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Emergent Literacy Practices and Support for Children with Disabilities: A National Survey

From: Education and Treatment of Children
Volume 37, Number 3, August 2014
pp. 495-529 | 10.1353/etc.2014.0024



A national mail survey of Head Start preschool teachers (N = 500) was conducted to assess their practices, the availability of specialist support, and their views related to emergent literacy instruction for Head Start children who have a disability or developmental delay. The responding teachers (n = 254) reported that (a) nearly one quarter of the children in their class were receiving special education and related services, (b) the majority of them did not work with a special educator, (c) they were using a variety of strategies to support emergent literacy learning for children with disabilities in their classroom, and (d) more than 90% of them strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement “Children with disabilities are not ready for emergent literacy instruction in preschool.” These results are discussed within the context of the need for additional research and professional development and support for preschool classroom teachers.

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