There has been much discussion in the literature in recent years on the problems involved in the identification of children with reading disabilities. One of the most influential sources of knowledge in the field of learning disabilities is the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). This agency has typically been a major funding source for methodologically rigorous reading intervention research. Further, such research has contributed significantly to the validity of identifying children suspected of learning disabilities as “treatment resistors” (e.g. Vellutino et al., 1996). Yet, the NICHD has recently been the focus of some controversy. The purpose of this chapter was to synthesize NICHD funded research conducted over the past 10 years via a meta-analysis to determine what can be generalized from this body of research that can be applied to the identification of students with learning disabilities in reading. The results of the synthesis were that a prototypical intervention study has a mean effect size (ES) of 0.67 (SD=0.42), indicating that most interventions designed to increase reading skills were effective. The overall ES ranged, however, from 0.19 to 1.76, and therefore some criterion could be established for identifying treatment resistors. Performance below an overall ES of 0.25 was suggested as one of several criteria for identifying children with potential reading disabilities. However, this suggestion must be put in the context of intervention outcomes. The synthesis indicated that: (a) performance was more pronounced on skill or process measures (e.g. ES varies from 0.45 to 1.28 on measures of segmentation and pseudoword reading) than on measures of actual reading (ES varies from 0.17 to 0.60 on real word and comprehension measures); (b) the magnitude of effect sizes were more related to instructional activity (e.g. explicit instruction/practice) than to the content of instruction (e.g. type of phonics instruction); and (c) the bulk of intervention studies focused on a narrow range of reading behaviors (i.e. phonological awareness). Implications related to identification and sound teaching practice versus content training of reading instruction (e.g. phonological skills, comprehension skills) are discussed.
Necoechea, D.M. and Swanson, H.L. (2003), "THE ROLE OF READING INTERVENTION RESEARCH IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF CHILDREN WITH READING DIFFICULTIES: A META-ANALYSIS OF THE LITERATURE FUNDED BY THE NICHD", Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 83-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0735-004X(03)16004-1Download as .RIS
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