The Contribution of Academic Skills to the Successful Inclusion of Children with Disabilities


Data relating to academic ability were collected for 24 students with disabilities who had been included in regular education classes for 18 months or more. Norm-referenced literacy measures were collected for all 24 students and for 19 of them peer-micronormed literacy and numeracy work samples were obtained and compared to samples collected on average teacher-nominated peers in each of their classes. In addition, teachers were interviewed for their perceptions of the literacy and numeracy skills of the students compared with typical grade peers and their perceptions of the success of the integration. While most of the students performed below their age peers on all measures, some students (even students who had been diagnosed as having a moderate intellectual disability) performed close to and occasionally above what would be expected for their age/grade. There was a positive and statistically significant relationship between the direct measure of academic skills and class teacher perception of those skills and between the perceptions of independent observers who rated the work samples and the direct measure of academic skills. While a relationship was found between teacher rating of success and academic ability, no clear relationship was found between level of disability, as measured at the preschool level, and academic ability. Implications of these findings are discussed.


developmental disabilities academic skills inclusion peer micronorms teacher perception 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie University Special Education CentreMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Macquarie University Special Education CentreMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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