The home-literacy environment of young children with disabilities
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Some studies have reported that young children with disabilities have qualitatively distinct home-literacy environments and interests than young children without disabilities. Such differences may contribute to differences in the early-literacy skills of children with and without disabilities. This study was designed to measure three distinct features of the home-literacy environment for children with and without disabilities (frequency of storybook reading, literacy teachingduring book reading, children's print interest; hereafter frequency, teaching, and interest) and determine the extent to which these may vary for the two groups of children. Parents of 692 preschool-aged children (57% with disabilities), all enrolled in inclusive early children special education classrooms, completed a comprehensive assessment of the home-literacy environment in fall of the academic year. Children's teachers completed an assessment for each child on their early-literacy skills. The home-literacy environments of children with and without disabilities was distinguishable only for children's interest; frequency and teaching were comparable. Importantly, children's interest was positively associated, concurrently, with early-literacy skills. This study helps to pinpoint which aspect of the home-literacy environment distinguishes between children with and without disabilities. Findings also suggest the potential importance of identifying avenues to improve the print interest of young children with disabilities.