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A Synthesis of Spelling Interventions for Secondary Students with Disabilities

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Journal of Special Education Volume 52, Number 1, ISSN 0022-4669


This synthesis examined the effects of spelling interventions on spelling outcomes for students with disabilities in Grades 6 through 12. Thirteen single-case design studies were identified for inclusion in the review. No studies used a treatment/comparison design. The most common types of interventions involved systematic study strategies, such as cover-copy-compare, as well as technological assistance. Most of the spelling interventions increased spelling outcomes for words directly taught or studied in the intervention or increased the percentage of words spelled correctly in written compositions. For students with learning disabilities (LD) or emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), spelling interventions usually emphasized study strategies, while interventions for students with other disabilities (orthopedic impairment, intellectual disability, and autism) emphasized the use of technology. Noticeably absent from these interventions were the direct teaching of phoneme to grapheme correspondences and morphemic approaches, which are often used with students in the elementary grades.


Williams, K.J., Austin, C.R. & Vaughn, S. (2018). A Synthesis of Spelling Interventions for Secondary Students with Disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 52(1), 3-15. Retrieved October 20, 2019 from .

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