Christine, an adult with developmental disabilities, had no history of education. A nonreader, she began to receive literacy tutoring at age 35. In 7 years she was educated through an eclectic approach that primarily entailed echo reading of brief passages, such as sentences and stories. She moved from holistic recognition of print to an ability to respond to instruction about analysis of some features of print, thereby gaining insights into decoding and spelling. This approach contrasts with literacy instruction that teaches adults with developmental disabilities to memorize small units of decontextualized print (letter–sound correspondences or survival words) before reading full text. Implications for facilitating literacy in adults with developmental disabilities by using contextually supported reading instruction are explored.
Editor in charge: Christopher Kliewer