A1 Journal article (refereed)
Development of reading and arithmetic skills across Grades 1 to 4 in two groups of children receiving part-time special education (2021)

Virinkoski, R., Eklund, K., Lerkkanen, M.-K., Holopainen, L., & Aro, M. (2021). Development of reading and arithmetic skills across Grades 1 to 4 in two groups of children receiving part-time special education. Learning and Individual Differences, 85, 101956. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2020.101956

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsVirinkoski, Riitta; Eklund, Kenneth; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Holopainen, Leena; Aro, Mikko

Journal or seriesLearning and Individual Differences



Publication year2021


Pages range101956


Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79669


This study investigated why some Finnish students receive part-time special education in Grade 1, duration of that support, and its relation to student reading fluency, reading comprehension, and arithmetic fluency development. The participants included two groups from Grade 1 receiving part-time special education (1–2 years vs. 3–4 years) and a control group comprising the remaining participants from the study. Teachers identified reading and expressive language difficulties as the main reasons for part-time special education in Grade 1. By Grade 4, students who received support until Grade 1 or 2 caught up the level of the control group especially in reading fluency. Students who had received support until Grade 3 or 4 exhibited more persistent and overlapping difficulties with attention, receptive language, memory, and motivation. Additionally, by Grade 4, differences from the control group remained statistically significant for all three skills. Implications for enhancing special education interventions for students with persistent and overlapping learning difficulties are discussed.

Keywordslearning difficultiesreadingfluencymathematical skillslanguage developmentlanguage disordersreading disordersspecial education (teaching)forms of support

Free keywordspart-time special education; reading fluency; reading comprehension; arithmetic fluency; overlapping difficulties

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 19:57