• The effectiveness of a multisensory writing program in improving cursive writing ability in children with sensorimotor difficulties

      Lockhart, Julia.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1991-07-09)
      It is estimated that five to ten percent of children experience sensory motor difficulties that result in various learnlng disabilitiies , among them. inabllity to output Information on paper in the appropriate manner (Ayres ,1985). The relationship between sensorimotorabillty and handwriting is well documented in the literature (Freeman,1917; Townsend , 1951; Nlkola-Ll sa, 1987). While much of the literature is inconclusive, there are findings to suggest that muitisensory handwriting programmes are an effective approach to improvlng writing abIlity in these chlldren. For a number of years, Occupational Therapists have been involved in the remediation of handwriting utllizing , amongst other approaches . multisensory programmes. While subjective assessments of effectiveness have been extremerly positive. scientIfic evaluation has been minimal . If further intervention in this area is to occur, it Is essential that the profession be able to justify the existence of such programmes . The purpose of this study was to examine what effects a multlsensory writing prog~am would have on the curslve writing ability of chlldren with sensorimotor dlfficulties. A single case with multiple baselines across be havlours design was used , with the behavlours being cursive writing abilIty of fIve distInct letter groups. The fIve groups were taught in random order, one group every two weeks , In a one-hour session. Repeated measurements of writing speed and qualIty for each letter group were made. This design was repeated over three other cases . Results of the study yielded statistical signifi cance in trend changes In specIfic letter groups for all of the chlldren following interventlon. One child achieved statistical significance In the overall change In quality , while none of the children achieved overall statistical significance In speed score changes . Teacher reports and an assessment of written language prior to and following the program suggest that Intervention may have had a positive effect on self-confidence in written output, and on the maturlty of written expression in some of the cases . Further research in this field is needed to validate the continual use of multisensory writing programmes by Occupational Theraplsts worklng with this specific population and to provide some directlon with regards to the Integration of multlsensory writing programmes within the regular academic remedial programme .
    • Implicit and explicit functions in the acquisition of a phonics rule in the word recognition of learning disabled and non learning disabled students /

      McNamara, John Kennedy.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      One group of 12 non learning disabled students and two groups of 12 learning disabled students between the ges of 10 and 12 were measured on implicit and explicit knowledge cquisition. Students in each group implicitly cquired knowledge bout I of 2 vocabulary rules. The vocabulary rules governed the pronunciation of 2 types of pseudowords. After completing the implicit acquisition phase, all groups were administered a test of implicit knowledge. The non learning disabled group and I learning disabled group were then asked to verbalize the knowledge acquired during the initial phase. This was a test of explicit knowledge. All 3 groups were then given a postlest of implicit knowledge. This tcst was a measure of the effectiveness of the employment of the verbalization technique. Results indicate that implicit knowledge capabilities for both the learning disabled and non learning disabled groups were intact. However. there were significant differences between groups on explicit knowledge capabilities. This led to the conclusion that implicit functions show little individual differences, and that explicit functions are affected by ability difference. Furthermore, the employment of the verbalization technique significantly increased POStlest scores for learning disabled students. This suggested that the use of metacognitive techniques was a beneficial learning tool for learning disabled students.