Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD, Chair; Barbara K. Keogh, PhD; Robert F. Nelson, PhD


adolescents, education, remedial instruction, secondary schools, Specific Language Disabilities


This research was directed toward the consequences of specific language disabilities on students during their secondary school years. The subjects were secondary students who had been identified as having the characteristics of specific language disabilities (SLD or developmental dyslexia) and who received remedial instruction while in elementary school. Remedial treatment utilized the Slingerland Adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham MultiSensory Approach to Language Arts with instruction given within regular education classrooms. These students were compared with a randomly selected cohort comparison group who were not known to have language learning problems. Major findings included: A higher percentage of the SLD group (81.4%) remained within the local school system than did the comparison group which had 72.1% of its subjects listed on local school records. School district data indicated that 91.6% of the listed SLD students and 88.9% of the listed comparison group students were currently active students. Academic success of the specific language disability group exceeded expectations. The majority of the SLD group were maintaining grade point averages and standardized achievement test scores within the average or above average range. Differences between the grade point averages of the SLD group and the comparison group were not significant. The standardized test scores of the SLD group remained significantly below those of the non-SLD comparison group. Above average stanine scores were achieved in reading by 24.9% of the SLD group. Another 51.9% of the SLD group maintained stanine scores in the average range. Little or no differences were observed between groups in regard to attitudes toward school, time spent on homework, participation in athletics or other extracurricular and peer group activities. Higher educational aspirations and vocational goals were similar for both groups. The researcher concluded that in spite of specific language disabilities the majority of these students were finding success during there secondary school years. This research provides strong support for the use of intervention programs with specific language disability students and the efficacy of the Slingerland Adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham MultiSensory Approach to Language Arts.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access