Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write
Comprehensive Literacy for All
Communication and Language, Special Education
An essential resource for educators, speech-language pathologists, and parents—and an ideal text for courses that cover literacy and significant disabilities—this book will help you ensure that all students have the reading and writing skills they need to unlock new opportunities and reach their potential.
76573 978-1-59857-657-3
2020 264
Available Stock
Literacy improves lives—and with the right instruction and supports, all students can learn to read and write. That's the core belief behind this teacher-friendly handbook, your practical guide to providing comprehensive, high-quality literacy instruction to students with significant disabilities. Drawing on decades of classroom experience, the authors present their own innovative model for teaching students with a wide range of significant disabilities to read and write print in grades preK–12 and beyond. Foundational teaching principles blend with concrete strategies, step-by-step guidance, and specific activities, making this book a complete blueprint for helping students acquire critical literacy skills they'll use inside and outside the classroom.

An essential resource for educators, speech-language pathologist, and parents—and an ideal text for courses that cover literacy and significant disabilities—this book will help you ensure that all students have the reading and writing skills they need to unlock new opportunities and reach their potential.

  • Discover 10 success factors for helping students with significant disabilities become literate

  • Teach emergent readers and writers skillfully, with evidence-based strategies for shared and independent reading, early writing instruction, and alphabetic and phonological awareness

  • Help students acquire conventional literacy skills, with adaptable strategies for teaching reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, decoding, and spelling

  • Organize and deliver comprehensive literacy instruction in a variety of settings, both inside and outside of school

  • Use assistive technology effectively to support reading, writing, and communication

  • Engage and motivate students and make literacy instruction meaningful to their everyday lives

  • PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Sample teaching scenarios and dialogues, how-to strategies, and downloadable resources, including sample lessons, a quick-guide to key literacy terms, lesson sequences, and flowcharts to guide instruction.

About the Downloads
About the Authors
Foreword —David E. Yoder

Section I Core Understandings
Chapter 1 All Children Can Learn to Read and Write: A Theoretical Rationale
Chapter 2 Establishing the Environment for Successful Literacy Learning

Section II Building a Foundation
Chapter 3 Alphabet Knowledge and Phonological Awareness
Chapter 4 Emergent Reading
Chapter 5 Emergent Writing

Section III Learning to Read and Write
Chapter 6 Comprehensive Literacy Instruction: A Research-Based Framework
Chapter 7 Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Instruction
Chapter 8 Self-Directed Reading: Supporting Motivation and Fluency
Chapter 9 Writing
Chapter 10 Decoding, Word Identification, and Spelling

Section IV Implementation
Chapter 11 Using Assistive Technology Effectively to Support Literacy
Chapter 12 Organizing and Delivering Effective Instruction


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Tina Moreno, Speech-Language Pathologist and AAC Specialist, Co-Director, Camp ALEC - January 24, 2020
"Karen and David believe all children can learn to read and write. Their work is changing the world. And the best news is that with this book, they tell us how they do it, so we can do it too."
Brian Skotko, Emma Campbell Endowed Chair on Down Syndrome at Massachusetts General Hospital & Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School - January 20, 2020
"Let there be no doubt: children with even the most complex disabilities can and do deserve to enjoy the written word. Nonbelievers should be prepared for a conversion with this book, and believers will come away with practical solutions and effective strategies."
Kathy Howery, Lecturer, Communication Science Disorders, University of Alberta, Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Concordia University of Edmonton, Private Consultant, kATe Consulting, Inc. - January 20, 2020
"This book is everything I hoped it would be, and more! Researched based, practical in the extreme, and infused with stories of real students, real teachers and real parents…this book has the power to be a game-changer for the way comprehensive literacy is understood, is delivered, and is achieved for students which significant disabilities."
Judy Lariviere, Assistive Technology Specialist, Assistive Tech 4 A - January 15, 2020
"A true masterpiece…Every page is filled with pearls of wisdom, the best and most up-to-date evidence-based emergent and conventional literacy instructional practices, and relatable and inspiring real-life examples."
Jane Farrall, Speech Language Pathologist, Jane Farrall Consulting - January 15, 2020
"A truly comprehensive text about literacy teaching and learning for students with disabilities...will quickly become the ‘go to’ resource for those working with students with complex needs of all ages and at all literacy levels."
James Cunningham, Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Member of the Reading Hall of Fame - January 1, 2020
"Filled with how-to practicality and inspirational examples to empower those who would teach all students to read and write. Bravo!"
Susan Norwell, ATACP, co-founder, Rett University - December 20, 2019
"A must read for anyone teaching reading or anyone who should be teaching reading to those too often left behind. Comprehensive Literacy for All will accompany me to every IEP meeting and school consult from now on."
Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite - December 18, 2019
"A truly comprehensive resource: definitively evidence-based, but easily readable, extensive but not overwhelming, with explicit recommendations of how to design and implement comprehensive literacy instruction for all learners. I can't wait to get my own soon-to-be-dog-eared copy!"
This book may be appropriate for courses similar to those listed below.
  • Literacy Strategies for Students with Severe Disabilities
  • Inclusive Literacy Methods
  • Strategies for Assessing and Teaching Literacy to Students with Special Needs
  • Advanced AAC: Examination of Language and Literacy
  • Teaching Students with Complex Communication Needs

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This product has additional material available on the Brookes Download Hub.
  • sample lessons
  • a quick-guide to key literacy terms
  • lesson sequences
  • flowcharts to guide instruction

Visit the Download Hub for a preview of what's available.