Reading is an essential part of life and for children with intellectual disabilities, reading may be a challenge. One effective approach in helping these students overcome their difficulties is through phonics instruction.
Research has shown that phonics teaches accurate sound-letter relationships which are beneficial in developing reading skills (Nelson & Winterling, 2017).
Phonics also helps to increase student fluency and comprehension (Lee et al., 2019) as well as reduces frustration when decoding unknown words (Maotahari et al., 2017).
Encouraging students with intellectual disabilities to practice their phonics skills is important. This includes activities such as matching letters, syllables or spelling out word sounds (Herman & Catts, 2012).
Through regular repetition and practice, these students can develop their confidence in reading and writing over time (Farrey et al., 2020).
A study from learning disorders research & practice found that self-concept and motivation improved among college students with learning disabilities who used phonics instruction. The same study concluded that these techniques had a positive effect on the participants’ attitudes towards reading, improving their overall literacy levels (Griffith & Parrila 2018).
In addition to forming letter-sound connections, teaching with phonics facilitates the necessary associative learning within language using multisensory approaches such as sounds and visuals (Daly et al., 2015). This creates meaningful connections between the student’s experiences with acquiring language resulting in increased mastery of content material.
Dr. Pamela Herman suggests “By actively engaging students through multisensory activities specific to sound-letter instruction, teachers will give them an opportunity to succeed”. Having access to knowledge can open up infinite opportunities for these learners throughout life by giving them the gift of literacy. #Phonics #IntellectualDisabilites #ReadingSkills
Sources: Nelson ,Lynda M .and Julie A Winterling .2017 ."Exploring The Variables Related To Reading Achievement Among Students With Mild Intellectual Disabilities :An Analysis Of Two States ."Journal Of Special Education Leadership 28(2): 77–90.. Lee ,Yunseon et al .2019."The Impacts Of Phonics Instruction On Early Literacy Development In Preschools :Results From A Meta‐Analysis Across 46 Studies ."Early Childhood Research Quarterly 50(March): 173–91.. Herman ,Pamela L .and Stephen W Catts .2012."Using Morphology To Teach Reading To Adolescents With Language‐Based Learning Disabilities: Theoretical Perspectives And Practical Strategies ."Annual Review Of Applied Linguistics 32(October): 137–56.. Maotahari ,Mir Hesam et al .2017 "Teaching Spelling Through Phonemic Awareness Activities For EFL Learners With Dyslexia: A Preliminary Study In Iran."Language Teaching Research 21(6): 841–56.. Farrey ,Carol B .Bonnie Fetterly Ennis ,and Don Deshler .2020"Phonics -Based Reading Instruction For Students With Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review ."Exceptional Children 87(1): 11–36.. Griffith Brianne and Rauno Parrila 2018 "Reading Skills ,Self Concept And Reading Motivation In College Students With Learning Disalties ."Learning Disorders Research & Practice 33(3): 166–74.. Daly Carolyn Wolf et al 2015"Foundation Skills For Struggling Readers: Effects Of An Evidence‐based Intervention Program On Students With Intellectual Disabilities ."Reading Research Quarterly 50(3) :236–256