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1 The Case for Using Responsiveness to Intervention to Identify Reading Disability: A Brief Review of Relevant Research Frank R. Vellutino Child Research.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Case for Using Responsiveness to Intervention to Identify Reading Disability: A Brief Review of Relevant Research Frank R. Vellutino Child Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Case for Using Responsiveness to Intervention to Identify Reading Disability: A Brief Review of Relevant Research Frank R. Vellutino Child Research and Study Center University at Albany-SUNY

2 2 Why do some children have difficulty learning to read ? Two Broad Possibilities Two Broad Possibilities Basic deficits in reading related cognitive abilities. Basic deficits in reading related cognitive abilities. Experiential / Instructional deficits. Experiential / Instructional deficits. The failure to make this distinction leads to a wide spread problem: Misdiagnosing Children as Disabled Readers. The failure to make this distinction leads to a wide spread problem: Misdiagnosing Children as Disabled Readers.

3 3 Psychometric Approach Definition by Exclusion Definition by Exclusion IQ-Achievement discrepancy. IQ-Achievement discrepancy. Sensory, physical, and emotional deficits, frequent absences from school, and socioeconomic disadvantage used as exclusionary criteria. Sensory, physical, and emotional deficits, frequent absences from school, and socioeconomic disadvantage used as exclusionary criteria. Neuropsychological tests of reading-related cognitive abilities. Neuropsychological tests of reading-related cognitive abilities. Estimates of incidence of reading disability range from 10% to 20% using the above criteria. Estimates of incidence of reading disability range from 10% to 20% using the above criteria.

4 4 The Psychometric Exclusionary Definition of Reading Disability: A Brief History

5 5 Kirk and Bateman (1962, 1963): Kirk and Bateman (1962, 1963): Learning disabilities are caused by neurodevelopmental disorders affecting academic learning in otherwise normal children. Learning disabilities are caused by neurodevelopmental disorders affecting academic learning in otherwise normal children. Specific learning disabilities are different from general learning difficulties caused by low IQ, sensory, physical, or emotional deficits, or socioeconomic disadvantage. Specific learning disabilities are different from general learning difficulties caused by low IQ, sensory, physical, or emotional deficits, or socioeconomic disadvantage.

6 6 Rutter and Yule (1975)Isle of Wight Study Rutter and Yule (1975)Isle of Wight Study Large Scale epidemiological study of reading difficulties in U.K. Large Scale epidemiological study of reading difficulties in U.K. Percentage of children whose reading scores were significantly below those predicted by their ages and IQs was greater than expected (more than the 2.3% anticipated by a normal curve model). Percentage of children whose reading scores were significantly below those predicted by their ages and IQs was greater than expected (more than the 2.3% anticipated by a normal curve model). Rutter & Yule distinguished between Specific Reading Retardation and General Reading Backwardness due to low intelligence. Rutter & Yule distinguished between Specific Reading Retardation and General Reading Backwardness due to low intelligence.

7 7 Contraindications to IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Definitions of Reading Disability

8 8 Rutter and Yule s (1975) Isle of Wight Study and Kirk and Bateman s work became the basis for Public Law , which mandated that learning disabilities be defined as achievement deficits in otherwise normal children who have at least average intelligence. Rutter and Yule s (1975) Isle of Wight Study and Kirk and Bateman s work became the basis for Public Law , which mandated that learning disabilities be defined as achievement deficits in otherwise normal children who have at least average intelligence. P.L led to the widespread use of psychometric exclusionary definitions of LD having the IQ-achievement discrepancy as its central defining criterion. P.L led to the widespread use of psychometric exclusionary definitions of LD having the IQ-achievement discrepancy as its central defining criterion.

9 9 Several large scale studies have shown that: Several large scale studies have shown that: IQ does not predict reading achievement with a high degree of accuracy (Malmquist, 1960). IQ does not predict reading achievement with a high degree of accuracy (Malmquist, 1960). Many IQ tests include items that depend on language and/or reading ability (e.g. vocabulary, general knowledge; Bond & Fay, 1950; Durrell, 1933). Many IQ tests include items that depend on language and/or reading ability (e.g. vocabulary, general knowledge; Bond & Fay, 1950; Durrell, 1933). Non-verbal IQ tests predict reading achievement with very low accuracy (Vellutino et al, 1994; 1996; 2000). Non-verbal IQ tests predict reading achievement with very low accuracy (Vellutino et al, 1994; 1996; 2000).

10 10 Rutter and Yules findings were not replicated in later research; their results were found to be due to measurement problems on the reading tests they used (Rodgers, 1983; Share et al., 1987). Rutter and Yules findings were not replicated in later research; their results were found to be due to measurement problems on the reading tests they used (Rodgers, 1983; Share et al., 1987). Other studies found that: Other studies found that: IQ-achievement discrepant poor readers were no different than non-discrepant poor readers on measures of reading- related cognitive abilities (Fletcher et al., 1994; Stanovich and Siegel, 1994). IQ-achievement discrepant poor readers were no different than non-discrepant poor readers on measures of reading- related cognitive abilities (Fletcher et al., 1994; Stanovich and Siegel, 1994). Also, that some good readers have IQ-achievement discrepancies. Also, that some good readers have IQ-achievement discrepancies. Therefore the IQ-achievement discrepancy is not a very precise measure of reading disability. Therefore the IQ-achievement discrepancy is not a very precise measure of reading disability.

11 11 Two important questions emerged from these findings: Two important questions emerged from these findings: To what degree can IQ set upper limits on and/or predict ability to learn to read? To what degree can IQ set upper limits on and/or predict ability to learn to read? To what degree can IQ scores predict response to remediation in struggling readers? To what degree can IQ scores predict response to remediation in struggling readers?

12 12 Can low IQ children learn to read? Siegel (1988) compared reading disabled (n=250) and non-reading disabled children (n=719) on language and literacy skills (ages 7 to 16) and stratified these children into four IQ subgroups: IQ 110. Siegel (1988) compared reading disabled (n=250) and non-reading disabled children (n=719) on language and literacy skills (ages 7 to 16) and stratified these children into four IQ subgroups: IQ 110. the non-disabled readers fell into the same IQ ranges as the disabled readers. the non-disabled readers fell into the same IQ ranges as the disabled readers. within each of the IQ ranges, the disabled readers performed below the non-disabled readers on language-based measures (e.g. phoneme awareness, verbal memory, etc.). within each of the IQ ranges, the disabled readers performed below the non-disabled readers on language-based measures (e.g. phoneme awareness, verbal memory, etc.).

13 13 Share et al. (1989) stratified 3 year olds into different IQ subgroups and tracked reading growth in these children until age 13. Share et al. (1989) stratified 3 year olds into different IQ subgroups and tracked reading growth in these children until age 13. Siegels results were essentially replicated: disabled and non-disabled readers were found in each IQ subgroup. Siegels results were essentially replicated: disabled and non-disabled readers were found in each IQ subgroup. IQ did not predict rate of growth in reading. IQ did not predict rate of growth in reading. All of these studies provided evidence that measures of language and language-based skills are better predictors of reading ability than are IQ scores. All of these studies provided evidence that measures of language and language-based skills are better predictors of reading ability than are IQ scores.

14 14 Siegel (1989) and others have also pointed out that: Siegel (1989) and others have also pointed out that: Most intelligence tests currently in use evaluate acquired knowledge or cognitive abilities that can either be adversely affected by reading ability or adversely affect this ability. Most intelligence tests currently in use evaluate acquired knowledge or cognitive abilities that can either be adversely affected by reading ability or adversely affect this ability. Children who suffer from long-standing reading difficulties eventually become below average performers in areas such as vocabulary and syntactic knowledge, due to their limited ability to profit from reading (Stanovich, 1986; Vellutino et al., 1995). Children who suffer from long-standing reading difficulties eventually become below average performers in areas such as vocabulary and syntactic knowledge, due to their limited ability to profit from reading (Stanovich, 1986; Vellutino et al., 1995).

15 15 Problems with the Psychometric Approach No control for pre-school experiences and instruction No control for pre-school experiences and instruction Low diagnostic validity of most tests Low diagnostic validity of most tests Rely primarily on IQ-achievement discrepancy Rely primarily on IQ-achievement discrepancy Too many children classified as disabled readers (10%- 20%) Too many children classified as disabled readers (10%- 20%) Low expectations for achievement Low expectations for achievement No direction for instruction No direction for instruction Little or no attention given to the quality and/or characteristics of instruction Little or no attention given to the quality and/or characteristics of instruction

16 16 Major Objectives Major Objectives To distinguish between biologically-based cognitive causes and experiential/instructional causes of reading difficulties. To distinguish between biologically-based cognitive causes and experiential/instructional causes of reading difficulties. To compare responsiveness to intervention (RTI) vs. psychometric approaches to diagnosing reading disability. To compare responsiveness to intervention (RTI) vs. psychometric approaches to diagnosing reading disability. To develop benchmarks for early identification of children at-risk for reading difficulties. To develop benchmarks for early identification of children at-risk for reading difficulties. First Grade Intervention Study (Vellutino et al., 1996)

17 17 Major Components of the Study Major Components of the Study Testing at the beginning of kindergarten to evaluate emergent literacy skills and reading-related cognitive abilities (n = 1407). Testing at the beginning of kindergarten to evaluate emergent literacy skills and reading-related cognitive abilities (n = 1407). Periodic observation of language arts instruction in all kindergarten classrooms. Periodic observation of language arts instruction in all kindergarten classrooms. Selection of poor and normal readers in mid-first grade, using psychometric and exclusionary criteria like those used in public schools. Selection of poor and normal readers in mid-first grade, using psychometric and exclusionary criteria like those used in public schools.

18 18 Major Components of the Study (Cont ) Major Components of the Study (Cont ) Daily one-to-one tutoring for most of the poor readers (n=76); school-based remediation provided for the rest of them (n = 42). Daily one-to-one tutoring for most of the poor readers (n=76); school-based remediation provided for the rest of them (n = 42). Tutoring was highly individualized and comprehensive. Tutoring was highly individualized and comprehensive. First and third grade cognitive testing for all target children. First and third grade cognitive testing for all target children. Progress in acquiring major reading skills was systematically evaluated from kindergarten through the end of fourth grade. Progress in acquiring major reading skills was systematically evaluated from kindergarten through the end of fourth grade.

19 19 Approach to Instruction: Interactive Strategies Approach to Instruction: Interactive Strategies Components of Daily Tutoring Components of Daily Tutoring Re-reading texts for fluency Re-reading texts for fluency Phonological skills Phonological skills Reading new texts Reading new texts Sight word practice Sight word practice Writing Writing Instruction designed to promote interactive use of text-based and code-based strategies in text reading Instruction designed to promote interactive use of text-based and code-based strategies in text reading

20 20 Major Findings Major Findings Struggling readers in first grade performed below average on kindergarten measures of emergent literacy skills. Struggling readers in first grade performed below average on kindergarten measures of emergent literacy skills. The kindergarten language arts program was an influential determinant of first grade reading achievement. The kindergarten language arts program was an influential determinant of first grade reading achievement. The majority of tutored children (67%) scored in the average range after 15 weeks of daily one-one tutoring (50% for comparison group). The majority of tutored children (67%) scored in the average range after 15 weeks of daily one-one tutoring (50% for comparison group). Only 15.8% scored below 15th percentile (1.5% of the population) Only 15.8% scored below 15th percentile (1.5% of the population)

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23 23 Major Findings (cont ) Major Findings (cont ) IQ scores did not: IQ scores did not: reliably differentiate struggling and normal readers. reliably differentiate struggling and normal readers. predict response to intervention. predict response to intervention. predict reading growth in normal readers. predict reading growth in normal readers. Language-based measures, especially phonological measures did: Language-based measures, especially phonological measures did: reliably differentiate struggling and normal readers. reliably differentiate struggling and normal readers. reliably differentiate difficult to remediate and readily remediated tutored children. reliably differentiate difficult to remediate and readily remediated tutored children.

24 24 Kindergarten and First Grade Intervention Study (Spring 1997-Spring 2002) Major Objectives Major Objectives Evaluate the utility of remedial intervention for at risk kindergarteners. Evaluate the utility of remedial intervention for at risk kindergarteners. Further evaluate the RTI approach to identifying children at-risk for early and long-term reading difficulties. Further evaluate the RTI approach to identifying children at-risk for early and long-term reading difficulties.

25 25 At-Risk Children Continued Risk Intervention (n=232) Comparison (n=230) Kindergarten First grade No-Longer at-Risk Normal Readers Not-at-Risk Children (n=898) Third grade Difficult to Remediate Less Difficult to Remediate No-Longer at-Risk First Grade Intervention Above Average IQ K-intervention Average IQ

26 26 Kindergarten Screening N=1373 letter identification (initial screening) phonological awareness (rhyme and alliteration) RAN object naming number identification counting by 1s Kindergarten Intervention N= 462 Intervention n= 232 Small groups, 2-3 days, weekly, 30min sessions Comparison n=230 Small group instruction in some but not all schools Intervention and comparison groups were equivalent on all screening measures 30% Phoneme Awareness Letter ID Letter-Sound Association Alphabetic Principle Print Awareness Print Conventions Whole Word Identification Text Reading Randomized Design

27 27 Third grade Cognitive Measures Rapid Naming (letter and objects) Confrontational Naming Verbal Memory Vocabulary Language Comprehension Verbal and Non-verbal Intelligence First Grade Intervention One-to-one Daily Tutoring Interactive Strategies Approach

28 28 Results

29 29 Kindergarten Intervention Project Treatment group performed significantly better than School-Based Comparison group on almost all emergent literacy measures at the end of kindergarten Project Treatment group performed significantly better than School-Based Comparison group on almost all emergent literacy measures at the end of kindergarten Effect sizes consistently larger in schools that provided no supplemental remedial services in kindergarten Effect sizes consistently larger in schools that provided no supplemental remedial services in kindergarten

30 30 Table. 1 Effect sizes for intervention/comparison groups (end of Kindergarten, no school-based remediation)

31 31 First Grade Intervention First Grade RTI Groups First Grade RTI Groups Children who received both kindergarten and first grade intervention. Children who received both kindergarten and first grade intervention. Difficult to Remediate (DR): < SS 90 on WRMT-R Basic Skills Cluster (BSC) at the end of third grade Difficult to Remediate (DR): < SS 90 on WRMT-R Basic Skills Cluster (BSC) at the end of third grade Less Difficult to Remediate (LDR): SS 90 on WRMT-R BSC at the end of third grade Less Difficult to Remediate (LDR): SS 90 on WRMT-R BSC at the end of third grade Comparison Groups Comparison Groups Children who received only kindergarten intervention and were no longer at risk (NLAR) Children who received only kindergarten intervention and were no longer at risk (NLAR) Normal reader controls (AvIQNorm, AbAvIQNorm) Normal reader controls (AvIQNorm, AbAvIQNorm)

32 32 Performance on Achievement Measures NLAR and LDR groups performed within the average range and above the DR group on all literacy measures at the end of first, second and third grade (see handouts). NLAR and LDR groups performed within the average range and above the DR group on all literacy measures at the end of first, second and third grade (see handouts). LDR group performed at levels comparable to NLAR group on all literacy measures at the end of first, second, and third grade. LDR group performed at levels comparable to NLAR group on all literacy measures at the end of first, second, and third grade. DR group performed within the average or low average ranges on all literacy measures at the end of first grade, but fell below average on all measures over second and third grade. DR group performed within the average or low average ranges on all literacy measures at the end of first grade, but fell below average on all measures over second and third grade.

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34 34 84% of the at risk children became at least average level readers after receiving only kindergarten intervention or both kindergarten and first grade intervention. 84% of the at risk children became at least average level readers after receiving only kindergarten intervention or both kindergarten and first grade intervention. Of those who became average level readers, 73% (72/98) received only kindergarten intervention. Of those who became average level readers, 73% (72/98) received only kindergarten intervention. Growth in kindergarten literacy skills predicted continued risk status at the beginning of first grade with 90% accuracy and no-longer-at risk status with 87% accuracy. Growth in kindergarten literacy skills predicted continued risk status at the beginning of first grade with 90% accuracy and no-longer-at risk status with 87% accuracy. Adding a measure of change over the summer increased predictive accuracy to 95% for continued risk status and 96% for no-longer-at-risk status. Adding a measure of change over the summer increased predictive accuracy to 95% for continued risk status and 96% for no-longer-at-risk status.

35 35 Results (contd ) IQ tests did not predict end of second and third grade reading achievement following first grade intervention, but measures of growth in reading did do so. IQ tests did not predict end of second and third grade reading achievement following first grade intervention, but measures of growth in reading did do so. IQ tests did not reliably differentiate continued risk, no- longer-at risk, and typical readers in first grade; verbal IQ did differentiate these groups in third grade, but non- verbal IQ did not reliably do so. IQ tests did not reliably differentiate continued risk, no- longer-at risk, and typical readers in first grade; verbal IQ did differentiate these groups in third grade, but non- verbal IQ did not reliably do so. The continued risk children generally performed below the no-longer-at-risk and typical readers on measures of language-based skills. The continued risk children generally performed below the no-longer-at-risk and typical readers on measures of language-based skills.

36 36 Implications and Conclusions Early and long-term literacy difficulties can be prevented in most at risk children if they are: Early and long-term literacy difficulties can be prevented in most at risk children if they are: identified early in kindergarten. identified early in kindergarten. provided with appropriate intervention to institute foundational literacy skills at the outset. provided with appropriate intervention to institute foundational literacy skills at the outset. Most at-risk children can profit from supplemental remediation in kindergarten and become at least average level readers in first grade and beyond. Most at-risk children can profit from supplemental remediation in kindergarten and become at least average level readers in first grade and beyond. Some will need intensive remedial intervention beyond kindergarten or first grade in order to close the gap. A very small number will continue to need support; such children may be classified as reading disabled. Some will need intensive remedial intervention beyond kindergarten or first grade in order to close the gap. A very small number will continue to need support; such children may be classified as reading disabled.

37 37 Continued use of the IQ-achievement discrepancy to diagnose reading disability is unwarranted; in two separate intervention studies we conducted, IQ tests: Continued use of the IQ-achievement discrepancy to diagnose reading disability is unwarranted; in two separate intervention studies we conducted, IQ tests: did not reliably differentiate continued risk, no-longer-at risk, and typically achieving readers. did not reliably differentiate continued risk, no-longer-at risk, and typically achieving readers. did not differentiate difficult to remediate and less difficult to remediate readers. did not differentiate difficult to remediate and less difficult to remediate readers. did not predict long term reading achievement following intensive intervention, whereas initial response to such intervention did do so. did not predict long term reading achievement following intensive intervention, whereas initial response to such intervention did do so. therefore, RTI may be a more effective approach to identifying reading disability than is the IQ-achievement discrepancy. therefore, RTI may be a more effective approach to identifying reading disability than is the IQ-achievement discrepancy.

38 38 Impact of Initial RTI Studies Stimulated subsequent RTI research. Stimulated subsequent RTI research. Led to an RTI summit for researchers and stakeholders in which the pros and cons of RTI vs the IQ-achievement discrepancy were debated (August, 2001). Led to an RTI summit for researchers and stakeholders in which the pros and cons of RTI vs the IQ-achievement discrepancy were debated (August, 2001). Federal Funds for more RTI research became available (e.g Vanderbilt/Kansas NCLD). Federal Funds for more RTI research became available (e.g Vanderbilt/Kansas NCLD). Re-authorization of IDEA (July, 2004). Re-authorization of IDEA (July, 2004).

39 39 Thank you!


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