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Phonological Awareness in Preschool Age Children with Developmental Disabilities

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Reading skills are critically important for a child’s development and continued growth in school. The first steps in reading development, activities of phonological awareness, inherently involve speech production to participate. Opportunity for participation is limited for children with developmental disabilities who have difficulty producing speech. Twenty-six children between 4 and 5 years of age with developmental disabilities and a range of expressive speech skills were recruited for participation. This poster will describe key intrinsic and extrinsic factors related to the development of foundational reading skills. Thirteen of 26 children used little or no speech and had a range of performance on reading measures of print knowledge, sound-symbol awareness and phonological awareness. Results provide a descriptive profile of foundational reading skills of phonological awareness, print and letter knowledge and letter-sound awareness in preschool age children with developmental disabilities and limited speech. Children with limited speech were found to have emerging skills in letter knowledge, letter-sound knowledge and phonological awareness. This poster will further describe the home and school literacy experiences of children with limited speech. An understanding of abilities and areas of continued need for literacy support in children with limited speech is necessary to create instructional strategies that allow children to develop to their fullest potential.


Andrea Barton-Hulsey    
Georgia State University
United States

Rose Sevcik    
Georgia State University
United States

MaryAnn Romski    
Georgia State University
United States


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