Implications of leaving intervention later rather than sooner!

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Implications of leaving intervention later rather than sooner!

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:18 am

At a conference in Australia, Professor Pamela Snow raised the issue of how much longer it takes to remediate children's reading difficulties when this occurs later rather than sooner:

‘'It takes four times as many resources to resolve a literacy problem by Year 4 than it does in Year 1" - Pamela Snow's slide has this from Hempenstall, 2015.

Dr Kerry Hempenstall responded to an appeal for information on this topic:

The original quote came from:

Lyon, G.R. & Fletcher, J.M. (2001). Early warning system: How to prevent reading disabilities. Education Matters, summer, 22-29.

I subsequently found the source I used:

“Alexander, Entwisle, and Olsen (1997) claimed that reading improvement typically occurs twice as fast in first grade as it does in third grade, whilst Hall and Moats (1999) reported the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development finding that it takes four times as much assistance to improve a child’s reading skills if help is delayed until Year 4 than if it is begun in the kindergarten year. Apart from the efficiency gains for a system enabled by early identification and intervention, there are also pressing issues of social justice to be considered. Nevertheless, progress is achievable for older students when systematic research-validated approaches are well implemented (Wheldall & Beaman, 2000).” (p.131)

Hempenstall, K. (2005). How might a stage model of reading development be helpful in the classroom? Part 1. Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 10(3), 121-138.

And the Hall and Moats reference is:

Hall, S.H., & Moats, L.C. (1999). Straight talk about reading: How parents can make a difference during the early years. Chicago: Contemporary Books.

Here are some secondary references:

"When we consider the extraordinary amount of time it takes to improve reading performance in the later grades, estimates suggest that if intervention is not initiated until fourth grade, it takes four times as much instruction as it would have in first grade (Lyon & Fletcher, 2001) to see similar rates of improvement; early intervention in both word level reading and listening comprehension is essential. With respect to reading fluency specifically, researchers have suggested that reading fluency instruction is often neglected in classroom settings (Allington, 1983; Chard et al., 2002; Kameenui & Simmons, 2001). Our data offer some evidence that fluent reading is an important factor in reading comprehension for both at-risk and not at-risk readers, therefore, it would be important that teachers are able to effectively implement instruction that directly impacts fluency.” (p. 204)

Solaria, E.J., Grimma, R.P., McIntyrea, N.S., & Denton, C.A. (2018). Reading comprehension development in at-risk vs. not at-risk first grade readers: The differential roles of listening comprehension, decoding, and fluency. Learning and Individual Differences, 65, 195–206.

“The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports that it takes four times as much assistance to improve a child’s reading skills if help is delayed until Year Four than if it is begun in the Prep year.” (p.4).

Pfeiffer, S., Davis, R., Kellog, E., Hern, C., McLaughlin, T.F., & Curry, G. (2001). The effect of the Davis Learning Strategies on First Grade word recognition and subsequent special education referrals. Reading Improvement, 38(2), 1-19.

And a few more quotes on this theme:

“This survey showed the difficulty of closing students’ gaps in the middle years (from 4th to 8th grade). Fewer than 10% of far off track students (more than one standard deviation below benchmark in 4th grade) caught up in the four years to 8th grade. Between 8th grade and 12th grade only 6% of those far off track students in 8th grade reached benchmark by 12th grade”.

Dougherty, C. (2014). Catching up to college and career readiness: The challenge is greater for at-risk students. ACT Research & Policy, May 2014. 1-12. Retrieved from ... -Part3.pdf

‘‘Direct instructional time is proportional to their [children’s] deficiency. The greater the need, the more time they get.’’ Further, they caution that ‘‘catch up growth’’ requires more time and better quality instruction. Ikeda and colleagues cautioned that in most schools within the Iowa Heartland district, ‘‘interventions were not sufficiently rigorous to impact reading performance’’ (p.20).

Al-Otaiba, S., Calhoon, M. B., & Wanzek. J. (2010). Response to intervention: Treatment validity and implementation challenges in the primary grades and beyond to middle school. In Thomas E. Scruggs, Margo A. Mastropieri (Eds.). Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities, Volume 23; Learning and Literacy. Emerald Publishing.

“A child with a reading disability who is not identified early may require as many as 150 – 300 hours of intensive instruction (at least 90 minutes a day for most school days over a 1 – 3 year period) if he is going to close the reading gap… between himself and his peers. And, of course, the longer identification and effective reading instruction is delayed, the longer the child will require to catch up” (p.259)

Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

“A major goal of Tier 2 or secondary intervention is to allow the majority of students with learning (e.g., reading) difficulties to attain grade-level expectations. If students with below-grade- level performance are to catch up with normally developing students, their rate of growth must be accelerated; simply learning at an average rate will only maintain the deficit. Thus, Tier 2 interventions must be intensive enough to not only improve students’ performance, but to actually enable students with learning difficulties to progress at rates that are faster than the learning rates of average students. At the same time, these interventions must be feasible for teachers to implement and sustain” (p.433).

Vaughn, S., Denton, C. A., & Fletcher, J. M. (2010). Why intensive interventions are necessary for students with severe reading difficulties. Psychology in the Schools, 47(5), 432–444.

“A meta-analysis of studies focusing on reading intervention for upper-elementary and adolescent students with reading difficulties yielded generally low effect sizes and found no differences in the magnitude of effects for interventions that focused primarily on comprehension, studies that focused primarily on word-level skills, or multicomponent studies (Flynn et al., 2012). Furthermore, the study found no meaningful patterns related to the instructional features used in the interventions (e.g., modeling, control of level of difficulty, explicit practice opportunities). … What are the implications for teachers and policy? We think that the findings from this study, contextualized within the theoretical framework of both Chall’s (1996) developmental model of reading and SVR (Gough & Tunmer, 1986), suggest that students with significant reading difficulties require intensive reading instruction for many years. Students in fourth grade and beyond with intractable reading difficulties may require intensive interventions provided by highly qualified clinicians throughout their schooling. Many of these students may require intensive interventions well into secondary schooling.” (p. 14, 15)

Vaughn, S., Roberts, G.J., Miciak, J., Taylor, P., & Fletcher, J.M. (2019). Efficacy of a word- and text-based intervention for students with significant reading difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 52(1), 31–44.

"The results from this long-term follow-up provide further support for the hypothesis that reading intervention (especially when provided to remedial students, as opposed to younger at-risk students in kindergarten and first grade) is more appropriately viewed as analogous to insulin therapy, rather than as an inoculation against further reading failure (see Coyne, Kame’enui, Simmons, & Harn, 2004, for a discussion of this debate). That is, students in need of explicit and systematic instruction in the early stages of reading acquisition are likely to require ongoing evidence-based support to acquire more complex skills. The challenge posed by Blachman et al. (2004) almost a decade ago to alter standard instruction so that an accelerated growth trajectory is the norm remains a challenge for the field today.” (p.53-5)

Blachman, B.A., Schatschneider, C., Fletcher, J.M., Murray, M.S., Munger, K.A., &. Vaughn, M.G. (2014). Intensive reading remediation in Grade 2 or 3: Are there effects a decade later? Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(1), 46–57.

“(In this study) the probability that a child who was initially a poor reader in first grade would be classified as a poor reader in the fourth grade was a depressingly high +0.88”.

Juel, C. (1988). Learning to read & write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 437-447.

"National longitudinal studies show that approximately 75% of those with reading problems in third grade still experience reading difficulties in the ninth grade (Francis, Shaywitz, Stuebing, Shaywitz, & Fletcher 1996; Shaywitz, Holahan, & Shaywitz, 1992). Students who experience reading difficulties in the early grades often suffer what has been called the "Matthew Effects" (Stanovich, 1986), a gap between good and poor readers that widens through the grades. Mikulecky (1990), for example, found that a group of secondary students two or more years behind their peers in reading ability were differentially affected by their tendency to avoid reading. These students read very little during or outside of school. Over the two-year period of the study, their reading comprehension performance actually declined."

Mikulecky, L. J. (1990). Stopping summer learning loss among at-risk youth. Journal of Reading, 33(7), 516-521.

“We have learned that for 90% to 95% of poor readers, prevention and early intervention programs that combine instruction in phoneme awareness, phonics, fluency development, and reading comprehension strategies, provided by well trained teachers, can increase reading skills to average reading levels. However, we have also learned that if we delay intervention until nine-years-of-age, (the time that most children with reading difficulties receive services), approximately 75% of the children will continue to have difficulties learning to read throughout high school. To be clear, while older children and adults can be taught to read, the time and expense of doing so is enormous”.

Lyon, G.R. (1998).Overview of reading and literacy initiatives. Committee on Labor and Human Resources. Retrieved from ... itiatives/

“There is now considerable evidence throughout the school years that the earlier literacy-related problems are identified, the more effective, and the more cost-effective, interventions are likely to be (National Reading Panel, 2000; Snow Burns and Griffin, 1998; Torgesen, 2001). Summarising a range of studies of support of children with severe literacy difficulties (Alexander, Anderson, Heilman, Voeller and Torgesen, 1991; Lovett, Lacarenza, Borden, Frijters, Steinbach and DePalma, 2000; Rashotte, McPhee & Torgesen (2001); Torgesen, Alexander, Wagner, Rashotte, Voeller, Conway and Rose, (2001, 2004); Truch, 1994; Wise, Ring & Olsen, 1999), Torgesen (2001) estimates that an hour’s intervention at age 8 is likely to lead to a gain of 0.20 points in standard score on word identification and 0.30 points in phonemic decoding. He concludes that an intensive 70 hour intervention may be seen as ‘normalizing’ the problems – accelerating the child back into the normal range of achievement. By contrast, interventions with older children tended to be ‘stabilizing’ rather than normalizing the difficulties [Kavale, 1988], and led to very modest mean gains. We have provided a range of short term small group intervention studies for children aged 6 and above which proved highly successful (Nicolson and Fawcett, 1999).” (p. 62-63)

Fawcett, A.J., Lee, R., & Nicolson, R. (2014). Sustained benefits of a multi‐skill intervention for pre‐school children at risk of literacy difficulties Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences, 1(1), 62—77.

“In this longitudinal study, those third grade students who were struggling with their reading had four times the rate of early school leaving compared with average readers.”

Lesnick, J., Goerge, R., Smithgall, C. & Gwynne, J. (2010). Reading on grade level in third grade: How is it related to high school performance and college enrollment? Chapin Hall; Consortium on Chicago School Research; The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from ... x?pubguid={61221250-BC02-49C9-8BDA-D64C45B1C80C}

“Good and poor readers differed in their listening comprehension by only one month at school beginning, but by 30 months by Year 4”.

Juel, C. (1988). Learning to read & write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 437-447.

“Reading difficulties that have perseverated past the primary school years likely do require many hours of intervention to remediate. Progress is likely to be slow but steady. Teachers are better positioned than researchers to provide longer term interventions” (p.387).

Scammacca, N., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., & Stuebing, K. (2015). A meta-analysis of interventions for struggling readers in grades 4-12: 1980-2011. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(4), 369–390.

“So the messages that come out of that basic principle of brain development is that getting things right the first time is better than trying to fix them later, trying to adapt to something that was not developed in the best way at the time that it was supposed to be developed. So the sobering message here is that if children don't have the right experiences during these sensitive periods for the development of a variety of skills, including many cognitive and language capacities, that's a burden that those kids are going to carry; the sensitive period is over, and it's going to be harder for them. Their architecture is not as well developed in their brain as it would have been if they had had the right experiences during the sensitive period. That's the sobering message. But there's also a hopeful message there, which is unlike a critical period where it's too late.
The sensitive period says: It's not too late to kind of try to remediate that later. And you can develop good, healthy, normal competencies in many areas, even if your earlier wiring was somewhat faulty. But it's harder. It costs more in energy costs to the brain. The brain has to work at adapting to earlier circuits that were not laid down the way they should have been. And from a society's point of view, it costs more in terms of more expensive programming, more specialized help”.

Shonkoff, J.P. (2007). The neuroscience of nurturing neurons. Children of the Code. Retrieved from ... onkoff.htm

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