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Complete Module References

Adamson, L.B. (1996). Communication development during infancy. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Adelson, E., & Fraiberg, S. (1974). Gross motor development in infants blind from birth. Child Development, 45(1), 114-126.

AFB Press (Producer), Chen, D., & Schachter, P.H. (Writers). (1997). Making the most of early communication: Strategies for supporting communication with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers whose multiple disabilities includes vision and hearing loss [Video]. (Available from AFB Press, American Foundation for the Blind, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 3000, New York, NY 10001)

Alpert, C.L., & Kaiser, A.P. (1992). Training parents as milieu language teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 16, 31-52.

Als, H., Tronick, E., & Brazelton, T.B. (1980). Affective reciprocity and the development of autonomy: The study of a blind infant. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 19(1), 22-40.

American Printing House for the Blind (Producer). (1995). Discovering the magic of reading: “Elizabeth’s story” [Video]. (Available from APH, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, KY, 40206-0085)

Andersen, E.S., Dunlea, A., & Kekelis, L. (1993). The impact of input: Language acquisition in the visually impaired. First Language, 13(37, pt. 1), 23-49.

Anthony, T.L. (1997). Adapted version of Koenig and Holbrook’s sensory channel form. Unpublished document.

Anthony, T.L. (1997). Individual sensory learning profile interview. Unpublished document.

Anthony, T.L. (2004). Individual sensory learning profile interview (ISLPI). In I.

Topor, L.P. Rosenblum, & D.D. Hatton, Visual conditions and functional vision: Early intervention issues (participant packet, pp. 238-245). Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Anthony, T.L. (2004). Observational assessment of sensory preferences of infants and toddlers (OASP). In I. Topor, L.P. Rosenblum, & D.D. Hatton, Visual conditions and functional vision: Early intervention issues (participant packet, pp. 246-247). Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Anthony, T.L., Bleier, H., Fazzi, D.L., Kish, D., & Pogrund, R.L. (2002). Mobility focus: Developing early skills for orientation and mobility. In R.L. Pogrund & D.L. Fazzi (Eds.), Early focus: Working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families (2nd ed., pp. 326-355). New York: AFB Press.

Appel, K., & Masterson, J.J. (2001). Beyond babytalk: From sounds to sentences, a parent’s complete guide to language development. New York: Crown Publishing.

Armbruster, B.B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2003). A child becomes a reader: Birth through preschool (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation.

Baird, S.M., Mayfield, P., & Baker, P. (1997). Mothers’ interpretations of the behavior of their infants with visual and other impairments during interactions. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 91(5), 467-483.

Bardige, B.S., & Segal, M. (2004). Conversations in child care. Zero to Three, 25(1), 16-22.

Barnett, S.W. (1998). Long-term effects on cognitive development and school success. In S.W. Barnett & S. Boocock (Eds.), Early care and education for children in poverty (pp. 11-44). Albany: State University of New York Press.

Barraga, N.C., & Erin, J.N. (2001). Visual impairment and learning (4th ed.)Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Bates, E. (1976). Language and context: The acquisition of pragmatics. New York: Academic Press.

Bates, E., Camaioni, L., & Volterra, V. (1975). The acquisition of performatives prior to speech. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 21(3), 205-226.

Beckwith, B. (1992). Baby, can we talk? (Teaching children to talk). Essence, 22(12), 105.

Behl, D.D., Akers, J.F., Boyce, G.C., & Taylor, M.J. (1996). Do mothers interact differently with children who are visually impaired? Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 90(6), 501-511.

Bennett, K.K., Weigel, D.J., & Martin, S.S. (2002). Children’s acquisition of early literacy skills: Examining family contributions. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 17(3), 295-317.

Bigelow, A.E. (1987). Early words of blind children. Journal of Child Language, 14(1), 47-56.

Bowman, B., Donovan, M.S., & Burns, M.S. (Eds). (2000). Eager to learn: Educating our preschoolers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Bozic, N., Cooper, L., Etheridge, A., & Selby, A. (1995). Microcomputer based joint activities in communication interventions with visually impairments children: A case study. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 11(1), 91-105.

Brambring, M. (2001). Motor activity in children who are blind and partially sighted.  Visual Impairment Research, 3(1), 41-51.

Brambring, M., & Tröster, H. (1994). The assessment of cognitive development in blind infants and preschoolers. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 88(1), 9-18.

Brown, M.W., & Hurd, C. (1942). The runaway bunny. New York: HarperCollins.

Brown, M.W., & Hurd, C. (1947). Goodnight moon. New York: HarperCollins.

Bus, A.G., Belsky, J., van IJzendoorn, M.H., & Crnic, K. (1997). Attachment and bookreading patterns: A study of mothers, fathers, and their toddlers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 12(1), 81-98.

Butler, D. (1979). Cushla and her books. Boston: Horn Book. Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site. (1999). Expanded table of contents.

Retrieved March 14, 2005, from http://www.carolhurst.com/toc.html

Carpenter, M., Nagell, K., & Tomasello, M. (1998). Social cognition, joint attention, and communicative competence from 9 to 15 months of age. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 63(4, Serial No. 255).

Carter, K.P. (2002). Speech development: What’s normal for your child might not be normal for mine. Pediatrics for Parents, 20(1), 3-4.

Castellano, C. (1999). Because books matter: Reading braille books with young blind children. Boston: National Braille Press.

Chen, D. (1995). Understanding and developing communication. In D. Chen & J.

Dote-Kwan (Eds.), Starting points: Instructional practices for young children whose multiple disabilities include visual impairment (pp. 57-72). Los Angeles: Blind Childrens Center.

Chen, D. (1996). Parent-infant communication: Early intervention for very young children with visual impairment or hearing loss. Infants and Young Children, 9(2), 1-12.

Chen, D. (1999). Beginning communication with infants. In D. Chen (Ed.), Essential elements in early intervention: Visual impairment and multiple disabilities (pp. 337-377). New York: AFB Press.

Chen, D. (1999). Interactions between infants and caregivers: The context for early intervention. In D. Chen (Ed.), Essential elements in early intervention: Visual impairment and multiple disabilities (pp. 22-54). New York: AFB Press.

Chernus-Mansfield, N., Hayahi, D., & Kekelis, L. (1985). Talk to me II: Common concerns [Brochure]. Los Angeles: The Blind Childrens Center

Coleman, P.P.  (1991). Literacy lost: A qualitative analysis of the early literacy experiences of preschool children with severe speech and physical impairments.  Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Coleman, P.P. (1992/1993, Winter). Classroom observation checklist for literacy artifacts and events. Clinical Connection,12.

Conti-Ramsden, G., & Pérez-Pereira, M. (1999). Conversational interactions between mothers and their infants who are congenitally blind, have low vision, or are sighted. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 93(11), 691-703.

Council for Exceptional Children. (2000). National plan for training personnel to serve children with blindness and low vision. Reston, VA: Author.

Craig, C.J. (1996). Family support for the emergent literacy of children with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 90(3), 194-200.

Craig, S., Hull, K., Haggart, A.G., & Crowder, E. (2001). Storytelling: Addressing the literacy needs of diverse populations. Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(5), 46-51.

Crimmins, D.B., Gothelf, C.R., Rowland, C., Stillman, R.D., Linam, A., &

Williams, C. (1995). Basic concepts of commmunication. In K.M. Huebner, J.G. Prickett, T.R. Welch, & E. Joffee (Eds.), Hand in hand: Essentials of communication and orientation and mobility for your students who are deaf-blind (Vol. 1, pp. 159-184). New York: AFB Press.

Curran, E. (1988). Just enough to know better: A braille primer. Boston, MA: National Braille Press.

Cutspec, P.A. (2004). Influences of dialogic reading on the language development of toddlers. Bridges, 2(2), 1-12.

DeBruin-Parecki, A. (1999). Assessing adult/child storybook reading practices. Retrieved March 8, 2005, from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement Web site: http://www.ciera.org/library/reports/inquiry-2/2-004/2-004.pdf

Degan, B. (1983). Jamberry. New York: HarperCollins.

DeMott, R.M. (1972). Verbalism and affective meaning for the blind, severely visually impaired, and normally sighted children. New Outlook for the Blind, 66(1), 1-8, 25.

DiCarlo, C., Banajee, M., & Stricklin, S.B. (2000). Embedding augmentative communication within early childhood classrooms. Young Exceptional Children, 3(3), 18-26.

Dimcovic, N., & Tobin, M.J. (1995). The use of language in simple classification tasks by children who are blind. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 89(5), 448-459.

Dodici, B.J., Draper, D.C., & Peterson, C.A. (2003). Early parent-child interactions and early literacy development. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 23, 124-136.

Dote-Kwan, J., Chen, D., & Hughes, M. (2001). A national survey of service providers who work with young children with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 95(6), 331.

Drezek, W. (1999). Emergent braille literacy with move, touch, read. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 93, 104-108.

Duffy, G.G., & Hoffman, J.V. (1999). In pursuit of an illusion: The flawed search for a perfect method. The Reading Teacher, 53(1), 10-16.

Dunst, C.J. (1978). A cognitive-social approach for assessment of early nonverbal communicative behavior. Journal of Childhood Communication Disorders, 2, 110-123.

Dunst, C.J. (2002). Family-centered practices: Birth through high school. Journal of Special Education, 36(3), 139-147.

Easterbrooks, S.R. (2003). Communication. In S.R. Hooper & W. Umansky (Eds.), Young children with special needs (4th ed., pp. 372-409). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

EIVI Training Center. (2002). Effective IFSP meetings [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8185, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185)

EIVI Training Center. (2003). Observational assessment of sensory preferences: Jasmine [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB # 8040 UNC, Chapel Hill, NC  27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Alex and his mother look at books and play [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Alphabet awareness [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Assistive technology resources for very young children. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Austin: Social games [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Books for Patti: Choosing books for children with multiple impairments [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Communication and emergent literacy vignettes, Session 2. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Communication and emergent literacy vignettes, Session 3. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Communication and emergent literacy vignettes, Session 5. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Communication in young children with visual impairments [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Dialogic reading. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Distancing prompt: What is in your bedroom? [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Distancing prompt: Where do you go to play? [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Early access to braille books [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Early literacy routines. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Early reading experiences of a highly literate child[Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Emergent literacy skills for future braille readers.Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Environmental print [Video clip]. (Available fromEarly Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Interacting during daily routines [Video clip].(Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Matching communication [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Michaela at preschool [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Millie Smith: Early cognitive, communicative, and motor skills impact language and literacy [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Millie Smith: Object symbols and first books [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Millie Smith—Quality of life and emergent literacy [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Missions and roles for professionals with expertise in communication and language development. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). A model of oral and written language development. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Mother-child storybook reading [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Mother-infant communication [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Nonlinguistic/prelinguistic conversation between infant and mother [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Observation and interview of literacy artifacts and events for young children with visual impairments. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Open-ended prompt: Saying goodnight [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Preview of Five Little Ducks [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Principles of communication and language intervention. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Rhyming with The Maestro Plays [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Sierra: Real life experiences develop concepts [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Sources for print/braille books. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Storybook objects: Teddy bears [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Storybook objects: Toolbox [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Strategies to enhance motor/movement and development for literacy. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training         Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Suggested resources for families. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Takoda: Early communication of a child with multiple impairments  [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). TVIs provide support to families [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Using decontextualized language [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Ways to make print “talk” to childen. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Erickson, K.A. (2000). All children are ready to learn: An emergent versus readiness perspective in early literacy assessment. Seminars in Speech and Language, 21, 193-202.

Erickson, K.A., & Koppenhaver, D.A. (1995). Developing a literacy program for children with severe disabilities. The Reading Teacher, 48(8), 676-684.

Erikson, M., & Berglund, E. (1999). Swedish early communicative development inventories: Words and gestures. First Language, 19(55, Pt. 1), 55-90.

Erin, J.N. (1986). Frequencies and types of questions in the language of visually impaired children. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 80(4), 670-674.

Erin, J.N. (1990). Language samples from visually impaired four- and five-year olds. Journal of Childhood Communication Disorders, 13, 181-191.

Erwin, E.J. (1993). Social participation of young children with visual impairments in specialized and integrated environments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 88(2), 132-139.

Fazzi, D.L., & Klein, M.D. (2002). Cognitive focus: Developing cognition, concepts, and language. In R.L. Pogrund & D.L. Fazzi (Eds.), Early focus: Working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families (2nd ed., pp. 107-153). New York: AFB Press. 

Feldman, R., & Greenbaum, C.W. (1997). Affect regulation and synchrony in mother-infants play as precursors to the development of symbolic competence. Infant Mental Health Journal, 18(1), 4-23.

Ferrell, K.A. (1985). Reach out and teach: Meeting the training needs of parents of visually and multiply handicapped young children. New York: AFB Press.

Ferrell, K.A. (1996). Your child’s development. In M.C. Holbrook (Ed.), Children with visual impairments: A parents’ guide (pp. 73-96). Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

Ferrell, K.A. (1998). Project PRISM: A longitudinal study of developmental patterns of children who are visually impaired: Final report. Greeley: University of Northern Colorado.

Field, E.I. (2005). Suggestions for caregivers of children with echolalia. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Fleming, D. (1991). In the small, small pond. New York: Henry Holt.

Fraiberg, S. (1977). Insights from the blind: Comparative studies of blind and sighted infants. New York: Basic Books.

Gard, A., Gilman, L., & Gorman, J. (1993). Speech and language development chart (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Glazer, S.M. (1989). Oral language and literacy development. In D.S. Strickland & L.M. Morrow (Eds.), Theory and practice of early reading (Vol. 1, pp. 137-154). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Gosch, A., Brambring, M., Gennat, H., & Rohlmann, A. (1997). Longitudinal study of neuropsychological outcome in blind extremely-low-birthweight children. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 39(5), 297-304, 313-318.

Hala, S. (Ed.) (1997). The development of social cognition. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.

Hanline, M.F. (2001). Supporting emergent literacy in play-based activities. Young Exceptional Children, 4(4), 10-15.

Harley, R.K., Truan, M.B., & Sanford, L.D. (1997). Communication skills for visually impaired learners: Braille, print, and listening skills for students who are visually impaired (2nd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Harrell, L. (1992). Children’s vision concerns: Look beyond the eyes! Placerville, CA: L. Harrell Productions.

Harris, M., Barlow-Browne, F., & Chasin, J. (1995). The emergence of referential understanding: Pointing and the comprehension of object names. First Language, 15(43, Pt. 1), 19-34.

Harris, M., Jones, D., & Grant, J. (1984). The social-interactional context of maternal speech to infants: An explanation for the event-bound nature of early word use? First Language, 5(14, Pt. 2), 89-99.

Hatton, D.D. (2004). Empowering families of young children with visual impairments., 49(3), 15-20.

Hatton, D.D., Bailey, D.B., Burchinal, M.R., & Ferrell, K.A. (1997). Developmental growth curves of preschool children with vision impairments. Child Development, 68(5), 788-806.  

Hatton, D.D., McWilliam, R.A., & Winton, P.J. (2003). Family-centered practices for infants and toddlers with visual impairments. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Hatton, D.D., & Model Registry of Early Childhood Visual Impairment

Collaborative Group. (2001). Model Registry of Early Childhood Visual Impairment: First year results. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 95(7), 418-433.

Howes, C., & Wishard, A.G. (2004). Revisiting shared meaning: Looking through the lens of culture and linking shared pretend play through proto-narrative development to emergent literacy. In E.F. Zigler, D.G. Singer, & S.J. Bishop-Josef (Eds.), Children’s play: The roots of reading (pp. 143-158). Washington, DC: Zero to Three Press.

Huebner, C.E. (2000). Community-based support for preschool readiness among children in poverty. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 5(3), 291-314.

Hussey-Gardner, B. (1996). Understanding my signals [Brochure]. Palo Alto, CA: VORT Corporation. 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, H.R. 1350, (2004).

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Jan, J.E., Sykanda, A.M., & Groenveld, M. (1990). Habilitation and rehabilitation of visually impaired and blind children. Pediatrician, 17(3), 202-207.

Jesien, G., & Tuchman, L. (1991). Mission, roles, and working environments for professionals from eleven key disciplines. University of Wisconsin: Waisman Center. Carolina Conference on Infant Personnel Preparation. (1988). Georgetown Marbury Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Justice, L.M., & Kaderavek, J.N. (2003). Topic control during shared storybook reading: Mothers and their children with language impairments. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 23(3), 137-150.

Justice, L.M., & Pullen, P.C. (2003). Promising interventions for promoting emergent literacy skills: Three evidence-based approaches. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 23(3), 93-113. 

Kaderavek, J.N., & Justice, L.M. (2000). Children with LD as emergent readers: Bridging the gap to conventional reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36(2), 82-93.

Kaderavek, J.N., & Sulzby, E. (1998). Parent-child joint book reading: An observational protocol for young children. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 7(1), 33-47.

Kaiser, A.P., Yoder, P.J., & Keetz, A. (1992). Evaluating milieu teaching. In S.F. Warren & J. Riechle (Eds.), Causes and effect in communication and language interventions (pp. 9-47). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

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Glossary

Abstract symbolic communication     Level of communicative competence at which children use few abstract symbols or one-word utterances to represent entities in the environment. Symbols are used primarily one at a time.

Acuity     Visual ability to resolve fine detail.

Alphabetic knowledge     Ability to name the letters of the alphabet based on their shapes. Also called “letter-name knowledge,” “knowledge of graphemes,” and “knowledge of letters.”

Anophthalmia     Absence of the globe and ocular tissue from the orbit of one or both eyeballs (most individuals have some remnants of the globe). Sometimes associated with multiple congenital malformations.

Antecedent strategy     Technique for developing echolalia into more advanced forms of language. Antecedent strategy involves modifying environments that are known to produce echolalia, simplifying language input, and providing relevant language as a model.

Assessment     Formal or informal evaluation that provides information about the child’s developmental or functional status.

Assistive technology     Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabili­ties of children with disabilities. Assistive technology service refers to a service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

Attachment     Formation of significant and stable emotional connections with the important persons in a child’s life. The attachment process begins in early infancy as the child bonds with one or more primary caregivers.

Attentive stillness     Act of staying motionless to better attend to a situation. Attentive stillness can be a form of subtle nonverbal communication.

Atypical development     State-specified criterion for children whose qual­ity of functioning is not the same as typically developing peers even though no delay is evident through testing.

Audiologist     Professional trained to identify and evaluate deafness and hearing impairments as early in life as possible and to provide and direct the audiology services necessary for the successful use of hearing for learning, communication, and social development.

Auditory cue     Stimulus that can be heard and that provides access to information about the environment.

Auditory system     Sensory organs responsible for hearing; made up of the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, brainstem, and brain.

Augmentative or alternative communication (AAC)     Use of devices or techniques to facilitate children’s expressive or receptive communication. AAC may include the use of unaided modes of communication such as body language, gestures, sign language, and facial expressions; or the use of use high- or low-tech devices that require the child to use his or her body to activate a tool for communication.

Behavior regulation     Function of communication that involves an action intended to guide or control another person’s behavior for purposes of requesting or rejecting objects or actions.

Bilateral     Having or affecting two sides.

Blindness     Condition of lacking the sense of sight. Total blindness and legal blindness are different categories of blindness. Legal blindness includes many people with some degree of vision.

Braille     System of embossed characters formed by a matrix of six dots consisting of two vertical columns of three dots each called a braille cell. Braille characters are formed by one or more dots and occupy a full cell.

Braille-print book     Book that includes both braille and print.

Braillewriter     Machine used for producing braille. A braillewriter has six basic keys, one for each dot in the braille cell. It also has space, line-advance, and back-space keys.

Central nervous system      Main information-processing organs of the body, consisting of the brain and spinal cord. Nerve cells in the brain affect mental activity and consciousness; those in the spine affect organs and muscles.

Cerebral palsy     Disorder of posture and movement resulting from brain damage.

Classification     Creation and manipulation of categories of events and information. For children, classification is the ability to form conceptual groups and to recognize that members of a given conceptual group share some attributes but not others. Children also learn that various concepts are subordinate or superordinate to one another. For example, dogs are animals, but not all animals are dogs.

Clinical low vision specialist     Trained professional who tests for visual acuity and visual field, introduces patients to near and distance viewing low-vision devices, and recommends adaptations to patients’ home and work environments.

Closed circuit television (CCTV)     Stand-mounted or handheld video camera that projects a magnified image onto a television monitor.

Coloboma     Congenital malformation in which part of the eye—the choroid, iris, lens, optic nerve, or retina—does not form due to failure of fusion of the intraocular fissure (fetal tissue). A coloboma can occur as an isolated defect or it can be part of a multiple congenital malformation, such as the cat-eye syndrome, aniridia-Wilms tumor association, or trisomy 13.  Associated with decreased visual acuity, nystagmus, strabismus, photophobia, and loss of visual fields.

Collaboration     Style of family-centered practice in which all members of the team, including family members, work together in a supportive and cooperative manner to make decisions jointly.

Communication     Meaningful exchange of ideas, thoughts, wants, or desires with others.

Communicative competence     Range of abilities, skills, and knowledge necessary to engage in the meaningful exchanges of ideas, thoughts, wants, or desires with others.         

Communicative context     Situations and environments—usually the home, child care center, school, and community—within which communication and literacy develop. Communicative context includes linguistic and nonlinguistic interactions between children and adults. See Situational context, Sociocultural context.

Communicative exchange     Interaction between individuals during which a message is sent or received.

Communicative form      Behavior that can be used to send or receive a message.

Communicative function     Purpose served by the act of sending or receiving a message.

Compensatory skill     Ability of children with visual impairments to use alternative strategies for learning.

Concept     Abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances.

Concrete symbolic communication     Level of communicative competence at which children begin to pair concrete symbolic representations with specific referents in the environment, such as making the sounds of an object (e.g., “vroom, vroom” for “car”) and depictive gestures (i.e., gestures that look like what they mean, such as patting the seat of a chair to indicate “sit”). The symbols are termed concrete because they share features with their referent.

Consequential strategy     Technique for developing echolalia into more advanced forms of language, in which the adult responds to the communicative intent while providing a simple model of appropriate language and providing positive reinforcement for appropriate language. 

Conservation     Understanding that certain objects, such as a quantity of liquid or weight, may stay the same even though it may appear different. For example, even though one glass is tall and narrow and another is short and wide, each contains 8 ounces of liquid.

Contingent responsivity     Caregivers’ ability to perceive infants’ signals and needs and respond to them quickly and appropriately.

Conventional literacy     Ability to write to convey meaning and read with comprehension. See Emergent literacy.

Conventional presymbolic communication     Level of communicative competence at which children use conventional gestures (e.g., pointing, waving, kissing, nodding) to affect caregivers’ behavior. At this stage, children also begin to use intonated sound patterns to express needs.

Conventions of print     Knowledge of standard text formats (e.g., that texts are read from left to right and from top to bottom; that books are read from front to back; etc.).

Corneal ulcer     Lesion on the cornea that is usually caused by an infection.

Cortical/cerebral visual impairment (CVI)     Temporary or permanent visual impairment caused by a disturbance in the posterior visual pathways or the occipital lobe of the brain that results in the visual systems of the brain not consistently understanding or interpreting what the eyes see. Associated with fluctuating visual function, inattention to visual stimuli, light gazing, difficulty discriminating figure-ground, central or peripheral vision loss, scotomas, photophobia, and eccentric fixations.

Cruise     To walk along furniture or walls using one or two hands against a surface for support.

Current level of functioning     Statement, assessment scores, or report of a child’s cognitive, communication, motor, social-emotional, physical, and adaptive skills on the Individualized Family Service Plan.

Decontextualized language     Expression of ideas and concepts that are removed from the immediate situation or physical context.

Deictic gaze     Fixed, direct eye gaze used to draw attention to an object, event, person, etc

Developmentally appropriate learning media assessment (DALMA)     Systematic assessment of a young child’s sensory responses, abilities, and preferences; used to guide the intervention team in making informed and deliberate decisions to facilitate learning.

Developmental delay     Eligibility category for receiving early intervention services. IDEIA (2004) allows states to determine the criteria for developmental delay. Many states use a combination of percent­age delay or standard-deviation delay in a number of developmental domains, such as 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in one area or 1 standard deviation below the mean in two areas. The areas consid­ered are typically cognitive, motor, social-emotional, communication, and adaptive skills.

Dialogic reading     Shared-reading technique in which the adult assumes the role of an active listener and the child learns to become a storyteller. In dialogic reading, the adult reader asks questions, adds information, and prompts the child to increase the sophistication of descriptions of material in the book. The child’s responses are encouraged through praise and repetition.

Dual-media learner     Child who learns to read and write in both print and braille.

Dynamic balance     Ability to maintain body posture while the body is moving.

Early intervention     According to Part C of IDEIA (2004): developmental services that are provided under public supervision; are provided at no cost except where federal or state law provides for a system of payments by families, including a schedule of sliding fees; are designed to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability, as identified by the individualized family service plan team, in any 1 or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or adaptive development. Early intervention services must meet the standards of the state in which the services are provided and may include family training, counseling, and home visits; special instruction; speech-language pathology and audiology services, and sign language and cued language services; occupational therapy; physical therapy; psychological services; service coordination services; medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes; early identification, screening, and assessment services; health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services; social work services; vision services; assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; and transportation and related costs that are necessary to enable an infant or toddler and the infant's or toddler's family to receive service. Early intervention services are provided by qualified personnel, including special educators; speech-language pathologists and audiologists; occupational therapists; physical therapists; psychologists; social workers; nurses; registered dietitians; family therapists; vision specialists, including ophthalmologists and optometrists; orientation and mobility specialists; and pediatricians and other physicians. To the maximum extent appropriate, early intervention services are provided in natural environments, including the home, and community settings in which children without disabilities participate; and are provided in conformity with an individualized family service plan.

Early interventionist     Person who works with infants and young children with developmental delays or disabilities, or who are at risk of developmental
problems, and their families. Though early interventionists may have different kinds
of professional training, they all have work experience or special training in helping young children with disabilities and their families. 

Eccentric fixation     Compensatory process, such as turning the head, by which an individual establishes focus on an area of the retina other than the fovea.

Eccentric viewing      See Eccentric fixation.

Echolalia     Repetition of previously heard language.

Emergent literacy     Developmental process that begins at birth in which children acquire the skills and knowledge that are the foundation for later reading and writing. Key components of emergent literacy are oral language, including listening comprehension, vocabulary, and narrative knowledge; phonological awareness; concept development; knowledge of the conventions of print and print intentionality; alphabetic knowledge; and environmental factors. See Emergent reading, Emergent writing.

Emergent reading     Behaviors that precede the mastery of reading, such as pretending to read and recognizing environmental print. (Before children can read, they can often recognize labels, signs, etc.) See Emergent literacy, Emergent writing.

Emergent writing     Behaviors that precede the mastery of writing, such as scribbling (pretending to write); learning to write letters; spelling phonetically; and engaging in invented spelling. See Emergent literacy, Emergent reading.

Environmental print     Written words, such as those on street signs, billboards, labels, and business signs, found in an individual’s everyday surroundings.

Expressive communication     Act of sending a message to someone else; ability to share ideas, thoughts, wants, and desires. See Receptive communication.

Extension     Act of moving the two ends of a jointed body part away from each other, as in the straightening of an arm.     

Facilitation     Style of interaction that promotes meaningful communication through following the child’s lead, encouraging a variety of child contributions, and responding with communications that are similar in length to those of the child.

Family centered     Style of practice in which all activities, including assess­ments and interventions, focus on the families’ strengths, priorities, and desired outcomes. Individuals and programs that are family centered recognize and honor diversity, and recognize that family members are the child’s primary teachers, sources of nurturance, lifelong advocates, and key decision makers.

Fine motor     Pertaining to small muscle movements, especially in the hands, used for manipulation of objects.

Finger dexterity     Skill and ease in using the fingers.

Fixate     To coordinate eye movements in order to focus an image on the fovea.

Flexion     Act of moving the two ends of a jointed body part closer to each other, as in the bending of the arm.

Formal symbolic communication     Level of communicative competence at which children begin to understand the semantic and syntactic rules of conventional language. At this stage, children may begin to combine two or more words to communicate and to change word order to change meaning.

Functionality      Usefulness of an outcome. For very young children, functionality promotes engagement, independence, and social relationships in daily routines.

Functional illiteracy     Inability to use reading, writing, and computational skills in daily life.

Functional outcome      Desired goal on an individualized family service plan (IFSP) that is based on family priorities gained through the routines-based assessment and the results of assessments completed by professionals from at least two disciplines. For example, if independent play is a family priority, a functional outcome might be a 3-minute period in which the child interacts with a toy without adult involvement.

Functional task     Activity that is meaningful to a child and family and that promotes children’s engagement, independence, and social interactions.              

Functional vision     Degree of vision sufficient to perform some or all daily activities.

Functional vision assessment (FVA)     Systematic observation and assessment of visual and sensory behaviors to determine how individuals use vision in different activities and environments.

General nominal     Noun that refers to a class of objects.

Gestational age     Age of a fetus as measured by time since fertilization of the egg.

Gestural mode     Use of nonlinguistic movements of the body to send a message.

Gesture     Movement of the body used to send a message.

Glaucoma     Condition caused by excessive buildup of fluid inside the eye that puts pressure on the retina and causes damage to the retina and the optic nerve. Associated with fluctuating vision, peripheral field loss, poor night vision, photophobia, pain, and headaches.

Good fairy syndrome     Misconception, shared by some infants and toddlers with visual impairments, that objects appear out of, and disappear into, nowhere. The good fairy syndrome arises from the tendency of some adult caregivers to place objects into, and remove objects from, children’s hands.

Grammar     System of rules that govern a language. Grammar is made up of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics.

Grapheme     Smallest symbol that functions as a unit in a system of writing. Usually used in reference to letters of the alphabet, graphemes may also include numerals, diacriticals, punctuation marks, etc.

Graphemic awareness     Ability to discriminate among the smallest units of print (i.e., the letters of the alphabet).

Gross motor     Pertaining to large-muscle movements or skills, such as movements used to ambulate (roll, crawl, walk, and so on) from one place to another.

Gustatory system     Sensory organs responsible for the five primary taste sensations: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami (savory); made up of receptor cells in the tastebuds of the tongue; sensory neurons; and the brainstem. The gustatory system can play a role in arousal and alertness.

Hand-under-hand modeling     Strategy in which an adult places his or her hand under the child’s to facilitate a task.

Hyperextension     Act of moving the two ends of a jointed body part away from each other beyond the normal limit.

Idiosyncratic behavior     Manner of acting that is unique to an individual.

Incidental teaching     Intervention strategy that uses naturally occurring communication and learning opportunities during daily routines and play to take advantage of children’s interests and attentional focus. For example, the adult may wait for the child to initiate an interaction, then ask the child to elaborate by saying “Tell me more” or “What about ___?” The adult may further elaborate on the topic or may model how to elaborate for the child.

Individualized family service plan (IFSP)     Written plan for providing early intervention services to a child eligible under IDEIA 2004, Part C, and the child’s family.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA 2004)     Federal legislation that mandates a free and appropriate education for children with identified disabilities between 3 and 21 years of age and provides guidance for early intervention services for children ages birth to 3 years in Part C.

Intentional behaviors     Level of communicative competence at which children engage in actions (e.g., waving the arms) that have purpose but are not consciously designed to communicate a message. Caregivers’ interpretations of these behaviors  and their responses to them result in communication.  

Interactive function     Appropriate function of echolalic language such as turn taking, declarative, yes response, request, verbal completion, providing information, protesting, calling, and directives.

Interactive matching     Strategy in which caregivers adjust their interactive style to match the child’s pace, engage in activities that are at the child’s current level of functioning, and follow the child’s lead.

Invented spelling     Writing words following a more or less phonological, rather than orthographic, strategy. Also called “creative spelling.”

Joint attention     Communicative act in which a child and caregiver interactively attend to the same object, person, or activity.

Kinesic mode     Use of nonlinguistic facial expressions to send a message.

Knowledge of graphemes     See Alphabetic knowledge.

Language     Any complex system of concepts represented by arbitrary symbols that are governed by rules; includes speaking and listening, and reading and writing.

Language play     Experience with sounds in words, rhythms of speech, and word play such as rhyming words.

Lateral flexion     Action in which the two ends of a jointed body part move closer to each other and farther from the middle or center of the body, as in tilting the head toward the shoulder.

Learning medium     Sensory mode (e.g., sight, hearing, touch) used to acquire skills and knowledge. Individuals may use more than one learning medium.

Learning media assessment (LMA)     Systematic assessment of an individual’s sensory responses and preferences; used to guide the intervention team in making informed and deliberate decisions on the range of sensory preferences needed to facilitate learning.

Leber’s congenital amaurosis     Genetic visual disorder characterized by reduced retinal function at birth as documented by an electroretinogram. Visual function can vary widely; however, profound or total visual loss is common. Associated with decreased distance vision, sensitivity to glare, and distortion of visual field.

Legal blindness     In the U.S., visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses (20/200 means the ability to recognize symbols for 20 feet on an eye chart that people with normal vision can identify at 200 feet) or visual field restricted to 20 degrees or less (tunnel vision) in the better eye.

Light perception     Ability to distinguish between light and dark.

Linguistic awareness     Ability to consciously observe or reflect upon language use. Linguistic awareness in children may be demonstrated by phonological awareness or by syntactic awareness. See Metalinguistic.

Linguistic communication     Use of systemized language with conventional vocabulary and rules of grammar, syntax, and so on.

Listening comprehension     Level of understanding of spoken communication, including vocabulary and syntax.

Literacy     Ability to read, write, and otherwise communicate with or comprehend written language. Literacy takes a variety of forms and performs a variety of functions. Literacy develops from children's oral language and their early attempts at reading (usually based on pictures) and writing (at first, scribbling). See Emergent literacy.

Literacy event     Activity or action that directly or indirectly involves reading or writing. 

Literacy medium     Form (e.g., print or braille) used to develop reading and writing. Children’s literacy media are based on their sensory preferences and abilities as assessed in a learning media assessment or developmentally appropriate learning media assessment. Individuals may use more than one literacy medium.

Low vision     Significant reduction of visual function that cannot be fully corrected by ordinary glasses, contact lenses, medical treatment, or surgery. Individuals with low vision have the potential to use vision for daily tasks.

Mand-model procedure     Strategy that uses naturally occurring communication opportunities during daily routines and play. The adult asks the child a question that requires a response other than yes or no and waits expectantly for a response. When the child speaks, the adult expands slightly on the response and continues the interaction.

Manipulative     Any physical object that can be handled, such as a wooden block, a bowl, or a coin.

Metalinguistic     Pertaining to the study of language not just as a means of communication, but as something that can be conceived of in its own right. Metalinguistic thinking involves consciously observing or reflecting upon language use.

Microphthalmia      Reduction in the size of one or both eyes as result of congenital malformation or disease. Associated with decreased visual acuity, photophobia, fluctuating visual abilities, cataracts, glaucoma, aniridia, and coloboma. Also called microphthalmos.

Milieu language teaching techniques     A naturalistic strategy for promoting functional communication and language based on children's initiations. It includes incidental teaching, the mand-model technique, and time-delay procedures.

Morphology     System of rules that govern, for a given language, the internal organization of words, especially as expressed in declensions, conjugations, word building, etc.

Motor development     Process of acquiring large-muscle movement and control.

Muscle tone     See Postural tone

Myopia     Blurred distance vision that results from images being focused in front of the retina rather than on the retina due to an elongated eyeball; nearsightedness. 

Narrative knowledge     Set of expectations about the ways in which stories conventionally proceed. For example, through experience young children learn that stories often begin with “Once upon a time” and end with “The end.” Also called “narrative schema” or “story schema.”

Narrative structure     Organization of a story.

Natural environment     Setting in which children and families typically function and interact.

Natural learning opportunity     The varied learning opportunities found within children’s everyday experiences and events that can promote behavioral and developmental competencies.

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)     Hospital that provides intensive care for premature and ill newborn babies.

Nonconventional presymbolic communication     Level of communicative competence at which children purposely use nonconventional gestures (i.e., body motions that are not part of a shared set of rules) to affect observers’ behavior. Laughing, nonspeech sounds, reaching, pushing, tugging, smiling, approaching, and moving away are nonconventional behaviors that may be used to communicate messages such as a request for more, rejection, protest, confirmation, and so on.

Nonlinguistic communication     Form of receptive and expressive communication that does not involve language, such as facial expressions, gestures, and nonspeech vocalizations.

Nonverbal cue     Wordless message by means of facial expression, gaze, gesture, posture, behavior, or tone of voice.

Nystagmus      Rapid, rhythmic, involuntary movement of the eyes in horizontal, vertical, or mixed motion. Associated with reduced visual acuity, eye fatigue, and inability to maintain steady fixation.

Object concept     Understanding that things continue to exist even when they are not providing sensory input. Also called “object permanence.”

Object cue     Everyday item or piece of everyday item associated with an activity or person that represents the activity or person.

Ocular mode     Use of the eyes to send a message.

Olfactory system     Sensory organs responsible for smell, consisting of the outer nose, nasal cavities, and central nervous system. Smell plays a role in arousal and emotional associations.

Optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH)     Underdevelopment of the optic nerve during fetal development, sometimes appearing as a small, pale or gray nerve head surrounded by a light halo. Associated with central nervous system or endocrine disorders, field defects, and nystagmus.          

Oral language     Spoken communication.

Orientation and mobility specialist (OMS)     Professional trained to promote goal-directed movement, exploration, and sensory organization that will facilitate development and independence of individuals with visual impairments.

Outcome     Meaningful goal on an individualized family service plan (IFSP) that addresses a concern or priority of the family and the developmental needs of the child as identified in an assessment completed by professionals from at least two disciplines. To be effective, an outcome should specify mea­surable criteria for evaluation, a timeline for acquisition and review, and the persons responsible for implementing interventions to achieve the desired result

Pelvis     Lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones.

Perseveration     Inappropriate repetition of a behavior, words, or language.

Phoneme     Smallest unit of sound that can change the meaning of a spoken word.

Phoneme-grapheme correspondence     Knowledge of the relationships between sounds and letters.

Phonemic awareness     Ability to detect and manipulate the smallest units of sound within words.

Phonological awareness     Ability to detect and manipulate the sound structures of oral language. Children’s proficiency at identifying rhymes, deleting or adding syllables or phonemes from words, and counting the phonemes in a word may indicate phonological awareness. Also called “phonological sensitivity.”

Phonological memory     Ability to immediately recall sound-based information. Children’s proficiency at recalling a series of numbers or nonwords may indicate phonological memory.

Phonological naming     Ability to say aloud, as quickly as possible, an array of digits, letters, colors, or objects presented visually. Also called “rapid naming.

Phonological processing      Brain activity that involves the ability to access the memory of the sounds of language and manipulate or discriminate among them.

Phonological sensitivity     See Phonological awareness.

Phonology     System of rules that govern, for a given language, the use of speech sounds.

Picture system     System for expressive and receptive communication in the form of pictures.

Postural control     State that involves movement and stability.

Postural tone     Amount of tension in the muscles of the body.

Posture     Position of the body.

Pragmatic awareness     Monitoring of comprehension; the ability to know when one does not understand something.

Pragmatics     System of rules that governs how a given language is used in different social contexts and environments.

Preintentional behaviors      Level of communicative competence at which children engage in reflexive behaviors in response to their internal states (e.g., hunger, discomfort, exhaustion). Caregivers’ interpretation of the behaviors and responses to them result in communication.

Prelinguistic communication     Before the acquisition of language, the exchange of ideas, thoughts, wants, or desires through such means as facial expressions, gestures, or nonspeech vocalizations.

Prelinguistic milieu teaching     An adapted version of milieu teaching that is used with children who are prelinguistic.

Premature      Gestational age of less than 37 weeks.

Presymbolic communication     Use of conventional or nonconventional gestures, as well as intonated nonspeech sound patterns, to express ideas, thoughts, wants, or desires. See Conventional presymbolic communication, Nonconventional presymbolic communication.

Primary early interventionist      See Primary home visitor

Primary home visitor      Point person for team members addressing multiple needs of the family and child. The primary home visitor is the regular contact for the family and supports the family in many ways, including implementing interventions suggested by other service providers. The primary home visitor may be an early childhood special educator, a speech-language pathologist, a TVI, or other professional. See early interventionist.

Print intentionality     Knowledge of the functions of texts (e.g., that texts can tell stories, give directions, provide information, etc.). Also called “print knowledge.”

Print motivation     Children’s relative interest in reading and writing activities.

Prone     On one’s stomach; face down. See Supine.

Proprioception     Awareness, arising from the muscles, tendons, and joints, of the position and movement of the body.

Proprioceptive system     Set of receptors in the muscles, tendons, and joints that provide information about the orientation of the body in space and the positions of body parts relative to one another. 

Proxemic mode     Nonlinguistic use of space (e.g., by moving toward or away from an object or person) to send a message.

Rapid naming    See Phonological naming.

Reading      Act of interpreting a written message. Reading involves, but does not consist entirely of, translating graphemes (units of print) into phonemes (units of sound). See Emergent reading.

Receptive communication     Act of understanding a message sent by another person; ability to comprehend that person’s ideas, thoughts, or desires. See Expressive communication.

Reliable alliance     Dynamic relationship among family members and profession­als that empowers individuals through joint decision making and through the sharing of knowledge, skills, and resources  Reliable alliances require that professionals know themselves; know families; honor diversity within the context of families, communities, and cultures; recognize and build on family and child strengths; affirm high expectations; communicate in a positive manner; and warrant trust and respect.

Responsivity     Responding to another’s cues—including subtle, nonverbal, unconventional cues—quickly and appropriately.

Retina     Inner sensory nerve layer that lines the posterior two-thirds of the eyeball and converts light into electrical impulses for interpretation in the brain.

Retinal detachment     Separation of the retina from the choroid. Associated with central vision loss, blurred vision, scotomas, myopia, and possible loss of all vision.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)     Damage to the retina often associated with prolonged life-sustaining oxygen therapy of infants born prematurely; characterized by a discontinuation of normal retinal vessel growth and abnormal growth of new vessels. Associated with myopia, scarring and subsequent field loss, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and strabismus. Formerly known as retrolental fibroplasia.

Rhetorical question     Question asked to make an assertion and not to elicit a reply.    

Routine     Everyday or frequently occurring event that serves to main­tain family life. Routines may reflect cultural and personal values; may vary from day to day; may appear chaotic or rigid, organized or disorganized; and may reflect the family’s goals. Routines allow families to function.

Routines-based assessment (RBA)     Assessment derived from the routines-based interview in which the family prioritizes its goals for the child and itself.

Scaffolding     Specialized support by an adult to a child that provides information and assistance to link objects, actions, and categories to one another. Examples of scaffolding behavior include using questions, directives, or statements that associate objects and specific locations; relating an object, activity, or topic in which the child is engaged to a previous experience; associating feelings and emotions with a reason for the emotion; and linking objects with specific categories. Scaffolding is used to help children acquire new skills in a developmentally appropriate manner. Schema     (Plural “schemas” or “schemata.”) Meaningfully organized cognitive template or framework, typically derived from experience, that represents a person’s knowledge about objects, people, events, activities, or situations. Schemas help organize concepts so that they can be retrieved efficiently and assist in predicting what is likely to happen in a given context. For example, a young child might form a schema that equates four-legged creatures with dogs. After multiple experiences, the child’s schema would change to that of animals—including cats, cows, horses, and so on.

Seizure     Sudden, involuntary change in behavior, muscle control, consciousness, or sensation due to temporary disruption in electrical activity of the brain.

Semantics    System of rules that govern, for a given language, the meanings of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences.

Sensorimotor     Pertaining to the coordination and integration of sensory perceptions and muscular movements.

Sensory information     Input received by the sensory receptors.

Septo-optic dysplasia (SOD)     Birth defect characterized by a malformed optic disk and nerve, pituitary deficiencies, and, often, the absence of the septum pellucidum, which separates the ventricles of the brain. Associated with visual impairment and inadequate growth hormones.

Service coordinator    Case manager who enables families to access services and assures their rights and procedural safeguards. Service coordination may be this person's only role. In a blended service provider model, all of the professionals on the early intervention team may perform the functions of service coordination for their assigned families in addition to providing a specific early intervention service. In some instances, one of the service providers on the team coordinates services as well as provides specific early intervention service. This person may be referred to as the primary early interventionist or primary home visitor.

Sign language         Communication expressed manually through hand shapes and movement.

Signing     Communicative use of a formal set of signs, such as American Sign Language, or signs that are particular to an individual.

Situational context     Physical characteristics of a child’s living and learning environments, including the home, daycare center, and community within which communication and literacy develop. The situational context encompasses not only the communicative context but, more broadly, the availability of literacy and communication materials, opportunities for literacy and communication experiences, and the literacy and communication skills of adults and other children in the child’s living and learning environments. See Communicative context, Sociocultural context.

Slate and stylus     Device for writing braille by hand. The slate is a hinged metal or plastic frame inset with rows of rectangles representing braille cells. To create braille dots, the user inserts a sheet of paper in the frame and presses the stylus, a pointed steel punch, into the paper. Because braille characters are read from left to right, they must be written from right to left so that, when the paper is turned over, they will be oriented properly.

Social attachment relationship     See Attachment.

Social development     Process of acquiring the abilities, skills, and knowledge necessary to interact successfully with other people. Social development includes developing trust; engaging in socially appropriate interactions and behavior, learning to get along with others, forming friendships, and acquiring social play behaviors. Social relationships change as a person ages.

Social referencing     Act of looking to others for clues about how to behave in a novel situation.

Social routine     Repeated, predictable interaction between individuals that provides consistency for communicative exchange.

Social skill     Behavior that allows young children to interact and communicate successfully with others. Social skills can be considered components of nonlinguistic and linguistic communicative attempts and can be expressive or receptive.

Social smile     Pleased facial expression in response to an interaction.

Sociocultural context     Situations and environments that convey societal and cultural values, expectations, and beliefs and that provide resources and opportunities that facilitate and promote communication and literacy development. See Communicative context, Situational context.

Specific nominal     Noun that refers to one object.

Speech-language pathologist (SLP)      Professional trained and licensed to facilitate children’s communication in the context of social interactions with peers and family members in homes, schools, and communities.

Speech-language pathology     Study of communication problems in infants, toddlers, children, and adults. Speech-language pathology may include identification of children with communicative or oropharyngeal dis­orders and delays in development of communication skills, including the diagnosis and appraisal of specific disorders and delays in those skills; referral for medical or other professional services necessary for the habilitation or rehabilitation of children with communicative or oro­pharyngeal disorders and delays in development of communication skills; provision of services for the habilitation or rehabilitation; and preven­tion of communicative or oropharyngeal disorders and delays in development of communication skills.

Static balance     Ability to maintain a desired body posture.

Storybook preview      Shared exploration of the content of a book without consideration of the storyline.

Storytelling     Act of reciting tales or relaying anecdotes. 

Supine     On one’s back; face up. See Prone.

Support     Act of providing for or maintaining necessities for daily life. For families of children with disabilities, support can be provided by informal resources such as neigh­bors or grandparents or by formal resources such as early intervention. Early interventionists provide three types of support—emotional, material, and informational.

Symbolic communication     Use of arbitrary but agreed-upon sounds or signs for the exchange of ideas, thoughts, wants, or desires. See Abstract symbolic communication, Concrete symbolic communication, Formal symbolic communication.

Symmetrical     Having equal size, shape, alignment.

Syntactic awareness     Knowledge of the rules that govern how words are arranged to make meaningful sentences.

Syntax     System of rules that govern, for a given language, how words are arranged to make meaningful sentences.

Tactile cue     Touch stimulus that provides access to information about the environment.

Tactile illustration     Raised-line picture designed to be perceived through the sense of touch.

Tactile selectivity     Aversion or sensitivity to information acquired through the sense of touch.

Tactile sensitivity     See Tactile selectivity.

Tactile signing     Communication method based on a standard manual sign system in which the receiver’s hand is placed lightly upon the hand of the signer to perceive the signs. Useful especially for children who are deaf and who have insufficient vision to access signs visually.

Tactile symbol     Object with distinctive qualities that can be perceived through the sense of touch and that represents an idea, place, event, location, or person. For example, a cloth duck attached to the cover of a book about ducks may serve as a tactile symbol to identify the book.

Tactile system     Sense organs comprised of receptors in the skin and the central nervous system. Receptors transmit information about light touch, pressure touch, heat, cold, and pain to the central nervous system. The tactile system provides information for both protection and discrimination.

Tactile-kinesthetic mode     Use of nonlinguistic touch and movement to send a message.

Tangible communication system     Procedure that uses object cues for expressive and receptive communication.

Teacher of children with visual impairments (TVI)     Individual who has received training in the education of children and young adults with visual impairments.  

Touch cue     Act of communicating a message through direct contact with an individual’s body.

Trunk     Main section of the body containing vital organs.

Vestibular system     Sensory organs, comprised of structures of the inner ear, one of the cranial nerves, and those parts of the brain that interpret and respond to information derived from these structures, that contribute to balance, posture, oculomotor control, and motor coordination.

Vision     Ability to perceive and discriminate among objects by means of sight. Vision involves fixation and eye motility, accommodation, convergence, visual perception, and visual-motor integration.

Visual acuity      Ability to identify and resolve fine details.

Visual field     Extent of area seen by the eye as it fixates straight ahead; measured in degrees away from fixation.

Visual field loss     Inability to see part of an area of view when looking straight ahead.

Visual impairment     Abnormality of the visual system that affects daily living activities. Typically, eligibility for services is based on visual acuity of 20/70 or worse in the better eye with correction or visual field loss of 80% or more.

Visual system     Sensory organs responsible for sight, consisting of the eye, retina, optic nerve, optic chiasm, and areas in the brain that interpret visual images.

Vocal mode     Use of nonlinguistic vocalizations to send a message.

Vocalization     Production and utterance of vocal sounds.

Writing     Act of imprinting symbols on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language. Writing involves, but does not consist entirely of, translating phonemes (units of sound) into graphemes (units of print). See Emergent writing.

XY tray     Light-absorbing platform on which a document or book is placed for viewing by closed-circuit television.

 Session 5: Recommended Readings

  1. Justice, L., & Pullen, P. (2003). Promising interventions for promoting emergent literacy skills: Three evidence-based approaches. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 23(3), 99-113.
  2. Koenig, A.J. (1996). Growing into literacy. In M.C. Holbrook (Ed.), Children with visual impairments: A parents’ guide (pp. 227-255). Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.
  3. Koenig, A.J., & Farrenkopf, C. (1997). Essential experiences to undergrid the early development of literacy. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 91(1), 14-24.
  4. Koenig, A.J., & Holbrook, M.C. (2002). Literacy focus: Developing skills and motivation for reading and writing. In R.L. Pogrund & D.L. Fazzi (Eds.), Early focus: Working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families (2nd ed., pp. 154-187). New York: AFB Press.
  5. Lawhon, T., & Cobb, J.B. (2002). Routines that build emergent literacy skills in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Early Childhood Education Journal, 30(2), 113-118.
  6. Lewis, S., & Tolla, J. (2003). Creating and using tactile experience books for young children with visual impairments. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(3), 22-28.
  7. McComiskey, A.V. (1996). The braille readiness skills grid: A guide to building a foundation for literacy. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 90(3), 190-193.
  8. Miller, D.D. (1985). Reading comes naturally: A mother and her blind child’s experiences. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 79(1), 1-4.
  9. Parlakian, R. (2004). Early literacy and very young children. Zero to Three, 25(1), 37-44.
  10. Rosenkoetter, S., & Barton, L.R. (2002). Bridges to literacy: Early routines that promote later school success. Zero to Three, 22(4), 33-38.

Session 1:  Overview of Communication and Literacy Recommended Readings

  1.     Bus, A.G., Belsky, J., van IJzendoorn, M.H., & Crnic, K. (1997). Attachment and bookreading patterns: A study of mothers, fathers, and their toddlers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 12(1), 81-98. 
  2.     Koppenhaver, D.A., Coleman, P.P., Kalman, S.L., & Yoder, D.E. (1991). The implications of emergent literacy research for children with developmental disabilities. American Journal of Speech and Language Pathology, 1, 329-335.
  3.     Rosenkoetter, S.E., & Knapp-Philo, J. (2004). Learning to read the world: Literacy in the first 3 years. Zero to Three, 25(1), 4-9.
  4.     Warren, D., & Hatton, D. (2003). Cognitive development of children with visual impairments. In I. Rapin & S. Segalowitz (Eds.), Handbook of neuropsychology: Vol. 7, Part II. Child neuropsychology (2nd ed., pp. 439-458). New York: Elsevier.
  5.     Whitehurst, G.J., & Lonigan, C.J. (1998). Child development and emergent literacy. Child Development, 69(3), 848–872.

Emergent literacy is a developmental process that begins at birth whereby children acquire the skills and knowledge that are the foundation for later reading and writing. For infants and toddlers, thought and language develop concurrently. Communication and language provide the foundation for literacy--the ability to read, write, and otherwise communicate with, or comprehend, written language. Literacy develops from children's oral language and their early attempts at reading (usually based on pictures) and writing (at first, scribbling).

Although most definitions of emergent literacy acknowledge that it begins very early in life, little is known about the development of emergent literacy in infants and toddlers, with or without disabilities. We do know, however, that preschool and school-aged children with disabilities often experience fewer literacy opportunities. We also know that families play a primary role in providing emergent literacy opportunities.

Because there is minimal literature or knowledge to guide emergent literacy recommendations for infants and toddlers with disabilities, we have reviewed the literature that is available for preschool-aged children and children with disabilities. We have used that information, along with recommended, developmentally appropriate, and evidence-based practices for young children with disabilities as the basis for this module. In addition, family-centered practices are an integral feature of this module, because family involvement is the key to effective early intervention. The content of this module has been peer reviewed by university faculty and practitioners throughout the United States and field tested at three universities.

The module begins with an overview of communication, language, and literacy and the potential impact of visual impairments on their development. Two sessions are devoted to describing early communication and language development, facilitating development in this domain, and providing suggestions and strategies for interventions to address the unique needs of children with visual impairments. The fourth session describes emergent literacy and the potential impact of visual impairments on emergent literacy, while the fifth session provides suggestions and strategies for facilitating emergent literacy.

Session Titles and Authors

Session 1:  Overview of Communication and Literacy

Deborah D. Hatton, Ph.D. and Wendy K. Sapp, Ph.D.

Session 2:  Communication Development and the Impact of Visual Impairments

Wendy K. Sapp, Ph.D., and Deborah D. Hatton, Ph.D.

Session 3:  Communication and Language Interventions

Wendy K. Sapp, Ph.D., Jeanne L. Murphy, M.A., and Deborah D. Hatton, Ph.D.

Session 4:  What Is Emergent Literacy?

Deborah D. Hatton, Ph.D. and Wendy K. Sapp, Ph.D.

Session 5:  Interventions to Facilitate Emergent Literacy

Deborah D. Hatton, Ph.D. and Wendy K. Sapp, Ph.D.

Session Objectives

Session 1: Overview of Communication and Literacy

Communication is an important developmental milestone for infants and young children and is integrally related to literacy development. Literacy includes reading and writing; and without communication and literacy, children are severely limited in their ability to interact meaningfully with other people. In some children, visual impairments present unique and significant challenges to the development of communication and literacy. The purpose of this session is to define communication, literacy, and other basic terms, and to discuss the potential impact of visual impairments on communication and literacy development.

After completing this session, participants will

  1.      define receptive and expressive communication, nonlinguistic and prelinguistic communication, and emergent literacy.
  2.      describe the relationship of nonlinguistic/prelinguistic communication to social development and language development.
  3.      describe the concepts of literacy and emergent literacy.
  4.      discuss the concurrent and interrelated development of communication and literacy.
  5.      describe the three contexts—communicative, situational, and sociocultural—in which communication and literacy develop.
  6.      describe how early attachment between children with visual impairments and their caregivers might impact social-emotional and communication development.
  7.      describe why children must develop concepts about the world in order to  develop communication and literacy skills, and why children with visual impairments are often delayed in their development of concepts.
  8.      recognize that children with visual impairments may not have incidental exposure to literacy events such as opportunities to observe use of print or braille in daily activities, and that they may not have access to appropriate and accessible literacy resources such as braille books and braille writers.
  9.      describe the potential impact of multiple disabilities on communication and emergent literacy development.
  10. describe the role of teachers of children with visual impairments in planning and implementing family-centered, collaborative interventions that promote communication development and emergent literacy in infants and toddlers with visual impairments.  

Session 2: Communication Development and the Impact of Visual Impairments

Communication skills are essential for children to be able to interact with other people. Visual impairments may directly affect communication by altering the ways in which children communicate, and indirectly through possible delays in other areas of development that are important for communication. The purpose of this session is to provide basic knowledge and skills about typical communication development and the impact of visual impairments on communication development.

After completing this session, participants will

  1.      describe seven levels of communicative competence.
  2.      describe the development of communication and language in typically developing children from birth through 36 months.
  3.      define language and describe five elements of language.
  4.      explain the importance of caregiver responsiveness in caregiver-child attachment and communication. 
  5.      describe the importance of concept development for communication and why children with visual impairments may develop concepts differently.
  6.      describe six modes of nonlinguistic/prelinguistic communication, and explain how visual impairments may prevent children from engaging in typical nonlinguistic/prelinguistic communicative behaviors.
  7.      describe the potential impact of visual impairments on nonlinguistic/prelinguistic communication, including the development of idiosyncratic communicative behaviors of children with visual impairments and additional disabilities.
  8.      describe the potential impact of visual impairments, with and without additional disabilities, on language development.

Session 3: Communication and Language Interventions

Communication and language are the foundation for emergent literacy. Because visual impairments may impact communication and language development, early interventionists and teachers of children with visual impairments (TVIs) must work collaboratively with families and other team members to facilitate communication and language in infants and toddlers with visual impairments.

After completing this session, participants will

  1.     define communication form and function.
  2.      describe recommended practices for facilitating early communication and language development.
  3.      describe the relationship between secure attachment and early communication, and strategies for facilitating attachment and early communication—contingent responsivity, turn taking, providing choices, following the child’s lead.
  4.      discuss the importance of concept development for early communication of children with visual impairments and strategies for facilitating concept development in infants and toddlers with visual impairments. 
  5.      describe evidence-based strategies for communication and language intervention.
  6.      describe strategies for facilitating early communication and language development in infants and toddlers as they move through the seven levels of communicative competence and acquire symbolic communication.
  7.      explain why some children with visual impairments may develop atypical communication and describe strategies for facilitating communication and for addressing echolalia, pronoun confusion, overuse of questions, and perseveration.
  8.      define alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) and assistive technology and describe strategies to facilitate communication in individuals who may benefit from AAC.
  9.      describe the relationship of communication and language to emergent literacy and literacy—that reading, writing, speaking (augmented communication), and listening develop concurrently and interrelatedly.
  10. describe strategies and interventions that promote communication, language, emergent literacy (narrative knowledge, vocabulary, listening comprehension), and metalinguistic development (phonological awareness, syntactic awareness).

Session 4: What Is Emergent Literacy?

Emergent literacy is the developmental process that begins at birth whereby children acquire the foundation for reading and writing or literacy. Both emergent literacy and literacy evolve from complex interactions involving reading, writing, speaking, and listening and associated attitudes, expectations, and beliefs. The development of emergent literacy begins at birth as communication and language develop within social interactions and continues through every day exposure to literacy activities. Children with disabilities, and particularly children with severe visual impairments and/or multiple disabilities, often have fewer opportunities to acquire emergent literacy skills that are related to later success in reading and writing.

After completing this session, participants will

  1.    define emergent literacy as the developmental process that begins at birth whereby children acquire the foundation for reading and writing.
  2.    describe two important models of emergent literacy.
  3.    identify six key components of emergent literacy: oral language, phonological awareness, concept development, knowledge of the conventions of print/braille and of print/braille intentionality, alphabetic knowledge, and environmental factors.
  4.    define oral language, including listening comprehension, vocabulary, and narrative knowledge, and describe how it is related to emergent literacy and literacy.
  5.    define phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness, as a metalinguistic process that contributes to emergent literacy and literacy.
  6.    discuss concept development, including the formation of schemas, and how it relates to emergent literacy.
  7.    describe knowledge of the conventions of print/braille and print/braille intentionality and their relationship to literacy.
  8.    define alphabetic knowledge and describe its contribution to literacy.
  9.    describe the relationship between environmental factors, including the communicative, situational, and sociocultural contexts within which literacy develops, and literacy.
  10. describe effective early intervention practices for facilitating emergent literacy as collaborative and family-centered, developmentally appropriate, and based on   evidence-based and recommended practices to achieve functional outcomes within naturally occurring learning opportunities.
  11. describe strategies and interventions to facilitate emergent literacy—play, routines- based literacy, responsive literacy environments, shared storybook reading (especially dialogic reading, storybook preview, and storybook sounds), storytelling, and dialogue and how they facilitate the development of six key components of emergent literacy.
  12. describe assessments that can be used to identify, plan, and implement emergent literacy interventions.
  13. discuss the potential impact of visual impairments on emergent literacy, the challenge of determining whether children will be print or braille readers, and considerations for providing appropriate adaptations that will facilitate emergent literacy in these children.

Session 5: Interventions to Facilitate Emergent Literacy

Because emergent literacy provides the foundation for literacy and because literacy is essential for independence and employment, it is an important functional goal for young children with disabilities. In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA, 2004) requires preliteracy goals that are developmentally appropriate and evidence based. Families play a key role in providing emergent literacy experiences for their children within natural learning opportunities. Early interventionists can support families in providing emergent literacy experiences that meet the unique needs of children with disabilities.

After completing this session, participants will

  1.       define emergent literacy and identify the components of emergent literacy: oral language, phonological awareness, concept development; knowledge of the conventions of print/braille and of print/braille intentionality, alphabetic knowledge, and environmental factors.
  2.     describe recommended early intervention practices for facilitating emergent literacy as collaborative and family centered, developmentally appropriate, and evidence based to achieve functional outcomes within naturally occurring learning opportunities.
  3.     describe the importance of families and caregiving environments in promoting emergent literacy.
  4.     discuss the potential impact of visual impairment on emergent literacy and  strategies for facilitating emergent literacy in children with visual impairments.
  5.     describe strategies for promoting emergent literacy in children with visual impairments and additional disabilities, including those who use alternative and augmentative communication systems.
  6.     discuss emergent literacy interventions including play; routines-based literacy; responsive literacy environments; shared storybook reading, especially dialogic reading, storybook preview, and storybook sounds; storytelling; and dialogue.

Handout F: A Child Becomes a Reader: Birth Through Preschool

Armbruster, B.B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2003). A child becomes a reader: Birth through preschool (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation.

A Child Becomes a Reader: Birth Through Preschool

Second Edition

Spring 2003

Proven ideas from research for parents

Produced by RMC Research Corporation, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Authors

Bonnie B. Armbruster, Ph.D.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Fran Lehr, M.A.

Lehr & Associates, Champaign, Illinois

Jean Osborn, M.Ed.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Partnership for Reading

Bringing Scientific Evidence to Learning

National Institute for Learning

National Institute of Child Hearlth and Human Development

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This publication was produced under National Institute for Literacy Contract No. ED-00CO-0093 with RMC Research Corporation. Sandra Baxter served as the contracting officer’s technical representative. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Institute for Literacy. No official endorsement by the National Institute for Literacy of any product, commodity, service, or enterprise in this publication is intended or should be inferred.

The National Institute for Literacy

Sandra Baxter, Interim Executive

Lynn Reddy, Director Communications Director

To order copies of this booklet, contact the National Institute for Literacy at EdPubs, PO Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Call 800-228-8813 or email . This booklet can also be downloaded at The Partnership for Reading Web site, www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading.

The National Institute for Literacy, an independent federal organization, supports the development of high quality state, regional, and national literacy services so that all Americans can develop the literacy skills they need to succeed at work, at home, and in the community.

The Partnership for Reading, a project administered by the National Institute for Literacy, is a collaborative effort of the National Institute for Literacy, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make evidence-based reading research available to educators, parents, policy makers, and others with an interest in helping all people learn to read well. 

The Partnership for Reading acknowledges editorial support from C. Ralph Adler and design support from Diane Draper, both of RMC Research Corporation.

Contents

Introduction 3
The building blocks of reading and writing 4
Infants and toddlers (birth through age 2) 6
What to do at home 6
What children should be able to do by age 3 9
Preschoolers (ages 3-4) 10
What to do at home 10
What to look for in daycare centers and preschools 12
What children should be able to do by age 5 13
Some helpful terms to know 14
Bibliography 15
Suggested reading for parents and caregivers 16
Resources for parents and caregivers 17

Introduction

When does a child learn to read? Many people might say, “in kindergarten or first grade.” But researchers have told us something very important. Learning to read and write can start at home, long before children go to school. Children can start down the road to becoming readers from the day they are born. Very early, children begin to learn about spoken language when they hear their family members talking, laughing, and singing, and when they respond to all of the sounds that fill their world. They begin to understand written language when they hear adults read stories to them and see adults reading newspapers, magazines, and books for themselves. These early experiences with spoken and written language set the stage for children to become successful readers and writers.

Mothers, fathers, grandparents, and caregivers, this booklet is for you. It gives ideas for playing, talking, and reading with your child that will help himbecome a good reader and writer later in life. You don’t need special training or expensive materials. For your baby or toddler, you can just include some simple, fun language games and activities into the things you already do together every day. For your preschooler, you can keep in touch with your child’s teachers so that you know what he is learning in school and support that learning at home.

This booklet contains:

  • A short summary of what scientific research says about how children learn to read and write
  • Things you can do with your children from birth through age 2 to help them become readers
  • Things you can do with your children between the ages 3-4 and what to look for in quality daycare centers and preschools to help your children become readers
  • A list of helpful terms. Throughout the booklet, these terms appear in bold type.
  • Ideas for books to read and organizations to contact if you would like more help or information

Remember, keep it simple and have fun. Make these activities part of the warm, loving relationship you are already creating with your child. 

To make this booklet easier to read, we sometimes refer to a child as “he” or “she.” However, all of the information about how children learn to read applies to both boys and girls.

The building blocks of reading and writing

From several decades of research, we have learned a lot about how children learn to read and write. This research tells us that to become skilled and confident readers over time, young children need lots of opportunities to:

  • build spoken language by talking and listening
  • learn about print and books
  • learn about the sounds of spoken language (this is called phonological awareness)
  • learn about the letters of the alphabet
  • listen to books read aloud

Talking and listening

Remember the old saying “children should be seen and not heard”? Research tells us that for children to become readers, they should listen and talk a lot.

By the time children are one year old, they already know a lot about spoken language—talking and listening. They recognize some speech sounds. They know which sounds make the words that are important to them. They begin to imitate those sounds. Children learn all of this by listening to family members talk. Even “baby talk,” which exaggerates the sounds and rhythms of words, makes a contribution to children’s ability to understand language. Children who do not hear a lot of talk and who are not encouraged to talk themselves often have problems learning to read.

The information in this booklet comes from many research studies that examined early literacy development. The reports and books listed at the back of this booklet offer more research-based information about how children learn to read and write.

Print and books

Even though books don’t come with operating instructions, we use them in certain ways. We hold them right side-up. We turn the pages one at a time. We read lines of words starting at the left and moving to the right. Knowing about print and books and how they are used is called print awareness.

Print awareness is an important part of knowing how to read and write. Children who know about print understand that the words they see in print and the words they speak and hear are related. They will use and see print a lot, even when they’re young—on signs and billboards, in alphabet books and storybooks, and in labels, magazines, and newspapers. They see family members use print, and they learn that print is all around them and that it is used for different purposes.

Sounds in spoken language

Some words rhyme. Sentences are made up of separate words. Words have parts called syllables. The words bag, ball, and bug all begin with the same sound. When a child begins to notice and understand these things about spoken language, he is developing phonological awareness—the ability to hear and work with the sounds of spoken language.

When a child also begins to understand that spoken words are made up of separate, small sounds, he is developing phonemic awareness. These individual sounds in spoken language are called phonemes. For example, the word 'big' has three phonemes, /b/, /i/, and /g/.2 Children who have phonemic awareness can take spoken words apart sound by sound (the name for this is segmentation) and put together sounds to make words (the name for this is blending). Research shows that how easily children learn to read can depend on how much phonological and phonemic awareness they have.

The ABC’s

Singing the alphabet song is more than just a fun activity. Children who go to kindergarten already knowing the shapes and names of the letters of the alphabet, and how to write them, have an easier time learning to read. Knowing the names and shapes of letters is sometimes called alphabetic knowledge.

Reading aloud

Reading aloud to children has been called the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading. Reading aloud, with children participating actively, helps children learn new words, learn more about the world, learn about written language, and see the connection between words that are spoken and words that are written.

2 A letter between slash marks, /b/, shows the phoneme, or sound, that the letter represents, and not the name of the letter. For example, the letter b represents the sound /b/.

Infants and Toddlers (Birth Through Age 2)

What to do at home

Talking to and reading to infants and toddlers are two good ways to prepare them for

later success in reading.

Talk to your child

  1. Begin talking and singing to your child from birth. Your baby loves hearing your voice. Play peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. Recite nursery rhymes or other verses that have strong rhythms and repeated sounds. Sing lullabies and other songs.
  2. Let your baby know that you hear her babbles, coos, and gurgles. Repeat the sounds she makes. Smile back. When you respond to her sounds, she learns that what she “says” means something and is important to you. Sometimes, you can supply the language for her.
    • Parent Talk 
      • When your baby stretches her arm toward her bottle and says, “Ga-ga-ga,” say, “Oh, you’re ready for some more milk? Here’s your milk. Isn’t it good!”
  3. Play simple touching and talking games together. These games help a child learn what different parts of the body are called.
    • Parent Talk 
      • Ask “Where are your toes?” Then touch your child’s toes and say, “Here are your toes!” Repeat several times, then switch to fingers or ears or eyes or the nose.
  4. Point to familiar objects and name them. When a child hears an object called the same name over and over, he learns to connect the spoken word with its meaning.
    • Parent Talk
      • “Here’s your blanket. Your very favorite blanket. What a nice, soft blanket!”
  5. When your child begins to speak, build his language. A child starts talking by using single words and short sentences. You can help by filling in missing words and using complete sentences.
    • Parent Talk 
    • Child: “Cookie" 
    • Parent: “Oh, you want another cookie? OK, you can have just one more.” 
    • Child: “Go car.”
    • Parent: “Yes, we’re all going to go in the car. But first, you have to put on your coat.”
  6. Encourage your child to talk with you. Ask questions that show you are

interested in what she thinks and says. Ask her to share ideas and events that

are important to her. Ask her questions that require her to talk, rather than just to

give yes or no answers. Listen carefully to what she says.

• Parent Talk

“What would you like to do next?”

“What do you suppose made that big noise?”

7. Answer your child’s questions. Listen to your child’s questions and answer

them patiently. Take time to explain things to him as completely as you can.

Keep answering questions that your child asks again and again, because

children learn from hearing things over and over.

Read to your child

1. Make reading a pleasure. Read to your child in a comfortable place. Have her

sit on your lap or next to you so that she can see and point to the print and the

pictures. Show her that reading is fun and rewarding.

2. Show enthusiasm as you read with your child. Read the story with

expression. Make it more interesting by talking as the characters would talk,

making sound effects, and making expressions with your face and hands. When

children enjoy being read to, they will grow to love books and be eager to learn to

read them.

3. Read to your child often. Set aside special times for reading each day, maybe

after lunch and at bedtime. The more you can read to him, the better—as long as

he is willing to listen. Reading times can be brief, about 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Talk with your child as you read together. Comment about what’s happening

in the story. Point to pictures and talk about what’s happening in them. When

your child is ready, have him tell you about the pictures.

• Parent Talk

“See the cat under the tree?”

“Look, the family is getting into a car. I wonder where they’re going?”

“What’s happening on this page?”

5. Encourage your child to explore books. Give your baby sturdy books to look

at, touch, and hold. Allow her to turn the pages, look through the holes, or lift the

flaps. As your child grows older, keep books on low shelves or in baskets where

she can see them and get them herself. Encourage her to look through the books

and talk about them. She may talk about the pictures. She may “pretend” to read

a book that she has heard many times. Or, she may pretend read based only on

the pictures.

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Reading together

Even six-week-old babies like the feeling of closeness when a parent,

grandparent, or other caretaker reads to them. When children find out that

reading with a loving adult can be a warm, happy experience, they begin to build

a lifelong love of reading.

Reading aloud also helps children learn specific things about reading and words.

• About books . . . how to hold them. How to turn the pages one at a time.

• About print . . . there is a difference between words and the pictures. You

• About words . . . every word has a meaning. There are always new words to

• About book language . . . sometimes book language sounds different from

• About the world . . . there are objects, places, events, and situations that

6. Read favorite books again and again. Your child will probably ask you to read

favorite books many times. You might get tired of reading the same books, but

children love hearing the same stories again. And it helps them learn to read by

hearing familiar words and seeing what they look like in print.

Good books for infants and toddlers

• Board books are made from heavy cardboard with a plastic coating. The

How books have words and pictures to help tell the story.

read words and look at pictures.

learn.

everyday conversation.

they have not heard about before.

• Cloth books, which are printed on cloth, are soft, strong, and washable.

• Touch-and-feel books invite children to explore them with their fingers. They

• Interactive books have flaps that lift or other parts that move. Toddlers love

• Books with interesting language, rhythm, and sounds such as books with

• Books with predictable patterns and repeated language such as those

pages are easy for very young children to turn. Board books are sturdy and

can stand hard wear by babies, who tend to throw them, crawl over them, and

chew them. Board books can be wiped clean.

contain objects with different textures or contain holes or pages of different

shapes.

them, but these books tend not to hold up well under rough treatment.

rhymes, songs, and poetry.

that retell traditional nursery rhymes or songs.

What children should be able to do by age 3

The following is a list of accomplishments that you can expect for your child by age 3.

This list is based on research in the fields of reading, early childhood education, and

child development. Remember, though, that children don’t develop and learn at the

same pace and in the same way. Your child may be more advanced or need more help

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than others in her age group. You are, of course, the best judge of your child’s abilities

and needs. You should take the accomplishments as guidelines and not as hard-and-
fast rules.

A three-year-old child . . .

• Likes reading with an adult on a regular basis

• Listens to stories from books and stories that you tell

• Recognizes a book by its cover

• Pretends to read books

• Understands that books are handled in certain ways

• Looks at pictures in a book and knows that they stand for real objects

• Says the name of objects in books

• Comments on characters in books

• Asks an adult to read to him or to help him write

• May begin paying attention to print such as letters in names

• Begins to tell the difference between drawing and writing

• Begins to scribble as a way of writing, making some forms that look like letters

The main sources for this list of accomplishments are Preventing Reading Difficulties in

Young Children and Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally

Appropriate Practices for Young Children. For more information about these sources,

see Suggested Reading at the end of this booklet.

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Preschoolers (Ages 3 and 4)

At ages 3 and 4, children are growing rapidly in their language use and in their

knowledge of reading and writing. They are learning the meanings of many new words,

and they are beginning to use words in more complicated sentences when they speak.

They know more about books and print. They are eager to write. They may even be

showing an interest in learning to read.

Many three- and four-year-old children attend daycare centers or preschool for part or

most of the day. The information in this section of the booklet will help you and your

child, whether your child stays at home all day or attends a daycare center or preschool.

What to do at home

Continue to talk and read with your child, as you did when he was an infant and toddler.

Also, add some new and more challenging activities.

Talk and listen

1. When you do something together—eating, shopping, taking a walk, visiting

a relative—talk about it.

2. Take your child to new places and introduce him to new experiences. Talk

about the new, interesting, and unusual things that you see and do.

3. Teach your child the meaning of new words. Say the names of things around

the house. Label and talk about things in pictures. Explain, in simple ways, how

to use familiar objects and how they work.

• Parent Talk

“That’s a whale! It’s a great big animal, as big as a truck. It lives in the ocean.”

“This is a vacuum cleaner. We use it to clean the floor. See how it cleans up

the spilled cereal?”

4. Help your child to follow directions. Use short, clear sentences to tell him

what you want him to do.

• Parent Talk

“Give me your hand, please.”

“Please take off your mittens and put them on the table. Then I’d like for you

to bring me your jacket so that I can hang it up.”

5. Play with words. Have fun with tongue twisters such as “Peter Piper picked a

peck of pickled peppers” and nonsense rhymes such as “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” as

well as more modern nonsense rhymes.

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Read together

1. Keep reading to your child. Read her a lot of different kinds of books. Reread

her favorite books, even it you get tired of them before she does.

2. Read predictable books. Your child will begin to recognize the repeated words

and phrases and have fun saying them with you.

3. Read poetry and other rhyming books to your child. When reading a familiar

rhyme, stop before a rhyming word and ask your child to provide the word.

4. Ask your child what she thinks will happen next in a story. Get excited when

she finds out whether her guess was right.

5. Talk about books. Ask about favorite parts. Help your child relate the story to

his own life. Answer his questions about characters or events.

6. Build a library, or book collection, for your child. Look for books at

bookstores, garage sales, used bookstores, and sales at the library. Suggest that

people give books to your child as birthday gifts and on other special days.

Teach about print and letters

1. Help your child learn to recognize her name in print. As she watches, print

the letters of her name, saying each letter as you write it. Display her name in

special places in your home. Encourage her to spell and write her name.

2. Point out words and letters everywhere you can. Read street signs, traffic

signs, billboards, and store signs. Point out certain letters in these signs. Ask

your child to begin naming common signs and find some letters.

3. Teach your child the alphabet song.

4. Share alphabet books with your child. Some alphabet books have songs and

games that you can learn together.

5. Put magnetic letters on your refrigerator or other smooth, safe metal

surface. Ask your child to name the letters as he plays with them.

6. Play games using the alphabet. Ask your child to find letters in books,

magazines, newspapers, and other print.

What to look for in daycare centers and preschools

If your child attends a daycare center or preschool, look for these important

characteristics of teachers, classrooms, and instruction.

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Teachers

In quality daycare centers and preschools, teachers . . .

• Keep a well-run, orderly classroom that also encourages children to

• Use many creative ways to help children learn language and learn the

Classrooms

In quality daycare centers and preschools, classrooms have . . .

• Lots of books and magazines that children can handle and play with

• Areas for many different activities, such as art, science, housekeeping,

• Plenty of print on labels, signs, and posters

• Writing materials, including paper, pencils, crayons, and markers

• Magnetic letters, or letters made of foam, plastic, wood, or other durable

Instruction

In quality daycare centers and preschools, teachers . . .

• Read aloud to children frequently, from many different kinds of books

• Talk with children throughout the day and listen carefully to what they say

• Play games such as “Simon Says” and “Mother, May I?” that require children

• Give children opportunities to build their knowledge by exploring their

• Help children learn the meanings of new words by naming colors, shapes,

• Teach about the sounds of spoken language by reading aloud books with

• Teach children about print by pointing out and using the print that is all around

• Teach the letters of the alphabet

• Encourage children to scribble, draw, and try to write

What children should be able to do by age 5

The following is a list of some accomplishments that you can expect for your child by

age 5. This list is based on research in the fields of reading, early childhood education,

and child development. Remember, though, that children don’t develop and learn at the

same pace and in the same way. Your child may be more advanced or need more help

than others in her age group. You are, of course, the best judge of your child’s abilities

and needs. You should take the accomplishments as guidelines and not as hard-and-
fast rules.

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participate in and enjoy learning

knowledge and skills that will help them become readers

writing, and perhaps computers

material so children can pretend write and play

to listen carefully

interests and ideas

animals, familiar objects, and parts of the classroom

interesting sounds, chanting, and rhyming; by having children say or sing

nursery rhymes and songs; and by playing word games

them

Spoken language

A five-year-old child . . .

• Understands and follows oral (or spoken) directions

• Uses new words and longer sentences when she speaks

• Recognizes the beginning sounds of words and sounds that rhyme

• Listens carefully when books are read aloud

Reading

A five-year-old child . . .

• Shows interest in books and reading

• Might try to read, calling attention to himself and showing pride in what he can

• Can follow the series of events in some stories

• Can connect what happens in books to her life and experiences

• Asks questions and makes comments that show he understands the book he

Print and letters

A five-year-old child . . .

• Knows the difference between print (words) and pictures and knows that print

• Recognizes print around him on signs, on television, on boxes, and many

• Understands that writing has a lot of different purposes (for example, signs

• Knows that each letter in the alphabet has a name

• Can name at least 10 letters in the alphabet, especially the ones in her name

• “Writes,” or scribbles, messages

The main sources for this list of accomplishments are Preventing Reading Difficulties in

Young Children and Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate

Practices for Young Children. For more information about these sources, see

Suggested Reading at the end of this booklet.

do (“See, I can read this book!”)

is listening to

is what you read

other places

tell where something is located, lists can be used for grocery shopping,

directions can tell you how to put something together)

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Some helpful terms to know

Daycare providers and preschool teachers might use some of the following terms when

talking to you about how your child is learning to read. You will find that many of these

terms are used in this booklet.

• alphabetic knowledge Knowing the names and shapes of the letters of the

alphabet.

• big books Oversized books that allow for the sharing of print and illustrations with

children.

• blending Putting together individual sounds to make spoken words.

• developmental spelling The use of letter-sound relationship information to

attempt to write words.

• emergent literacy The view that literacy learning begins at birth and is encouraged

through participation with adults in meaningful reading and writing activities.

• environmental print Print that is a part of everyday life, such as signs, billboards,

labels, and business logos.

• experimental writing Efforts by young children to experiment with writing by

creating pretend and real letters and by organizing scribbles and marks on paper.

• invented spelling See developmental spelling.

• literacy Includes all the activities involved in speaking, listening, reading, writing,

and appreciating both spoken and written language.

• phonemes The smallest parts of spoken language that combine to form words. For

example, the word hit is made up of three phonemes (/h/ /i/ /t/) and differs by one

phoneme from the words pit, hip and hot.

• phonemic awareness The ability to notice and work with the individual sounds in

spoken language.

• phonological awareness The understanding that spoken language is made up of

individual and separate sounds. In addition to phonemes, phonological awareness

activities can involve work with rhymes, words, sentences, and syllables.

• pretend reading Children’s attempts to “read” a book before they have learned to

read. Usually children pretend read a familiar book that they have practically

memorized.

• print awareness Knowing about print and books and how they are used.

• segmentation Taking spoken words apart sound by sound.

• spoken language The language used in talking and listening; in contrast to written

language, which is the language used in writing and reading.

• syllable A word part that contains a vowel or, in spoken language, a vowel sound

(e-vent, news-pa-per, pret-ty).

• vocabulary The words we must know in order to communicate effectively. Oral

vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening.

Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print.

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Bibliography

Anderson, R.C., Hiebert, E.H., Scott, J.A., & Wilkinson, I.A.G. (1985). Becoming a

nation of readers: The report of the commission on reading. Champaign, IL: Center

for the Study of Reading; Washington, DC: National Institute of Education.

Dickinson, D.K., & Tabors, P.O. (2001). Beginning literacy with language: Young

children learning at home and school. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A.N., & Kuhl, P.K. (2000). The scientist in the crib. New York:

Harper Perennial.

National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based

assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for

reading instruction. Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human

Development.

Snow, C.E., Burns, M.S., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in

young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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Suggested reading for parents and caregivers

Here are some books that can provide you with more information about early reading

and writing.

Apel, K., & Masterson, J.J. (2001). Beyond baby talk: From sounds to sentences,

a parent’s guide to language development. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing.

Armbruster, B.B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2001). Put reading first: The research

building blocks for teaching children to read: Kindergarten through grade 3.

Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy (available online at

www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading)

Burns, M.S., Griffin, P., & Snow, C.E. (Eds.). (1999). Starting out right: A guide to

promoting children’s reading success. Washington, DC: National Academy

Press.

Hall, S.L., & Moats, L.C. (1998). Straight talk about reading: How parents can make

a difference during the early years. Chicago: NTC Publishing Group.

Neuman, S.B., Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2000). Learning to read and rrite:

Developmentally appropriate practices for young Children. Washington, DC:

National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Ramey, C.T., & Ramey, S.L. (1999). Right from birth: Building your child’s foundation

for life. New York: Goddard Press.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency

Affairs. (2002). Helping your child become a reader. Washington, DC: Author.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency

Affairs. (2002). Helping your preschool child. Washington, DC: Author.

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Resources for parents and caregivers

The following government groups can provide you with useful information about

learning to read.

The Partnership for Reading

www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading

Even Start Family Literacy Program

www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/CEP

ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education

www.ericeece.org

National Parent Information Network (NPIN)

www.npin.org

ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication

www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)

www.nifl.gov

No Child Left Behind For Parents

www.nochildleftbehind.gov/parents/index.html

Partnership for Family Involvement in Education

www.pfie.ed.gov/

If you have children attending kindergarten or grades 1-3, look for the booklet

A Child Becomes a Reader: Kindergarten through Grade 3.

www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading

To order copies of this booklet, contact the National Institute for Literacy at

EdPubs, PO Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Call 800-228-8813 or email

. This booklet can also be downloaded at The Partnership for

Reading web site, www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading.

The Partnership for Reading

Bringing Scientific Evidence to Learning

National Institute for Literacy

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Second Edition

Spring 2003

Session 4: What Is Emergent Literacy?

Handout E: A Model of Oral and Written Language Development

EIVI Training Center. (2005). A model of oral and written language development. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH. 

Adapted from Koppenhaver, Pierce, Steelman, & Yoder (1994). Used with permission.

Concept development graphic

 

The communicative context includes the verbal and nonverbal interactions of children and adults. It includes receptive communication such as listening, watching signs, and reading, as well as expressive communication such as speaking, signing, using assistive or adaptive communication devices, and writing. All of these communicative acts are related and develop in an interrelated manner. The nature of the communicative context and the interactions occurring within it dictate whether or not children will become familiar with the characteristics of language and the concepts that connect spoken and written language. The situational context refers to the physical characteristics of children’s living and learning environments. The situational context includes the availability of literacy and communication materials, opportunities for literacy and communication experiences, and the literacy and communication skills of adults and other children in the living and learning environments. 

The sociocultural context specifically refers to the societal and cultural values, expectations, beliefs, and resources regarding communication and literacy. For example, middle-class Americans may value storybook reading with their children, while some Native Americans may place a greater value on oral storytelling. 

The opportunities afforded children are influenced by their interactions with others; the physical environments in which they are living and learning; and the attitudes, expectations, and beliefs society holds for them as potential learners.

Consider the following example:

When 30-month-old Amber and her mother return from their trip to the grocery store, Amber’s grandfather has arrived for a visit. Amber is feeling a little full from tasting so many good samples that were available at the store.

While her mother puts away the groceries, Amber brings her grandfather one of her braille-print books about different types of food. She sits on her grandfather’s lap with the braille-print book resting on her legs. Her grandfather reads the rhyming print in a singsong voice as he skims his fingers over the braille dots. Amber periodically places her hand on her grandfather’s as it moves across the page. She chimes in frequently with the repetitive line when her grandfather pauses at the end of each page.

Amber also enjoys interacting with her grandfather when he asks, “Is that your favorite food?” As always, Amber responds “No” to everything except chocolate ice cream—her true favorite.

This communicative and literacy experience can be viewed in terms of the communicative context, the situational context, and the sociocultural context. The communicative context included the use of a special reading voice, i.e., the singsong rhythm, reading a braille-print book, and the fact that the grandfather related the book to Amber’s life. The situational context included the child’s independent access to braille books, the visit to the grocery store where the child had hands-on experiences with the foods mentioned in the book, and a home environment with many adults who were willing and able to support Amber and her literacy learning. The sociocultural context included the mother’s expectation that Amber would go to the grocery store, the grandfather’s understanding of the importance of reading and touching the braille dots, and the community resources that had helped the family acquire the books and learn how to use daily interactions to teach Amber about communication and literacy.

Reference

Koppenhaver, D.A., Pierce, P.L., Steelman, J.D., & Yoder, D.E. (1995). Contexts of early literacy intervention for children with developmental disabilities. In M.E. Fey, J. Windsor, & S.F. Warren (Eds.), Language intervention: Preschool through the elementary years (pp. 241-274). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Session 4: What is Emergent Literacy?

Handout C: Building Blocks of Literacy

Smith, M., & Bishop, V. (2005). Building blocks of literacy. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Reference

EIVI Training Center. (2005). Millie Smith: Early cognitive, communicative, and motor skills impact language and literacy [Video clip]. (Available from Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, CB #8040, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040)

Session 4: What Is Emergent Literacy?

Handout D: Topics in Early Childhood Literature

Murphy, J.L. (2005). Topics in early childhood literature. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Family life

Parents

Brothers and sisters

Extended family

Stepfamilies

Family traditions

Adoption

Marriage and divorce

New baby

Nature

Insects

Animals (birds, fish, snakes, mammals, farm animals, pets, zoo)

Weather

Community

Neighborhood

Transportation

Rescue and firefighting

Growing up

My body

Senses

Getting in trouble

Emotions

Friendships and getting along

Self-help

Love

Bedtime

Diversity

Special needs

New experiences

Doctor/dentist/hospital

Going to school

Basic concepts

Counting

Alphabet

Sizes and shapes

Opposites

References

American Library Association. (2004). Children’s notable lists. Retrieved March 14, 2005, from http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/awardsscholarships/childrensnotable/Default1888.htm

Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site. (1999). Expanded table of contents. Retrieved March 14, 2005, from http://www.carolhurst.com/toc.html

Children’s Book Council. (2003). Reading lists: Books to grow on. Retrieved March 14, 2005, from http://www.cbc-books.org/readinglists/bookstogrow.html

Koenig, A.J., & Farrenkopf, C. (1997). Essential experiences to undergird the early development of literacy. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 91(1), 14-24.

Handout B: Laying the Groundwork for Literacy

Strickland, D.S., & Shanahan, T. (2004). Laying the groundwork for literacy. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 74-77.

Copyright of Educational Leadership is the property of Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a Listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permissions.  However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. Reprinted by permission. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is a worldwide community of educators advocating sound policies and sharing best practices to achieve the success of each learner. To learn more, visit ASCD at www.ascd.org.

 

Laying the Groundwork for Literacy

By Dorothy S. Strickland and Timothy Shanahan

An increasing body of evidence shows that high-quality early education yields long- lasting benefits (Bowman, Donovan, & Bums, 2000; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Educators and policymakers have begun to ask essential questions: What skills and abilities do young children require to help them grow into successful readers and writers? How can we prevent reading difficulties? What roles do school and home play in young children's literacy development? The National Early Literacy Panel, in its ongoing synthesis of early literacy education research, hopes to provide some answers. 

In 2002, the National Reading Panel released its influential report, Teaching Children to Read, which synthesized some of the scientifically based reading research on students in kindergarten through 12th grade. But no similar research synthesis existed on the topic of early literacy development in children from birth through age 5. Research dealing with early childhood development (Bowman et al., 2000; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000) did not focus on either literacy preparation or evaluating the specific factors that contribute to successful literacy development (Barnett, 1998; Strickland & Barnett, 2003).

National Early Literacy Panel

The National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) was created through the Family Partnership in Reading Project, which is funded by the National Institute for Literacy under the auspices of the National Center for Family Literacy. NELP's mission was twofold: to provide a research synthesis on early literacy development that would contribute to education policy and practice decisions affecting early literacy development and to evaluate the role of teachers and families in supporting children's language and literacy development. This evidence would help the National Center for Family Literacy create literacy-specific materials for parents and teachers as well as staff development programs for family literacy practitioners.

NELP used methodology consistent with that used by the National Reading Panel (NRP) in its synthesis on reading education research. There are some important differences, however. Like NRP, NELP conducted extensive and rule-based searches of the key education databases. But NELP has a broader perspective than NRP, considering early writing and spelling development as well as reading.

For inclusion in the synthesis, studies had to meet some basic selection criteria. Studies had to be published in English in refereed journals and had to report empirical research on children up to the age of 5 (or through kindergarten).

NELP set out to answer four basic questions about early literacy development:

  • What skills and abilities of young children (birth through 5 years) predict later reading outcomes?
  • How do environments and settings contribute to or hinder the development of such skills and abilities?
  • How do the characteristics of children contribute to or hinder the development of such skills and abilities?
  • How do programs and interventions contribute to or hinder the development of such skills and abilities?

Because NRP focused on the performance of school-age children, it included studies that examined word recognition or decoding, oral reading fluency, and reading comprehension. NELP's focus was substantially different. Although some children become readers and writers before entering kindergarten or 1st grade, most are more accurately described as prereaders or emergent readers. Thus, direct measures of reading and writing skills, such as those used by NRP, fail to reveal much about younger children. Preliminary NELP findings provide us with some clues about what skills and abilities of young children predict later reading outcomes.

First, NELP established standards of evidence. For a skill or an ability to qualify as a potentially important precursor to later literacy development, it had to significantly correlate with reading, writing, or spelling development. NELP considered studies that measured one or more skills or abilities during the preschool or kindergarten years and that subsequently provided a direct measure of reading, writing, or spelling skill for these same students. NELP required at least three independent studies for each variable. Also, the average correlation across these studies needed to be large enough (.30) to suggest some potential educational value if the variable was implicated in later literacy learning. Finally, NELP required that the early skills or abilities studied be teachable; there is no point in focusing policy or practice on such theoretically unchangeable characteristics as IQ.

The Findings

NELP found that certain skills and abilities have direct links to children's eventual success in early literacy development. The 11 variables listed in Figure 1 qualified as predictors with sufficient correlation to literacy to merit further consideration: alphabetic knowledge, print knowledge, environmental print, invented spelling, listening comprehension, oral language/vocabulary, phonemic awareness, phonological short- term memory, rapid naming, visual memory, and visual perceptual skills. In some studies, the correlations were calculated to measure either the relationship between the preschool skills and the children's decoding ability or the relationship between the preschool skills and the children's subsequent reading comprehension. If the variable met the standard for either the decoding or comprehension outcome, it was included for further study.

Correlations can range from .00 (no relationship) to 1.00 (a perfect relationship). Figure 1 provides a description of how closely measures of early performance related to later reading achievement. Correlations show similarity of performance on the two measures; they do not imply causation. If a preschool or kindergarten variable is both highly correlated and causally connected, then teaching the skills or abilities summarized by that variable would most likely lead to higher literacy performance.

The findings will reassure early childhood professionals that many of their assumptions about predictors of reading success are valid. They may wish to use this information as they plan well-integrated, developmentally appropriate, and engaging opportunities for students to build the foundations for reading and writing.

We examine some of the broader variables below: oral language, alphabetic knowledge, and print knowledge.

Oral  Language

The correlational studies linking oral language to literacy address vocabulary growth and listening comprehension. Few studies measure young children's syntax or grammar development and link performance in this area to later reading achievement.

Oral language development is facilitated when children have many opportunities to use language in interactions with adults and with one another, both one-on-one and in small groups; when they frequently engage in extended conversations with adults; and when they listen and respond to stories read and told to them. These activities enable the students to describe events, build background knowledge, and extend their vocabulary. Because evidence now supports the importance of oral language as a precursor to and an ongoing support for literacy, preschools should provide opportunities for students to

  • Create sounds by singing and participating in music making.
  • Listen and respond to music, stories, and discussions.
  • Listen for various purposes: for enjoyment, to follow directions, to engage in dialogue with others, and to attend to patterns in language.
  • Engage in oral language activities that are linguistically, cognitively, and verbally stimulating.

Alphabetic Knowledge

Knowledge of the letters of the alphabet and phonological awareness (the ability to hear the sounds within words) form the basis of early decoding and spelling ability, and both are closely correlated with later reading and spelling achievement. Young children can learn to name and distinguish letters. They can also begin to develop an awareness of the constituent sounds within words, such as syllables, rhymes, and phonemes.

Children who can hear the sounds in oral language are more likely to benefit from early reading instruction.

To develop phonological awareness, teachers should immerse students in language- rich environments. Given the importance of alphabetic knowledge, preschools should provide opportunities for students to

  • Play with letters, such as those in alphabet puzzles, and engage with alphabet books.
  • Participate in activities in which teachers link the names of letters and the sounds they represent to writing, particularly to the students' own names.
  • Work with rhymes and play language games with letter sounds.
  • Draw and write independently for personal enjoyment.

Print Knowledge

Making sense of print includes an awareness and understanding of environmental print (print that surrounds us in our environment, such as in the supermarket); an understanding of the concepts of print (such as where to begin to read a book or a page and in what direction to read); and the ability to invent the spelling of words. To foster print knowledge, preschools should provide opportunities for students to

  • Observe adults writing as the adults say the words aloud.
  • Contribute ideas and language for others to write down.
  • Participate in discussions about the use of labels and signs.
  • Observe and follow along as adults track print from left to right while reading aloud.
  • Independently browse through books front to back and draw and "write" independently.

Some of these early skills identified by NELP will prove to be crucial in later literacy achievement, whereas others will prove to be more incidental to literacy. Nevertheless, this first synthesis provides significant clues as to what works in preschool literacy education.

Figure 1. Correlations of Preschool Skills or Abilities With Decoding or Reading Comprension Measures

A - Preschool Skill or Ability

B - Decoding Mean correlation

C - Decoding Number of studies

D - Decoding Number of children

E - Comprehension Mean correlation

F - Comprehension Number of studies

G - Comprehension Number of children

A

B

E

C

F

D

G

Alphabetic knowledge

.46

.45

26

6

2,904

668

Print knowledge

.46

.30

11

1

1,203

21

Environmental print

.52

--

4

--

543

--

Invented spelling

.56

.69

9

2

703

104

Listening comprehension

.27

.32

9

3

1,399

536

Oral language/vocabulary

.30

.26

26

8

2,088

1,188

Phonemic awareness

.45

.42

49

13

4,448

1,006

Phonological short-term memory

.26

.38

25

9

2,502

1,281

Rapid naming

.39

.39

18

6

2,032

645

Visual memory

.47

.15

4

1

295

281

Visual perceptual skills

.36

.35

9

4

931

659

References

Barnett, S.W. (1998). Long-term effects on cognitive development and school success. In S.W. Barnett & S. Boocock (Eds.), Early care and education for children in poverty (pp. 11-44). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Bowman, B., Donovan, M.S., & Burns, M.S. (Eds.). (2000). Eager to learn: Educating our preschoolers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Shonkoff, J.P., & Phillips, D. (Eds.). (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Strickland, D.S., & Barnett, W.S. (2003). Literacy interventions for preschool children considered at risk: Implications for curriculum, professional development, and parent involvement. In C.M. Fairbanks, J. Worthy, B. Maloch, J.V. Hoffman, & D.C.

Schallert (Eds.), National Reading Conference Yearbook (Edition 2003, pp. 104- 116). Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference, Inc.