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  • 1.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology. Linnéuniversitetet.
    Self-concepts and psychological health among children and adolescents with reading disabilities and the influence of assistive technology2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis includes three empirical studies that have all aimed to increase the understanding of the interactions and connections between self-concepts, reading impairment, psychological health and Assistive Technology (AT). The use of applications in tablets as assistive technology to facilitate reading and compensate for reading impairment and its impact on the participants’ self-concepts and psychological health as well as on their reading abilities was also of interest.

    The first study included 67 pupils in school years 4-9. They were assessed by the Beck Youth Inventory (BYI) regarding self-image, anxiety and depression. The results showed no deviance from age-equivalent norm group scores. The second study included 35 pupils in school years 4-6. This study aimed at investigating the transfer effects on decoding and general reading ability after 20 intervention sessions where AT (applications in tablets) were used. Results showed that the decoding ability had progressed at the same rate as that of the norm group. The results also showed that using AT increased motivations to learn, as well as independence and improved family climate. The third study was a randomized control study (RCT) with 137 participants in school years 4, 8 and high school. The results showed that reading impaired children and adolescents to a great extent, but not completely unanimously, did not depict any different self-image or self-esteem than peers with an expected reading ability of the same age. Self-esteem was investigated by the Cultural Free Self Esteem Inventory (CFSEI-3). The CFSEI-3 scores showed no effect by interventions with AT. The results also showed that there were no signs of depression, assessed by BYI, in the investigated groups, but somewhat inconclusive results regarding anxiety where the school-year 4 group depicted higher levels of anxiety.

    The results generally showed a more positive depiction than what previous studies within the field have presented, which was interpreted as being due to the development of efficient pedagogical strategies and supportive attitudes in the school context, as well as among family members or peers. 

  • 2.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Assistive technology as reading interventions for children with reading impairments with a one-year follow-up2017In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, Vol. 12, no 7, p. 713-724Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: This pilot study investigated the possible transfer effect on reading ability in children with reading difficulties after a systematic intervention to train and compensate for reading deficiencies by using applications in smartphones and tablets. The effects of using assistive technology (AT) one year after the interventions were completely studied. School related motivation, independent learning and family relations were also considered.

    METHOD: 35 pupils aged 10-12 years participated. They were assessed five times with reading tests. The participants, their parents and teachers were surveyed with questionnaires regarding their experience of using AT. The data from the assessments were analyzed with paired t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. The data from the questionnaires were analyzed using content analysis.

    RESULTS: The paper shows that using AT can create transfer effects on reading ability one year after the interventions were finished. This means that reading impaired children may develop at the same rate as non-impaired readers. Also, increased school motivation and an increase in independent learning and family effects have been shown.

    CONCLUSIONS: This paper provides implications in how to facilitate reading impaired pupils' learning process and realizes the need to challenge the concept of reading to change to fit modern means of gaining information. Implications for rehabilitation Children with reading impairment could benefit from assistive technology in regards of their reading development process and increase their chances of not falling behind peers. Assistive technology as applications in smartphones and tablets may aid children with reading impairment to have an equal platform for learning in school as their peers without reading difficulties. Assistive technology could facilitate the information gaining process and subsequently increase motivation to learn and increase interest in reading activities. Assistive technology had wider effects on its users: stigmatizing situations when leaving the classroom for special education were avoided and positive effects on family life were noted.

  • 3.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Self-concepts and psychological health in children and adolescents with reading difficulties and the impact of assistive technology to compensate and facilitate reading ability2019In: Cogent Psychology, E-ISSN 2331-1908, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 1-18, article id 1647601Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated self-image, psychological health, and the impact of Assistive Technology (AT) on self-concept and psychological health in 137 children and adolescents with reading difficulties during a systematic intervention program and in a one-year follow-up. Participants were randomly assigned to a control or an intervention group. The interventions aimed to teach participants how to understand texts using AT. The control group received no intervention. To investigate self-esteem, self-image, anxiety, and depression, all participants were assessed with the Cultural Free Self-Esteem Inventory, 3rd edition (CFSEI-3) before intervention and one year post-interventions. Forty-one participants were also assessed on the Beck Youth Inventory (BYI). The AT was found to have no impact on participants' self-esteem. The CFSEI-3 showed similar values for self-esteem in a norm group and the study groups at pre-intervention, which made an increase from using AT less expected. The results are discussed in terms of contextual explanatory factors, such as educators' increased knowledge of reading difficulties and dyslexia. The results on the BYI were somewhat inconclusive since the younger group of participants showed more anxiety than the norm group, but the adolescent group did not. This may be due to small sample size, so further research is recommended.

  • 4.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University.
    Self-Concepts and Psychological Well-Being Assessed By Beck Youth Inventory Among Pupils with Reading Difficulties2016In: Reading Psychology, ISSN 0270-2711, E-ISSN 1521-0685, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 449-469Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated the self-image and psychological well-being in 67 children and adolescents age 10–16 years with severe reading difficulties and/or dyslexia. The participants were assessed with Beck Youth Inventory regarding symptoms of depression, anxiety, and negative self-image. The results showed that the participants do not depict negative self-image and showed few symptoms of depression or anxiety at group level in comparison to a norm group. These results could be seen as contradictory to previous research. A questionnaire regarding self-efficacy was also distributed and showed that the participants had low self-knowledge about their reading impairments. The results were interpreted as a possible increase in knowledge among teachers and subsequent change in pedagogical strategies. In addition, technological advances may have improved the academic situation for dyslexic children. This study was a partial study in a larger project that aimed to evaluate the efficiency of assistive technologies for dyslexic children.

  • 5.
    Nordström, Thomas
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Teachers' perceptions of reading apps for reading impaired students following a RCT study2016In: Presented at the 5th All european dyslexia conference, Modena, Italy, 21-24 september, 2016 / [ed] Karin Landerl, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Reading impaired students can read and write with the aid and support of tablets and apps. This study explores how teachers perceive the usefulness of tablets and apps for reading impaired students in Grade 4, 8 and in upper secondary education as well as perceptions of usefulness for pedagogical practice after leading a six-week assistive technology intervention.

    Method: After participating in the training, and after leading a six-week intensive intervention, the teachers were surveyed on their experience and the perceived usefulness of tablets and apps. The survey contained both closed and open questions and the responses were analyzed in terms of the social validity of the technology. Quantitative measures of teacher and student characteristics as well as reading measures were linked to teacher perceptions.

    Results and Conclusion: Results show that the teachers perceived the tablets and the apps as very useful for a majority of the students regarding motivation to read and write as well as facilitating the reading and writing ability. Several teachers also meant that the digital tools may be essential for their students to succeed in school and nearly all were positive of using tablets and apps as part of their pedagogical practice. Additional analyzes, involving the quantitative measures, are discussed at the presentation.

  • 6.
    Svensson, Idor
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fälth, Linda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Short and long-term effects of using assistive technology for students with reading and writing disabilities in compulory secondary school2017In: Language, Literacy and Learning Conference, Perth, Australia, March 30 - April 1, 2017, Perth, Australia, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This presentation will discuss a study which investigated whether systematic and intensive use of assistive technology (AT) can improve reading skills and enhance the ability to assimilate and communicate text for students with reading disabilities. Participants of this RCT designed study took part in an intervention which involved daily use of reading and writing apps for tablets over six weeks. We will present data from immediately after the intervention and from the one-year follow-up of reading skills and self-esteem, using assistive technology and a teacher perspective.

  • 7.
    Svensson, Idor
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping university, Sweden.
    Björn, Marianne
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Sand, Christina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Almgren Bäck, Gunilla
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Effects of assistive technology for students with reading and writing disabilities2019In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Assistive technology has been used to mitigate reading disabilities for almost three decades, and tablets with text-to-speech and speech-to-text apps have been introduced in recent years to scaffold reading and writing. Few scientifically rigorous studies, however, have investigated the benefits of this technology.

    Purpose: The aim was to explore the effects of assistive technology for students with severe reading disabilities.

    Method: This study included 149 participants. The intervention group received 24 sessions of assistive technology training, and the control group received treatment as usual.

    Results: Both the intervention and control groups improved as much in 1 year as the normed population did. However, gains did not differ between the groups directly after the intervention or at 1 year of follow-up.

    Conclusions: The use of assistive technology seems to have transfer effects on reading ability and to be supportive, especially for students with the most severe difficulties. In addition, it increases motivation for overall schoolwork. Our experience also highlights the obstacles involved in measuring the ability to assimilate and communicate text.

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