Clinical Forum  |   January 2010
Home Literacy Experiences and Early Childhood Disability: A Descriptive Study Using the National Household Education Surveys (NHES) Program Database
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Allison Breit-Smith is now at the University of Cincinnati, Division of Teacher Education, P.O. Box 210022, Cincinnati, OH 45221. E-mail: allison.breit-smith@uc.edu.
Development / Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   January 2010
Home Literacy Experiences and Early Childhood Disability: A Descriptive Study Using the National Household Education Surveys (NHES) Program Database
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 2010, Vol.41, 96-107. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0048)
History: Accepted 04 Feb 2009 , Received 29 Apr 2008 , Revised 09 Oct 2008
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 2010, Vol.41, 96-107. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0048)
History: Accepted 04 Feb 2009 , Received 29 Apr 2008 , Revised 09 Oct 2008

Purpose: The present article illustrates how the National Household Education Surveys (NHES; U.S. Department of Education, 2009) database might be used to address questions of relevance to researchers who are concerned with literacy development among young children. Following a general description of the NHES database, a study is provided that examines the extent to which parent-reported home literacy activities and child emergent literacy skills differ for children with (a) developmental disabilities versus those who are developing typically, (b) single disability versus multiple disabilities, and (c) speech-language disability only versus other types of disabilities.

Method: Four hundred and seventy-eight preschool-age children with disabilities and a typically developing matched sample (based on parent report) were identified in the 2005 administration of the Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP) Survey in the NHES database. Parent responses to survey items were then compared between groups.

Results: After controlling for age and socioeconomic status, no significant differences were found in the frequency of home literacy activities for children with and without disabilities. Parents reported higher levels of emergent literacy skills for typically developing children relative to children with disabilities.

Conclusions: These findings suggest the importance of considering the home literacy experiences and emergent literacy skills of young children with disabilities when making clinical recommendations.

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