This study investigates word reading skill in Down Syndrome (DS). Two main questions are addressed: (1) Is reading an island of ability in DS? and (2) What are the cognitive correlates of word reading ability in DS? In particular, how do language versus visual-spatial skills relate to individual differences in reading ability in DS? Participants were 19 individuals with DS, ranging in age from 10 to 19 years, and 19 typically developing children (mean age = 4.9 years) matched with the DS individuals for mental age. Overall, reading ability in DS was very poor. There was no evidence that reading represents an “island of ability” in DS; instead, the average reading level of DS participants was even lower than would be predicted by their IQ. However, there were substantial individual differences in literacy among DS participants. DS word reading and spelling skill correlated strongly with the ability to read by phonological recoding. It also correlated with several language measures. As a matter of fact, the often reported language-mental age gap was found only among the poor readers with DS.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 17, 2008
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