Maja Roch, Maria Chiara Levorato

Relationship between oral language comprehension and text reading comprehension in individuals with Down syndrome

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The aim of the present study was to analyse the role of oral language comprehension on the acquisition of text reading comprehension skills in individuals with Down Syndrome (DS). Twelve children and individuals with DS who have developed reading and text comprehension skills (mean age 12 years and 9 months) were compared on listening comprehension, word comprehension and sentence comprehension to nine individuals with DS who have not developed reading skills (mean age 9 years and 4 months) and to a group of twelve typically developing readers (mean age 6 years and 9 months). The results showed a better performance of DS Readers over DS Non Readers in lexical and listening text comprehension. This difference was not evident for sentence comprehension. Furthermore, DS Readers did not have a significantly different perfor mance with respect to typically developing children with same text reading comprehension abilities, with exception for the sentence comprehension abilities, which are less developed in the group of DS Readers. The results indicate that individuals with DS who develop reading skills show a different linguistic profile when compared to individuals who do not develop reading skills.

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