Authors: Al Otaiba, Stephanie., & Fuchs, Douglas.
Publication: Remedial and Special Education (Sage). 23(5), 300–316 2002 | DOI: 10.1177/07419325020230050501
This article reviews the research literature that describes children who are unresponsive to generally effective early literacy interventions. Studies were selected in which (a) children ranged from preschoolers to third graders and were at risk for reading disabilities, (b) treatments targeted early literacy, (c) outcomes reflected reading development, and (d) students’ unresponsiveness to intervention was described. The literature review included a computer search of several databases, an ancestral search of relevant articles and books, and a manual search of 11 journals. Twenty-three studies were identified, 8 of which were designed primarily to identify characteristics of unresponsive students; the remaining 15 studies focused on treatment effectiveness but also identified and described unresponsive students. A majority of unresponsive students had phonological awareness deficits. Additional characteristics included phonological retrieval or encoding deficits, low verbal ability, behavior problems, and developmental delays. Finally, methodological issues are discussed that complicate comparisons of nonresponders across studies, and implications for future research are described.