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Teaching early reading skills to adult offenders with intellectual disability using computer-delivered instruction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David O'Sullivan


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© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility, and effectiveness, of using Headsprout Early Reading (HER), an online computer program, to teach basic reading skills to adult offenders with mild intellectual disabilities (IDs) in a secure hospital. Design/methodology/approach: A single subject pre-post-test design replicated across two participants was used. Two standardized literacy tests were completed at baseline, half way through the intervention, and at the end of the intervention period. A measure of reading self-concept was also completed. An additional component to this research design was the inclusion of two “treatment as usual” (TAU) control participants who did not complete the program. Findings: Results are positive in terms of the feasibility of running the program, improved reading skills, and self-concept scores for both “intervention” participants compared to the “TAU” participants. Originality/value: HER was originally developed for typically developing children, and has been found to be effective for children with IDs and developmental disabilities. This is the first study to evaluate this program with an adult population.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Sullivan DV, Grindle CF, Hughes JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

Year: 2017

Volume: 8

Issue: 3

Pages: 122-131

Online publication date: 12/04/2017

Acceptance date: 12/04/2017

ISSN (print): 2050-8824

ISSN (electronic): 2050-8832

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1108/JIDOB-09-2016-0015


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