensive instruction in the school setting is extremely challenging. The purpose of this article is to describe the various strategies used in one research project to intensify early literacy instruction for students with ID, including methods for providing practice outside of teacher-led instruction. Specifically, we describe (a) key factors in planning intensive instruction, (b) general strategies for increasing intensity during teacher-led lessons, and (c) selecting and designing specific activities to increase intensity.

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Volume 53(3) September 2018

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