Reading and Writing

, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 2179–2200 | Cite as

Using the MULTILIT literacy instruction program with children who have Down syndrome

  • Lisa Lim
  • Joanne ArciuliEmail author
  • Natalie Munro
  • Linda Cupples


We evaluated the MULTILIT—“Making Up Lost Time in Literacy”—instruction program for individuals with Down syndrome. The 12-week program was administered on a 1:1 basis to participants who were assessed at three timepoints: Baseline, pre-instruction, and post-instruction. Participants were allocated non-randomly to two groups that had comparable abilities prior to intervention. These groups differed in the duration of the control period between baseline and pre-instruction: 12 weeks for Group 1 (n = 8, mean age = 168.88 months) and 24 weeks for Group 2 (n = 7, mean age = 164.71 months). Improvements in literacy skills were evaluated within participants (each participant serving as her/his own control), and the influence of control periods was evaluated between participants. Phonological awareness, word reading accuracy, and word spelling accuracy all improved significantly from pre- to post-instruction, with large effect sizes; whereas no statistically significant changes were observed during the control period (between baseline and pre-instruction assessments) regardless of the duration of this control period.


Literacy Instruction Reading Spelling Phonological awareness Intellectual disability 



Lisa Lim was supported by an Australian Government APA Award. Joanne Arciuli was partly supported by a mid career research Future Fellowship granted by the Australian Research Council. Lisa Lim completed this research as a Ph.D. student under primary supervision of Joanne Arciuli. We would like to thank all the children and their families who participated in this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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