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Teaching early reading skills to adult offenders with intellectual disability using computer-delivered instruction

David V. O’Sullivan (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) (Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Corinna F. Grindle (Bangor University, Bangor, UK) (Positive Behaviour Solutions Ltd, Dursley, UK)
J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University, Bangor, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 11 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility, and effectiveness, of using Headsprout Early Reading (HER), an online computer program, to teach basic reading skills to adult offenders with mild intellectual disabilities (IDs) in a secure hospital.

Design/methodology/approach

A single subject pre-post-test design replicated across two participants was used. Two standardized literacy tests were completed at baseline, half way through the intervention, and at the end of the intervention period. A measure of reading self-concept was also completed. An additional component to this research design was the inclusion of two “treatment as usual” (TAU) control participants who did not complete the program.

Findings

Results are positive in terms of the feasibility of running the program, improved reading skills, and self-concept scores for both “intervention” participants compared to the “TAU” participants.

Originality/value

HER was originally developed for typically developing children, and has been found to be effective for children with IDs and developmental disabilities. This is the first study to evaluate this program with an adult population.

Keywords

Citation

O’Sullivan, D.V., Grindle, C.F. and Hughes, J.C. (2017), "Teaching early reading skills to adult offenders with intellectual disability using computer-delivered instruction", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 122-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-09-2016-0015

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited