Using symbol-supported writing software with students with Down Syndrome: An exploratory study

This exploratory study examined the use of symbol-supported writing software with students with Down syndrome across two school years. In Year 1, 43 participants used this software and provided data over four months. In Year 2, 17 of the same participants provided data over an additional five months. A quasiexperimental repeated measures design was used to assess changes in students' symbol supported writing over time. Participants produced monthly, 10-minute writing samples about a specified topic using symbol supported writing software. The writing samples were examined with regard to writing rate, conventions, and two measures of writing quality. Results suggest that symbol-supported writing software can contribute to improved writing rate as well as increased opportunities for writing practice. The results are discussed in terms of implications, limitations, and future research.

McCartney Prest, J., Mirenda, P., & Mercier, D.
Journal of Special Education Technology, 25(2), 1-12.
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Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
early elementary
intermediate elementary
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
specific learning disability
Instructional Support: 
alternate access devices and systems
electronic references and resources
multiple formats of text and notation
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
visualizations and models
adjustable skill levels
multiple user profiles
student control
teacher control
Text-Embedded Prompts: 
grammar check
spell check