Authors: Hugh W. Catts, Diane Corcoran Nielsen, Mindy Sittner Bridges, Yi Syuan Liu, Daniel E. Bontempo.

Article: Early Identification of Reading Disabilities Within an RTI Framework.

Publication: Journal of Learning Disabilities (Sage Journals). 48(3), 281–297. 2015 | DOI: 10.1177/0022219413498115

[Full Text]

Early and accurate identification of children at risk for reading disabilities (RD) is critical for the prevention of RD within a response to intervention framework. In this study, we investigated the use of universal screening and progress monitoring for the early identification of RD in kindergarten children. A total of 366 children were administered a battery of screening measures at the beginning of kindergarten and progress-monitoring probes across the school year. A subset of children who showed initial risk for RD also received a 26-week Tier 2 intervention. Participants’ achievement in word reading accuracy and/or fluency was assessed at the end of first grade. Results indicated that a screening battery containing measures of letter naming fluency, phonological awareness, rapid naming, or nonword repetition accurately identified good and poor readers at the end of first grade. Findings also showed that children’s response to supplemental and/or classroom instruction measured in terms of growth in letter naming fluency added significantly to the prediction of reading outcomes.


One of the goals of this study was to investigate the additive effects of response to Tier 2 intervention. To this end, we randomly assigned children with initial risk for RD to an intervention or control condition. Children in the intervention condition were provided with 26 weeks of supplemental instruction in phonological awareness and letter knowledge by our research team. Children in the control condition received business as usual practice, which could have included similar supplemental instruction by school personnel. All children received classroom instruction in literacy skills. Our results indicated that whereas children in the intervention condition did show growth in literacy skills, they did not outperform the at-risk control children.

Tagged as: nonresponse


Catts, H. W., Nielsen, D. C., Bridges, M. S., Liu, Y. S., & Bontempo, D. E. (2015). Early Identification of Reading Disabilities Within an RTI Framework. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(3), 281–297.

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