Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Composition (Language arts)--Study and teaching (Secondary); Youth with disabilities--Education;


This study describes the changes in linguistic and social communicative competencies that occurred when two older students with significant disabilities where provided with writing opportunities, instruction, and supports over a semester of the academic year. The goals of the study were to identify themes and patterns in the skills associated with linguistic and social communicative competence as evidenced in writing over time. A second aim of this study was to identify instruction methods and assistive technology supports being used in the classroom and describes the themes and patterns that emerged in the students’ writing given the presence of these curriculum components. Video and writing samples from the two students were collected and analyzed using a checklist of selected linguistic and social skills from the formal assessment, Augmentative and Alternative Communication Profiles. The checklist was determined to be not sensitive to the subtle changes in linguistic and social communication competence skills that were seen over time frame of this study. Themes of engagement with the writing process and access methods became evident and were explored. Instruction and opportunities in the areas of revision and writing for different audiences and purposes were identified as critical components of the writing process that were not addressed consistently for the two participants studied. Overall, the two students in this study demonstrated improvements in linguistic and social communication skills with the addition of writing instruction and support.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Jennifer Garrett

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 49 pages)



File Format