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Reading skills in Swedish children with autism spectrum disorders

Conference paper
Authors Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Sven-Olof Dahlgren
Published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Volume 51
Issue Suppl 3.
Pages 3
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 3
Language en
Subject categories Cognitive science


Research on reading in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is up to now inconclusive. Some studies have pointed to good word decoding abilities and poor reading comprehension, while in other studies the children also vary considerably in word decoding skills. Most of the research has been done in English speaking populations. In this session we will contrast the different findings and give an example from a study on 37 Swedish speaking children with ASD who were of normal intelligence. In this study word decoding and sentence comprehensions skills were examined in relation to verbal ability, memory and performance on theory of mind (ToM) tasks. The ToM tasks were included because both mentalizing ability and reading are dependent on similar higher order skills, such as the ability to go "beyond the surface", metalinguistic and metacognitive awareness and also verbal comprehension. Main results showed that three distinct groups of readers could be discerned: proficient readers, poor sentence comprehenders and children who in addition to being poor comprehenders also were poor word decoders. The results will be discussed in terms of cognitive and linguistic variables.

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