Reading and Writing

, Volume 15, Issue 5–6, pp 497–525 | Cite as

Literacy skills in children and adolescents with Down syndrome

  • Donna BoudreauEmail author


Research has found that many children andadolescents with Down syndrome acquire somelevel of reading ability. Studies to date havedocumented that cognition, language, andphonological awareness contribute tovariability observed in performance onconventional literacy measures for thispopulation, although the extent of relativecontributions varies among studies. Less isknown about the relationship of early literacyskills to conventional reading, or howrelationships among variables that supportliteracy acquisition are similar or differentfrom those observed in typically developingchildren. In this project, cognition,language, early literacy, phonologicalawareness and reading skills were examined in agroup of children and adolescents with Downsyndrome (aged 5;06 to 17;03) and a group oftypically developing children (aged 3;06 to5;03) matched for nonverbal cognition. Resultsrevealed broad variability in performance onearly literacy and reading measures in personswith Down syndrome. Comparisons with mental age-matchedchildren indicated differences in the relativecontribution of language and cognition toreading ability, with language being a strongerpredictor in the group with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome Early literacy Literacy Phonological awareness Reading 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication, Speech and Hearing Sciences ProgramPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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