DCD (Developmental Cognitive Disabilities)

First and foremost, the most important factor to always keep in mind with an student who shows difficulties in a particular domain (reading, writing, speaking, or listening), is whether the manifestation is the result of a language difference or a learning disability.  A great resource to determine if it is language or learning is U.S Dept. of Education- English Learner Toolkit’s Tools and Resources for Addressing English Learners with Disabilities.

Colorín Colorado has numerous resources for English learners with learning disabilities, including a webcast featuring Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, a bilingual Speech Language Pathologist

Many students with developmental cognitive disabilities can learn to read.  Much of this however depends on the severity of the disability.

Retrieved from a paper written by Rebecca Mahlburg from Lynchburg College, VA, Reading and Students with Intellectual Disabilities: Using the Readers Workshop Model to Provide Balanced Literacy Instruction: according to Mackay (2007), there are many important reasons to learn to read:

  • Getting a driver’s license and learning to drive
  • Finding a job, filling out a resume
  • ordering food at a restaurant
  • ordering items online
  • going to the doctor and reading medicine bottles
  • going on a trip

In addition to the importance of reading, Mahlburg’s paper touches upon historical approaches to reading instruction for students with intellectual disabilities, the instruction of sight words, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading comprehension.

Reading Rockets has a useful article titled, “Reading Together: Tips for Parents of Children with Intellectual Disabilities”

Mackay, C. (2007). Why do I need to learn to read? Retrieved November 25, 2017 from http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-Do-I-Need-to-Learn-to-Read&id=897851

Mahlburg, R. (2013). Reading and students with intellectual disabilities: Using the readers workshop model to provide balanced literacy instruction.  Retrieved from https://www.lynchburg.edu/wp-content/uploads/volume-8-2013/MahlburgR-Reading-Intellectual-Disabilities.pdf


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