Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Education and International Services

First Advisor

Conrad A. Reichert

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Ruth Murdoch



Learning disabled children are receiving increasing attention, for despite an intelligence quotient within the normal range, they are not achieving in school as well as their peers. The reasons offered for this phenomenon seem to relate to perceptual problems. Specific learning disabilities occur in reading, arithmetic, spelling, handwriting and other motor coordination areas. This study investigates the effect of a multi-sensory method of teaching spelling to learning disabled children using sandpaper letters to utilize the tactile and kinesthetic sensory modalities.


Unfamiliar spelling words were taught to 40 learning disabled children, 38 boys and 2 girls. The children were matched by age. One group was taught traditionally and the other group was taught using sandpaper letters. The pretest and post test were scored and an analysis of covariance and a regression analysis of the independent variables was performed on the data. An analysis was also made on the types of errors the children made.


An analysis of the data showed that the experimental group did not do any better than the control group nor were particular types of errors helped significantly by the experimental method.


Although the experimental group did not do significantly better than the control group, it would be premature to conclude that adding a tactile, kinesthetic element to teaching spelling is worthless. Many factors could have had an influence on the experiment. Further studies are needed to make a judgment of the applicability of this remedial method.

Subject Area

Children with mental disabilities--Education; Spelling disability

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.