Faculty Publications

Title

Joining the literacy flow: Fostering symbol and written language learning in young children with significant developmental disabilities through the four currents of literacy

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Early childhood inclusion, Literacy, Severe disability

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities

Volume

33

Issue

3

First Page

103

Last Page

121

Abstract

This article is both an ethnographic and an action-based description of how excellent early childhood teachers in seven inclusive preschool and kindergarten classrooms fostered the developing literacy profiles of young children with significant developmental disabilities alongside their typically developing peers through active, engaging, social means. I have developed four broad themes, described here as currents, that support the meaning-based literacylearning of children still commonly cast as intrinsically incapable of literate citizenship, using participant observation; in-depth interviews with teachers, therapists, and parents; the implementation of increasingly responsive, systematic literacy-based themes, opportunities, and activities into certain inclusive classrooms; and the development of process-oriented portfolio documentation. Important findings include the following: (a) children with significant developmental disabilities can join the early childhood literacy flow; (b) they do so through interactive means; and (c) spoken language need not serve as the foundation of written language learning. © 2009 by TASH.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2008

DOI of published version

10.2511/rpsd.33.3.103

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