THE EFFECTS OF EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION ON THE WRITING ABILITY OF A STUDENT WITH NOONAN SYNDROME
In this study, we sought to determine the effectiveness of a sentence creation intervention on the sentence writing ability of a young writer with Noonan Syndrome. Noonan syndrome is an autosomal dominant condition characterized by shortness in stature, with neck and ear anomalies, hypertelorism, ptosis of the eyelids, low set ears, and instances of cardiac anomalies that may impact motor skills, language, attention and memory. As a result of these characteristics, children with Noonan syndrome may have difficulty with academic tasks such as writing. Our purpose in this study was to increase the quality and structure of the student’s sentences through practice with reading new words and applying those words within sentences. The intervention consisted of ten lessons that used sight words and picture prompts to help the writer create sentences that described the picture. Reassembly and copying tasks were also modeled and practiced. Two measures, sentence quality and construction, were used to document changes from baseline to post-treatment. A visual analysis of the means for holistic quality and number of words was used to compare baseline to post-treatment data for each student. In addition to this visual analysis, data were analyzed using the percentage of non-overlapping data (PND) procedure described by Scruggs, Mastropieri, and Casto (1987). Post intervention improvements in sentence quality and sentence structure were noted. Implications and recommendations for future research and practice are provided. ...
Keywords:noonan syndrome, writing ability
Volume 29, Number: 3, Year 2014 of International Journal of Special Education