Reading impairment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A pilot study to investigate similarities and differences with developmental dyslexia

Guja Astrea, Chiara Pecini, Filippo Gasperini, Giacomo Brisca, Marianna Scutifero, Claudio Bruno, Filippo Maria Santorelli, Giovanni Cioni, Luisa Politano, Anna Maria Chilosi, Roberta Battini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Below-average reading performances have been reported in individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), but literacy problems in these subjects have yet to be characterized. In this study, the presence and characteristics of literacy deficits in boys with DMD were investigated through a comparison with typically developing children and with children affected by developmental dyslexia, with the aim of clarifying whether DMD and developmental dyslexia have overlapping profiles of literacy deficits and whether these deficits are associated, as in children with dyslexia, with impairments in phonological processing and rapid lexical access.The results confirmed the high incidence of literacy problems in boys with DMD and revealed a profile less severe than, but qualitatively similar to, that of Italian children with developmental dyslexia. Both groups showed specific difficulties in reading and writing words and a reduced rapid automatized naming (RAN) speed. This is the first time that a RAN speed deficit has been documented in DMD. Moreover, the boys with DMD and the subgroup of dyslexic children with a previous language delay showed additional deficits in phonological processing.The impairments highlighted in this study could explain the reading difficulties observed in boys with DMD and suggest that there is a need for targeted preschool interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume45-46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • Dystrophin
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Phonological processing
  • Rapid automatized naming
  • Reading decoding impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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