Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Special Education

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Courtade, Ginevra

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Lingo, Amy

Committee Member

Pennington, Robert

Committee Member

Scott, Terrance

Committee Member

Norton-Meier, Lori

Author's Keywords

intellectual disability; writing; response prompting; peer tutoring; middle school


The development of writing skills is one of the most complex competencies that students are expected to master (Saddler, 2013). Limited research has been conducted on the acquisition of writing skills for students with moderate and severe intellectual disability. Even fewer studies have examined the acquisition of sentence construction skills. The current study examines the effects of a writing instructional package using peer tutoring, response prompting, and sentence frames to teach students with moderate intellectual disability to construct sentences related to adapted grade-level social studies content. Four seventh grade students without disabilities were trained to implement the writing instructional package with three students with moderate intellectual disability. Maintenance over time, generalization to the general education classroom, and social validity were examined. Results indicate that all three students with moderate intellectual disability increased the number of sentences written correctly and independently about a historical artifact. Additionally, the three students increased the number of comprehension questions answered correctly about the artifact. All students maintained the results during the maintenance period and generalized the results to their general education social studies classes. Finally, the staff and students reported high levels of satisfaction with the instructional package.