The amount of higher education students with developmental language disorders (DLD) is increasing, yet little is known about the academic strategies they use to compensate for their disability. This exploratory mixed methods study examined essay-writing strategies in this population, compared to typically developing (TD) controls. Participants (n = 29) were instructed to write a short essay on the topic of academic success, and were interviewed about the strategies and planning they used. Interview transcripts were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The amount of common strategies was similar in both groups (Cohen's d = 0.082), with a difference in their content: the DLD group relied more on technology, but less on social connections. Uncommon strategies were more frequently used in the DLD group (Cohen's d = 0.633). Uncommon strategies in the TD group were more related to writing technique, and in the DLD group more to increased support.
Currently working on writing it up as an article!
This study was funded by the University of Iowa Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship to BP and NIH grant 5R01DC011742 to KKM.