A study of the effects of reading instruction by the Ball-Stick-Bird method on mentally retarded adults

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Finn, Paul E.
Gordon, Hildegard J.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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The research problem was to determine whether tutoring with the Ball-Stick-Bird reading method with moderately to severely mentally retarded adults would: 1) teach mentally retarded adults to read, 2) show an effect on cognitive functioning, 3) show improved scores on a behavioral scale. Six moderately to severely retarded adults were tutored with the reading method, and six moderately to severely retarded adults served as controls. All twelve subjects were administered pre and post tests of reading ability, intelligence, and behavior. A descriptive analysis of the data resulted in the finding that none of the subjects in either group successfully completed this research design's requirements for the reading program. However, the Ball-Stick-Bird word list data resulted in a strong interraction factor (.017) of the means appearing between the pre and post test scores for the two groups. Because the effects on cognitive functioning and on social interactions were dependent on successful completion of the reading program, the results of the study must be considered inconclusive.One outcome of the study are strong indicators that these inconclusive findings are due to the limited time span as well as the limited sample size of this research, rather than lack of promise of the tutoring instrument (Ball-Stick-Bird). A larger tutoring period with an extended sample should result in more positive findings.