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Literacy difficulties of children with cerebral palsy

Conference paper
Authors Lindsay Pennington
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Volume 51
Issue Suppl 3
Pages 8
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 8
Language en
Subject categories Cognitive science

Abstract

Children with cerebral palsy often have difficulties learning to read and spell. These difficulties significantly reduce children’s access to education; their leisure opportunities; their ability to communicate with a modern, technological world that relies on the written word; and their chances of finding employment when reaching adulthood. This session aims to help clinicians to consider the possible reasons for children’s failure to develop literacy skills, to plan assessments to identify children’s particular strengths and weakness, and to consider the teaching of visual or phonic routes to reading. We will describe the cognitive, linguistic, sensory and motor processes involved in reading and spelling, and the skills children need to become fluent readers. Using evidence from previous research into the impairments and activity limitations of children with cerebral palsy, we will discuss which processes used in reading and spelling might be impaired for children with this heterogeneous condition. We will summarise current literacy research, which highlights problems in working memory, speech production and phonological awareness and suggest areas of future research. We will also discuss methods of assessment for use in clinical practice.

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