The Benefits of Phonics for Children with Intellectual Disabilities

The Benefits of Phonics for Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Learning to read can be incredibly challenging for some children, especially those with intellectual disabilities. However, research has shown that the use of phonics can help these students acquire basic reading skills and increase their confidence in their own literacy abilities. For parents and educators alike, understanding the positive impact of phonics on this population is invaluable.

Phonics is a method of teaching language that focuses on letter-sound relationships. By breaking down words into various sounds, it makes them easier for learners to remember and recognize. Visual cues like flashcards help connect sounds to letters which reinforces the knowledge gained from instruction.

Studies show that with regular practice and repetition, students become more confident in their reading ability, allowing them to focus on other skills such as comprehension, fluency and vocabulary growth (Nelson & Winterling 2017).

Phonics also decreases frustration by providing an accurate structure of how words are formed which makes it easier for students to decode unknown words on their own (Lee et al., 2019).

It helps learners see patterns within words that can then be applied across all text they encounter (Herman & Catts, 2012). Additionally, it teaches effective spelling techniques through the familiarization of alphabet sounds (Maotahari et al., 2017).

According to a study published in the journal Exceptional Children, 87% of children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities acquired adequate reading skills after being taught phonics-based instruction methods (Farrey et al., 2020). Moreover, when used effectively, phonics increases student confidence in their own literacy abilities (Griffith & Parrila 2018).

Teaching phonics also creates a solid foundation for deeper learning by allowing these students access to more complex texts and literary materials (Daly et al., 2015).

In conclusion, while teaching phonics may not seem like an easy task at first glance, its benefits cannot be understated when it comes to educating learners with special needs–especially those diagnosed with an intellectual disability who may struggle with basic literacy skills otherwise unattainable without it.

#Phonics #IntellectualDisabilities #Learning

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 Leadership28 (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 Quarterly50 (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 Linguistics32 (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 Research21 (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 Disabilities ”Learning Disorders Research & Practice33 (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

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