Women reading to a girl

The purpose of the Reading Development Project is to understand the reading developmental trajectory of students with intellectual disabilities (ID), predictors of later reading success, and the instructional context they are in.  The primary focus is on identifying important malleable factors for later intervention with a major emphasis on determining those skills and knowledge that have the largest relationship to later reading comprehension.  Because many children with ID do not engage in incidental learning and only learn what is directly taught, a snapshot of their opportunities to learn to read will provide important information to contextualize the findings of this study and provide an opportunity to examine possible mediation of relationships. 

Children with ID who are 2 standard deviations below the mean in IQ and 2 standard deviations below the mean in adaptive skills.  In Fall of 2019, we will recruit children in Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. We then plan to follow each group for 3 years. 

Measures: The outcome measures are reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and word reading.  The predictor variables are: IQ, adaptive skills, phonological awareness, print knowledge, book handling, letter names, letter sounds, and vocabulary. Existing standardized measures of the variables of interest will be used and additional non-verbal measures of each construct will also be developed and validated as needed. 

We will also ask a small subset of the teachers to talk with us about their instructional decision making and allow us to observe their instruction so we can better contextualize our findings. 


We would collect data in the fall and spring of each year from 2019 to 2022.  This could take place at school, at the UW, or other place that is convenient to the students and family.