Specific language impairment (SLI) and dyslexia are found to co-occur in school-aged children learning Chinese, a non-alphabetic language (Wong, Kidd, Ho, & Au in Sci Stud Read 14:30–57, 2010). This paper examined the ‘Distinct’ hypothesis—that SLI and dyslexia have different cognitive deficits and behavioural manifestations (e.g., Catts, Adolf, Hogan, & Weismer in J Speech Lang Hear Res 48:1378–1396, 2005) in Chinese children in Primary 1. Ninety-four six- to seven-year-old Chinese children completed a norm-referenced test for oral language and for literacy, as well as cognitive tasks related to reading development. Based on results from the norm-referenced tests, 40 children fell in the typically-developing Control group, 10 children in the dyslexia-only (D) group, 19 in the SLI-only group and 25 children in the SLI-D group. Orthographic skills and lexical access and retrieval skills were found to be associated with dyslexia. Phonological memory and morphological awareness were associated with SLI. Phonological awareness was associated with both SLI and dyslexia. SLI and dyslexia in Chinese did not seem to be distinct disorders as they were both characterized by a deficit in phonological awareness. Implications for clinical practice were discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 6, 2015
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