Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


writing intervention, elementary school, special needs, structured approach, systematic review

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Students with special needs find writing to be a difficult task. The current study is a systematic review of the evidence for writing intervention among elementary students with special needs. Five control group studies and five multiple-probe across baselines studies, involving a population of 499 elementary school students in Grades 2-6, were examined to assess the effectiveness of experimental writing interventions. Quality of writing and length of text were outcome measures in all studies. Other measurements varied across studies and included measurements for genre elements, self-efficacy and knowledge. Overall, results showed that a structured approach improved the writing and increased self-efficacy of elementary students with special needs. Generalization and maintenance performance varied among participants indicating a need for further study in these areas. Findings suggest that effective writing intervention programs are characterized by the provision of explicit instructions regarding the writing process, models and scaffolds, and strategies that address motivation.


© Angela Monica Powell

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