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Basic reading skills in high-functioning Swedish children with autism spectrum disorders or attention disorder

Journal article
Authors Jakob Åsberg
Sven-Olof Dahlgren
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume 2
Pages 95-109
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 95-109
Language en
Keywords Autism spectrum disorders; Attention disorders; Word decoding; Reading comprehension
Subject categories Cognitive science

Abstract

High-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been reported to have an early success in reading. Children with attention disorders such as DAMP or ADHD, on the other hand, often struggle acquiring reading skills. The primary aim of the study was two-fold: (a) to compare reading performance of children with ASD, DAMP and typical development; (b) to examine whether memory functions and verbal and performance IQ related differently to the reading performance depending on diagnosis. Striking similarities were found between clinical groups on performance level and patterns of reading ability. Decoding and reading comprehension difficulties were common in both clinical groups relative to the comparison group matched for mental age. There was a strong association between word decoding fluency and sentence reading comprehension in the clinical groups even after the effect of age and VIQ was partialled out. Further research on cognition, linguistic abilities and educational milieu is warranted to explore the reasons for the word decoding difficulties.

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