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Topics in Language Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/TLD.0b013e318272609b
TLD Special Issue: Access to Writing for Students with Diverse Disabilities

An Enriched Writers' Workshop for Beginning Writers with Developmental Disabilities

Sturm, Janet M.

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Abstract

This article describes comprehensive, high-quality writing instruction for students with developmental disabilities. The Enriched Writers' Workshop combines differentiated writing process instruction with social communication instruction and cognitive strategy instruction for students with complex writing needs across a wide range of ages. It draws on research-based writing practices for all students, with reference to the U.S. Common Core State Standards for writing but with modifications for students with developmental disabilities. Appropriate populations include students with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual developmental disabilities, and complex communication needs, requiring augmentative and alternative communication supports. This article describes the Enriched Writers' Workshop framework of instruction, its tools, and the skills and strategies it targets. Illustrations are drawn from pilot implementation in special education classrooms team taught by special education teachers and speech–language pathologists. Case examples for 3 students show how the framework can be applied for beginning writers with varying profiles of abilities and needs, leading to measurable social communication and writing outcomes and other educational benefits for students with diverse developmental disabilities.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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