A New Vision for Literacy in the Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom
Seeing All Kids as Readers
Early Childhood
A social model of literacy that challenges assumptions about literacy for children with disabilities and illuminates how inclusion promotes literacy development in young children with and without significant disabilities.
69018 978-1-55766-901-8
2008 160
Available Stock

For young children with moderate to severe disabilities, developing literacy skills can lead to more active and fulfilling membership in society. This motivating, forward-thinking book will help educators see all their students as literate and use an innovative social model of literacy to enrich the skills of children with and without disabilities. Relating in-depth stories from hundreds of hours spent observing inclusive preschool classrooms, literacy researcher Christopher Kliewer inspires readers to

  • view literacy as more than direct interaction with alphabetic text
  • use dynamic, imaginative methods—dramatic play, drawing, painting, dance, movement—to help students with disabilities acquire useful literacy skills
  • encourage students with and without disabilities to collaborate on literacy-building activities throughout the day
  • incorporate the interests, imaginations, and histories of students with disabilities in classroom routines and lessons

Special and general educators will discover how this bold new vision of literacy and inclusion will benefit all their students, and they'll use the vivid examples as models in their own classrooms. A passionate, carefully researched call to action, this eye-opening book will help educators move beyond the labels and expectations often associated with disability, presume competence instead of limitation, and ensure that students with significant disabilities reach their full potential as literate citizens.

About the Author



1. "Dancing to Books": Local Understanding and Literate Participation in Early Childhood

Implementing Local Understanding
Encouraging Literate Participation
The Genesis of Local Understanding

2. "It's About Making Sense": Citizenship in the Inclusive Early Childhood Literate Community

Young Children's Expression on a Continuum
Established Constructions of Literacy
Perceptions of Literacy for Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities

3. "We Going a Space": Cardboard Boxes, Rockets, and the Child's Literate Construction of Meaning

Children's Literate Citizenship Formed from the Triadic Literate Profile
Interrelationship of the Constructs of the Young Child's Literate Profile
The Bethel Rocket
"Just Shooting for the Stars" and Other Concluding Thoughts

4. "I See All My Kids as Readers!": Symbolic Presence, Narrative Construction, and Literacy Signs

The Child's Symbolic Presence The Child's Construction of Narrative
The Child's Construction of Visual, Orthographic, and Tactile Sign Systems
The Tenuous Relationship Between the Child and Literate Citizenship
5. "And I Looked in Those Eyes": Fostering the Literate Citizenship of Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities
The Struggle for Literate Acceptance
Realizing a Literate Voice
Currents of Literate Citizenship
The Basic Skills-Phonics Model and Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities
6. "His Only Limitations Were How I Imagined He Could Do Things": Concluding Thoughts on the Literate Citizenship of Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities
Inclusive Education and Local Understanding: The True Basics of Literate Citizenship
The Enriched Community: Inclusion and Literacy
Literacy as a Civil Right



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: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders - July 6, 2012
"[Kliewer] outlines his recommendations for fostering the literate development of young children with severe disabilities in inclusive settings. Several practical activities are summarized in a table and will be particularly useful to early childhood educators."
: California Bookwatch - March 27, 2009
"Provides a fine inspirational guide to literacy which uses imaginative teaching methods to help students with disabilities acquire literacy skills...it's an outstanding guide."
David Koppenhaver, Professor, Language, Reading, and Exceptionalities, Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University - February 8, 2008
"It's hard to imagine what exciting classrooms might be if we all assumed, like the inclusive educators in these pages, that our students' only real limitations were our own imagining of their possibilities."
Douglas Biklen, Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University; author, "Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone" - February 8, 2008
"Sparkles with optimism, challenging us to discover the passion of children with disabilities to recognize the literate world and be recognized."
Paula Kluth, Independent Consultant and Scholar; author, "You're Going to Love This Kid!": Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom, Second Edition and "A Land We Can Share": Teaching Literacy to Students with Autism - January 29, 2008
"Challenges us to understand ability and literacy itself in new ways . . . a compelling and important read for anyone who is interested in literacy, teaches children, or wants to inspire change in education."