Authors: Gustafson S, Falth L, Svensson I, Tjus T, Heimann M
Title: Effects of Three Interventions on the Reading Skills of Children with Reading Disabilities in Grade 2
Source: Journal of Learning Disabilities 2011 44(2): 123-135
Year: 2011
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

In a longitudinal intervention study, the effects of three intervention strategies on the reading skills of children with reading disabilities in Grade 2 were analyzed. The interventions consisted of computerized training programs: One bottom-up intervention aimed at improving word decoding skills and phonological abilities, the second intervention focused on top-down processing on the word and sentence levels, and the third was a combination of these two training programs (n = 25 in each group). In addition, there were two comparison groups, 25 children with reading disabilities who received ordinary special instruction and 30 age-matched typical readers. All reading disabled participants completed 25 training sessions with special education teachers. All groups improved their reading skills. The group who received combined training showed higher improvements than the ordinary special instruction group and the typical readers. Different cognitive variables were related to treatment gains for different groups. Thus, a treatment combining bottom-up and top-down aspects of reading was the most effective in general, but individual differences among children need to be considered.

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