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S1_LSHSS-23-00187puranik.pdf (16.95 kB)

WILLD pilot study (Puranik & Koutsoftas, 2024)

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posted on 2024-06-20, 20:21 authored by Cynthia S. Puranik, Anthony Koutsoftas

Purpose: Although children with language-based learning disabilities (LLD) demonstrate significant difficulties with writing, empirical evidence to support interventions is sparse. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study was to examine the feasibility and promise of a writing intervention for fourth- and fifth-grade students with LLD (WILLD: writing in students with LLD). The intervention components included word-, sentence-, and discourse-level writing processes and instructional practices using self-regulation strategies.

Method: Participants for this study were 15 students with LLD, recruited from three different schools. Students’ writing was assessed using a sentence probe task and obtaining an informative paragraph writing sample as a measure of proximal writing outcomes. Trained speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and special educators delivered the intervention in a small-group format over 12 weeks. Using a within-group pre–post design, we examined changes in writing outcomes before and after the intervention.

Results: Results indicated that the intervention helped students improve their informative writing skills; students’ writing quality showed a statistically significant increase, and grammatical errors showed a significant decrease.

Conclusions: Evidence from this pilot effort indicates that WILLD was feasible and appears to show promise for improving writing outcomes for fourth- and fifth-grade students with LLD when delivered by SLPs and special educators in a small-group format. Implications of the results and directions for future research are discussed.

Supplemental Material S1. Project WILLD Road Map.

Puranik, C. S., & Koutsoftas, A. (2024). Writing in elementary students with language-based learning disabilities: A pilot study to examine feasibility and promise. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 55(3), 959–975.


This research was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324A2000046, awarded to Seton Hall University.