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Topics in Language Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/TLD.0b013e3182724d29
TLD Special Issue: Access to Writing for Students with Diverse Disabilities

Evidence of Two Theoretical Models Observed in Young Children with Disabilities Who Are Beginning to Learn to Write

Staples, Amy; Edmister, Evette

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Abstract

This study examined the composing process and communication of students aged 5–8 identified with intellectual disabilities. An open-ended writing activity called Big Paper was implemented at least once every 2 weeks for a 6-month period. Qualitative methods were utilized to analyze writing samples, videotapes of writing sessions, and transcripts of interactions during writing sessions. Students exhibited a range of communicative interactions during the writing sessions and varied improvement in writing quality along a scale of writing conventions. In addition, students demonstrated engagement in the cognitive process of writing (Flower & Hayes, 1981), and the community as a whole demonstrated engagement consistent with a social-interactive (Nystrand, 1989) composition model. Implications for defining composition, planning instruction, and assessing student growth are shared.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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