This paper reports 3 studies comparing thereading and phonological skills of childrenwith Down syndrome (DS) and younger normallydeveloping children of similar reading level.In Study 1, the two groups did not differ insight word or nonword reading, but the childrenwith DS did marginally less well on syllablesegmentation, rhyme and phoneme detectiontasks. Group differences in syllable andphoneme awareness appeared attributable todifferences in verbal ability (BPVS, vocabularyknowledge); however, a significant impairmentin rhyme detection remained in an analysis ofsub-groups equated in vocabulary knowledge. Thedeficit in rhyme observed in DS was replicatedin Studies 2 and 3 using simplified tests ofrhyme judgement, with the majority of childrenwith DS performing at chance on the rhymemeasures. In contrast, the two groups did notdiffer in their ability to detect phonemes inany of the 3 studies and performed above chancein initial phoneme detection and alliterationjudgement tasks, although the identification offinal phonemes was at a much lower level. Correlational analyses indicated a relationshipbetween phonological skills and reading inboth groups. However, for children with DS,letter-sound knowledge did not predict readingwhereas it did for normal controls. It issuggested that children with DS do not possessfull phoneme awareness; although they canidentify initial phonemes in words, they do notunderstand phoneme invariance and may rely lesson phonological skills for reading thancontrols.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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